Sunday, December 19, 2010

Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving and Not Lose Your Job, Family, or SanityRun Like a Mother: How to Get Moving and Not Lose Your Job, Family, or Sanity by Dimity McDowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! I've been following their blog and facebook pages for some time, but hadn't read the book. I've been reading it at night for a couple of weeks and have really enjoyed it. I found that I related most to Dimity, but also appreciate that having two very difference 'voices' as authors means that it will reach a large audience. I've already purchased five copies of this book because I have so many girlfriends and sisters with whom I think the messages of this book will really resonate. It is possible to be an active runner and still be a present mother, but the key is in finding a balance that will work for your family's unique situation.

With a ton of nutrition, gear and training advice mixed with their personal stories of trial and triumph and quotes from other moms this book really runs that gamut. It's a book that I know I'll refer back to over and over.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Johnson's Shea and Cocoa Butter Line

I have the pleasure of being doubly 'blessed'; the skin on my face is oily and the skin on the rest of my body is super dry. Being a compulsive shaver, with no more than two days going between a date with the razor, I rely pretty heavily on lotions and thick creams. I never thought I would like using oil, but a friend convinced me to try it a few months ago and I found a brand that I love but my wallet would beg to differ.

I was given the chance to try Johnson's Shea & Cocoa Butter line of baby oil products, including Johnson's Baby Oil, Johnson's Baby Oil Gel and Johnson's Baby Creamy Oil. I tried all three over a week-long period at various stages of the day; immediately after a shower without first toweling off, in the morning prior to getting dressed if I'd showered the night before, and then before bed if I showered in the morning. I did not use lotion in conjunction with these products so that the results I felt would be from the oil products alone.
I liked the silky feel that I got from the oil gel and that was because I really wanted a substantial product that didn't 'soak in' too easily. The oil cream felt like a thick lotion and it had the strongest fragrance, and for that reason alone was probably my least favorite of the three. However, I did feel the need to wash my hands after applying the gel, but I'm sure that's a personal preference thing. With both the oils and the lotions, I was able to just rub my hands together and put the excess on my arms.

That said, these were both products that didn't directly compete with my current brand of la-di-da body oil. I found that the Johnson's Shea & Cocoa Butter oil was every bit as effective as the more expensive one that I so covet, and the fact that the Johnson's version comes in more than just the cocoa butter scent (if that's not your thing) tipped the scale so that it will be my staple and the more spendy oil will be used on nights when I specifically want that scent. (Think date night ;))

I even traveled with the oil and it didn't leak into my toiletry bag. That's important to me as well because I tote stuff back and forth between the gym. Between my phone, iPod and other accessories, there would be a lot to ruin if it did.

Overall, all three have left my skin feeling silky smooth and the scent was not overpowering. I used all three directly after shaving, and did not find any skin irritation or other negative reactions. Now I'm on a mission to try all of the scents so I can settle on a new favorite!

**I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Johnson’s and received the products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Little BeeLittle Bee by Chris Cleave

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was really amazing. Little Bee is a refugee from Nigeria, who was held in an immigration facility in the UK for two years prior to being let out with a group of three other women, in what turns out to be an unethical manner that does not leave her with legal paperwork.

Knowing nobody, except a couple with whom she had a fateful encounter in Nigeria, she contacts them and sends all of their lives in directions that nobody would have predicted.

Chris Cleave uses language beautifully and the harsh realities he brings to light in addition to the subtleties of everyday life that we may take for granted or are just the norm were revisited when seen through the eyes of Little Bee.

This is a must-read, and I won't give any more details, but be warned that a box of Kleenex may be in order.

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