Friday, August 29, 2014

Fall Beauty Essentials from Aquis #Review + #Giveaway


We're entering a new chapter in the life of the Witts- the preschool years! We just visited B's preschool open house, and he did extremely well meeting his teachers and classmates. I have been a stay at home/work at home mom for B's entire life. Being at home with him has been such a joy, and though I have loved (most) every moment of it, I will now have a few hours of alone time three days a week. Of course, I already know what I'll be doing during that time- working, however, it will be nice to have a bit of quiet and a few uninterrupted minutes of peace while getting ready for my day.

I remember my mother telling me that 'life will never be the same,' when I was pregnant with B. Anyone who has ever uttered those words in context to having children, is totally right. You suddenly have a sweet little person in your life, and as their parent, you're making all sorts of sacrifices to meet their needs- out of love for them. I had no idea what a drastic change it would be from pre-baby days to motherhood. Things like long showers and taking time for a morning hair and make-up routine have flown the coupe! Thankfully, I was recently introduced to Aquis, who has some fabulous products which make life a bit easier for moms!


Aquis knows a thing or two about pampering moms- right at home. Aquis has been revolutionizing at home hair care since 1990, through Britanne Corporation, by introducing a high-performance fabric in a spa-quality product, thus totally changing the way customers think about towels. Founder Britta Cox immediately set out to create a new kind of towel, after discovering the awesome advantages of microfiber. Britta partnered with the world's leading microfiber company, perfected the formula, and created the world's first luxury microfiber spa towel. Over the years, Aquis has acquired quite a loyal fan base of customers who love their products. Today, Aquis offers everything from microfiber hair towels to washcloths, and luxurious spa robes!

I was fortunate enough to connect with the kind folks at Aquis, who sent me a sampling of some of their top products, which I couldn't wait to try for myself!

My goodies from Aquis arrived nicely packaged, with additional info about Aquis.

Look at these colorful packages!


My Aquis samples- Microfiber Hair Towel, Microfiber Hair Turban, and Exfoliating Wash Cloth.

Check out this cute introductory video from Aquis...



I was so excited to receive these spa products from Aquis, and couldn't decide which one to try first! I decided that it would be best to just sort of try them in the order that I would normally use them, so I started with the Exfoliating Wash Cloth. I used to exfoliate my skin on a regular basis, but after I became a mom, I was lucky to be able to take a two minute shower to get my hair and body washed. Exfoliating was an extra step that I had cut out of my routine, because I was trying to get showered and ready for my day in as little time as possible (I know the rest of you moms can relate to this). By having a special wash cloth for exfoliating purposes, I had high hopes that I could quickly and easily exfoliate right in the shower, so I wouldn't have to take extra time out to complete an extra step.


The Exfoliating Wash Cloth by Aquis

The Exfoliating Wash Cloth is a two-sided material in washcloth size, and is ideal for facial cleansing and gentle exfoliation. I have been using this wash cloth on my face 2-3 times a week for gentle exfoliation. I have stayed away from using specialty facial cleansers, because I have seriously sensitive skin. My skin is usually overly-oily (thank you Italian heritage), so I don't know what it's like to have dry skin on my face. However, I know that exfoliation is important for removing dirt and oil from my larger than life pores.

Just by simply using the Aquis Exfoliating Wash Cloth a few times a week, I have noticed a healthy improvement in my skin. Our skin is our body's largest organ (I think we tend to forget this sometimes), and taking care of it properly should be of utmost importance. Keeping our skin hydrated (by drinking enough water), moisturized, and exfoliated are three simple steps we can take to promote healthy skin, which will keep it looking fresh, and youthful.


I also received the Aquis Microfiber Hair Towel, which I couldn't wait to try.

My hair is one of the things I dislike most about myself. It's thin, fine, naturally curly, and unmanageable most of the time. I don't have the face for short hair... I tried it once, and it was the worst look I have ever had! Curly hair can be really tough to deal with. I ignored the fact that I have curly hair for a long, long time. It wasn't until after I had B, that I began wearing my hair curly most of the time, because I didn't have time to blow-dry and straighten my hair every day. I do like wearing my hair straight, though, and when it's not super humid outside, I do take the time to straighten it. Anyone who straightens their hair knows that it's a process, and most of us don't have time to spend 30-45 minutes on our hair every morning. Little did I know that the Aquis Microfiber Hair Towel was about to change how I felt about taking the time to straighten my hair.

Here's the microfiber hair towel, in celadon.

About Aquis® Essentials Hair Towels

Aquis® Hair Towels are available in Lisse Crepe and Waffle fabrics, designed to absorb excess moisture more quickly, gently and thoroughly than ordinary cotton towels, dramatically reducing blow-drying time for healthier shiny hair.

Super-absorbent • Lightweight • Ultra-soft • Gentle on Hair • Less Blow-drying

Lisse Crepe Hair Towel – 19″ x 39″
Our signature ultra-absorbent Lisse Crepe is densely woven from ultra-fine microfibers for a soft smooth finish and feather-light feel.

The Aquis Microfiber Hair Towel is amazing! It's a thin towel, yet it's so absorbent! I couldn't wait to use it on my hair, but I first wanted to try it out on my son's hair. B has hair like mine- thin, fine, and slightly wavy. He hates to have his hair cut, so he wears it longer than most boys... it's sort of his thing. The only real problem with long hair that's thin and fine, is having to battle the tangles. Uncooperative little ones with tangles in their hair is a recipe for disaster. We've tried special combs and brushes, detangling sprays, and nothing has kept this boy's hair tangle-free. I knew that I would be taking a chance by towel drying B's hair with the Aquis Microfiber Hair Towel before brushing it, but the experiment couldn't hurt... I was desperate! B was willing to let me use the hair towel on his hair, and even laughed as we dried it. The towel was gentle on his hair, and dried it as I gently rubbed it against his hair.

Here's B, being silly while we dried his hair with the Aquis Microfiber Hair Towel.

Here's B's hair after drying with the hair towel, before brushing- happy as can be!

I was so surprised after towel drying B's hair with the hair towel! Not only was his hair already half way dry, there were zero tangles when we combed through it! He loves using this towel to dry his hair, and I have to say that it has made our bath time routine so much more pleasant! I have also been using the hair towel on my own hair and have been amazed by how much time it's shaving off of my morning routine. The towel absorbs so, so much, and since it's microfiber and friction-free, it causes zero tangles, and leaves the hair nice and smooth! No more yanking the brush through my hair, and losing clumps of hair in my brush each morning. Plus, since my hair is half way to 3/4 of the way dry after using the hair towel, I can spend about two minutes with the blow dryer to finish drying my hair! My morning routine has never been better!

Last, but not least, the Aquis Microfiber Hair Turban.

I have to admit that I wasn't sure about the hair turban. I have not been a fan of hair turbans in the past. Remember- I don't have a lot of hair, and things like towels, headbands, etc, normally just slide right off of my head. Sometimes I get distracted in the mornings after I am showered and dressed, and before I have had a chance to fix my hair, so it winds up soaking wet, combed through and put up on top of my head, held up there by a hair clip. If I get to my hair, I get to it- but sometimes, I don't get to it, and at the end of the day, it's still in that clip, and still wet! Ugh! I decided to give the Aquis Microfiber Hair Turban a try for two reasons:
1) I figured that is I wore the turban, it would make me have to fix my hair and finish my look for the day.
2) At least it would help dry my hair while on my head, and keep my hair out of my face.

About the Aquis® Essentials Patented Hair Turban

Aquis® Made with our signature ultra-absorbent in Lisse Crepe fabric, densely woven from ultra-fine microfibers for a soft smooth finish and feather-light feel. The fabric absorbs excess moisture more quickly, gently and thoroughly than ordinary cotton towels, dramatically reducing blow-drying time for healthier shiny hair.

Super-absorbent • Lightweight • Less Blow-drying • Self-securing

Lisse Crepe Hair Turban – Self-securing button closure
Our unique patented turban with button loop closure and elastic sewn in seams keeps the turban wrapped snugly around your head, allowing for hands-free hair drying.

The hair turban was really easy to use. I simply placed it over my head, with my head hanging down, hair flipped over. The long tail of the turban goes over the hair, and then you simply give the tail a couple of twists (or more, if you like), pull over the top of your head, and the attach the loop around the button in the back. I stopped wrapping my hair in towels a long time ago, because they would never stay twisted and tucked under. This hair turban takes the frustration of slipping away right out of the equation. Just slip it on, twist it, and loop it.

Here's the Aquis Hair Turban, front view...

Back view. Notice the button and the loop? This is what keeps the turban in place.

Now, I used the hair turban after using the hair towel, so my hair was already half way dry from the hair towel. Using the turban kept my hair out of the way until I was ready to work on it, and kept the drying process going. It never once slipped off or out of place- I was definitely impressed. 

When I was ready to fix my hair, I removed the turban and noticed right off that it was already mostly dry, and remained smooth and frizz-free! I followed some of the Pro Hair Care Tips from the Aquis website, which really helped me achieve the look I wanted, and helped me seal that look in for the rest of the day.

Here's what my hair looked like after using the Aquis hair products, and following the pro hair care tips!

I love the products I have tried from Aquis, and my hair has definitely seen improvement! In just a few short weeks, my hair has already grown a couple of inches (which means I need to get my hair cut again), I see a lot of new hair growth, and my hair looks healthy and shiny! I used to towel dry my hair with my cotton towels, but I will never go back to doing that again, after seeing firsthand, the difference that Aquis products have made on my hair- and my son's hair, too! I am conditioning less often, which makes my hair feel light and airy, the way it's supposed to feel, as opposed to weighed and gunked down. Thank you, Aquis!

Aquis has an amazing product line, and I would love to try more of their products, including...


2layer-spa-robe-big
Luxury Spa Robe


Aquis2-002982
Bath Accessories


backscrubber_main
Exfoliators

Any of these Aquis products would make amazing gifts! If you're headed to a baby shower and really want to give a gift that is specifically for 'mom,' the hair towel and hair turban, and spa robe would absolutely be appreciated! Looking for a great gift for the college gal in your life? The Diva Darling collection would be perfect! Sports mom or dad? The microfiber sports towel is just the thing! Pet owners? Aquis has you covered with the Aquis Doggie Dryer! Don't leave Aquis products out of your Fall Fashion & Beauty routine this season! These products will have a big impact on your daily beauty routine and your life... once you try these products, you'll wonder how you ever lived without them!

Want them? Buy them!

Head on over to Aquis to learn more about their company and awesome products! To purchase Aquis products, visit Bed Bath and Beyond, Amazon.com, or Drugstore.com. Aquis is social and would love to connect with you and hear your story! Connect with Aquis on Facebook, and YouTube!



Want them? Win them!

One very lucky MBP reader will win their very own Luxury Spa Robe and Microfiber Hair Towel from Aquis! Giveaway is open to US residents, ages 18 +. No PO Boxes, please. Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter for your chance to win!

Special thanks to our friends at Aquis for allowing me to try these wonderful products, and for offering this wonderful giveaway to our awesome readers!

Good luck!



A Spirit-Led Journey of Faith: Holy Ghost DVD #Review + #Giveaway


Can the Holy Spirit Direct a Movie?

In this fast-paced documentary from the director of the popular films Finger of God, Furious Love, and Father of Lights, Darren Wilson sets out to make a movie that is completely led by the Holy Spirit. No plan, no script, no safety net — just go wherever he feels the Spirit leading him to try and discover the adventure God has for him. Whether it’s the riches of Monte Carlo, a heavy metal concert, or the oldest city in world, the result is a film that not only challenges and excites, but also reveals a God who is far more alive and active than you ever imagined.

The movie features big names such as Lenny Kravitz, Brain “Head” Welch, Bill Johnson, Michael W. Smith, Todd White, Meredith Andrews, DeVon Franklin, William P. Young, Phil Vischer, and many more!


My Thoughts...

I have to admit that I was a bit curious about the film Holy Ghost. I'm not usually one for documentaries, but as a Christian who fully believes in the power of the Holy Spirit, I was intrigued by the premise of this movie. It was amazing to me that an entire film crew could pack up, not really knowing where they were headed, to film whatever or whomever they would come across, with the intention of showing how the Holy Spirit is working and moving across the world.


Holy Ghost only reiterates that God is everywhere- from the streets of the cities to the beautiful mountains and the seas. God is in everything we do- from washing clothing in the river, to putting on or attending a rock concert. I really enjoyed the testimonials in this film- Michael W. Smith is a favorite worship leader and songwriter of mine (his worship music is sung all over the world), and I loved what he said about one of his biggest prayers is 'not to be offended.' I need to make that one of my top daily prayers, as I am offended quite easily. Meredith Andrews goes on to talk about letting go- just relinquishing that need for control, because God is in control, so we don't need to constantly be worrying about things... we need to live our lives, even though not being the one to be in control can be really scary. 

This film is really very inspiring. I've been a Christian my entire life, and have been very active in the church my entire life, as well. There is is much hurt and sadness in the world today, but I see God breaking through everywhere. God is breaking into big cities in the US, like NYC and LA, thanks to churches like Hillsong, who are taking a big leap and planting their churches, saying to the people, 'Yeah, we know you're hurt, broken, and that you're not perfect- God loves you. Come to church and just be in God's presence with us as we worship Him.'



To hear the band members from KORN talk about Jesus with such heart is awesome. They mentioned that life has never been the same, since accepting Jesus, and in the documentary, you actually see the band members gathering a group of their concert attendees, and praying for them and over them, before they head into the show. I wish I had the kind of faith that would allow me to pray over complete strangers like that- incredible.

I can't tell you that this film will change your life in any way, but I always seek the ways that God might be trying to break through to my heart a little bit more, and this film truly allowed an exchange between me and God as I watched it, at a time that I needed personal renewal. No matter what you believe, I would encourage you to open your eyes and watch Holy Ghost, and allow the possibility for God to break through- he's always fighting for us.

Want to See it?


Check out the official website.

On September 6th, Wanderlust Productions will host the FREE worldwide premiere of the film at this site —> HolyGhostMovie.com.


Want It? Win It!

One lucky MBP reader will win their own copy of Holy Ghost on DVD. This giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older- no PO Boxes, please. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter the giveaway!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Good luck!




Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Monthly Surprise with Surprise Ride! {Review and Giveaway}


Summer came to a quick close almost a month ago for us and we are already back to school. Wow, that was a fast summer and we crammed as much fun in as we could. Now that school is back in session, I still want the kids to have some fun in the evenings, between homework and all of our other activities. One thing they always love is getting mail. B gets the mail everyday after school and the first question is "Did I get anything?". Most days it is just unfun stuff like bills and junk mail, but on special occasions, we get fun surprises.

 A Monthly Box of Adventure!
Founded on 3 simple principles-1) Kids are brilliant, 2) Curiosity fuels success, and 3) Everyone loves getting a surprise in the mail, Surprise Ride is a monthly, kid friendly, activity kit, delivered right to your home. Surprise Ride was created by two sisters, Donna and Rosy, who had struggled to find unique gifts for their nephews. The gifts they were searching for needed to add value to the boys' lives, foster creativity, and empower them with experiences. They decided to create their own way to reach out to kids and help them expand their horizons.

Surprise Ride offers a monthly themed kit with hands on learning and fun in one box, delivered to your mailbox. Each box will be full of materials to do fun and exciting activities, while exploring something new in our world.  Surprise Ride has worked with experts to plan the highest quality activities, they have been kids tested, and each box is a complete surprise until it arrives at your door.  With a variety of subscription options (1 month, 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month), each box includes a "Checked Bag"-all of the supplies needed to complete the projects for the monthly theme, "Carry Ons"-a book, a snack, or other fun surprises to go along with the ride, and "Travel Guide"-the famous Surprise Ride booklet with lessons on the theme, interesting facts, and ways to continue exploring the theme. The Surprise Ride box is geared for children 6-11, but can be fun for kids of other ages too.

I worked with Surprise Ride, who offered to send us a one month themed box to let the kids play with and explore. It was shipped to B, they like to address it to the child so they feel extra special. I love this! I know my kids love seeing their name on something from the mailbox. I couldn't wait to check out this company, who has even been featured on Shark Tank.

Our Surprise Ride box is here!

One kiddo is super excited to see what came for him.

We were sent the July Themed Box

The first thing we came across is the Surprise Ride Guide. This Guide gave us all the basic information for our Theme--PowWow, American Indians. Our essentials would be designing a dream catcher and creating a tribal drum. Our extras would include a dance rattle, animal slide whistle, worry stone, North American Indian activity book, and a Pop'd Kerns snack. On the back side were all of Surprise Ride's social media links.

B could not wait to see what was inside the actual box now that he knew what should be there.

The box is jammed pack with fun, we could not wait to get it all out and get started.

The Surprise Ride July Themed PowWow box includes all of this:

Once everything had been taken out of the box, we found our PowWow guide. This "Travel Guide" gave us a lot of neat facts about the American Indians and ideas to use throughout our exploration of the box.  
 

 

Did you know that the American Indians invented Lacrosse? It was originally known as stickball and is a very popular sport played all over the US today.

Next we browsed the instruction sheets for our two design and create projects. Number one was a dream catcher, it listed the supplies that were included and step by step instructions to complete it.

We also found the supply bag for creating our dream catcher.

On the opposite side was information about creating a tribal drum, again with supply list and step by step instructions. It also included information on what drums are used for in the American Indian culture.

Drum making supplies

 


We also found a worry stone

A Pop'd Kerns snack

A dance rattle

An animal slide whistle

A North American Indian activity book
Everything that was listed was included and looked really neat to explore. One day after school we let B get started.

His first choice was trying out the Pop'd Kerns snack, "A corn crunch like no other", in original flavor. These kernels of corn are all natural and gluten free and offer just the right amount of crunch. B had a few handfuls and I had a small sample too. Daddy even tried some when he came home. They were very unique in both texture and flavor, we all thought they were decent and different. 


Next it was tribal drum building time. B followed the instructions step by step, using all of the supplies that were included. We needed nothing extra, everything we needed was already supplied by Surprise Ride. I love that I don't need anything, because inevitably I would have been without something we needed to complete this craft on our own.  
 



 


 Then we had a small performance with our new creation.

 Showing off the worry stone, ours represents a trickster-how perfect for my silly boy!

S needed to get in on some action too, she found the dance rattle and animal whistle and put on a show of her own.
 


Big brother also let her do some of the activities in the North American Indian book. She had fun doing the word search all on her own.
 

She also did the same/different activity.

The last part of the Surprise Ride box was creating a dream catcher. B decided that since he had gotten to make the drum, S could make the dream catcher.
 

 


All done with our dream catcher, ready to hang over S's bed.

 Overall, the Surprise Ride box was fun and educational. The activities were hands on and allowed them to explore something they probably would not have on a normal day. I love that they shared this box, even though it was addressed to B. It was a great way for both of them to learn and create together, being 5 and 7 they both were able to handle the information and understand most of the facts.
Want It? Buy It!
 You can join the ride by ordering your monthly box here. Surprise Ride is truly a fun experience that will be different every month. Make sure to read the FAQs for anything you might be wanting to know more about. You can also follow Surprise Ride on their social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, along with their blog and join their newsletter by registering your email at the bottom of the webpage.



Want It? Win It!
One MBP reader will win a monthly box from Surprise Ride. Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter to win. Remember- if the entry field appears in BOLD, it's mandatory. Giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older.
Click on 'Read More' to go to the giveaway entry form.
 Many thanks to Surprise Ride for our July PowWow Box!