November all through the holiday season is an important time to be thankful, but it’s also a great time to give back to others. Whether you donate to charity, volunteer, or simply perform random acts of kindness, paying it forward as you are able, the little things we do in life really do matter. These simple, selfless acts can put a smile on someone’s face, lessening their load, or really making a big difference in their life. From the smallest kinds of giving to the most involved, every little bit helps to make our world a better, more beautiful place. Continue reading #GivingIsMyStyle – Thanks and Giving for the Holiday Season
As a mom, I’m no stranger to a variety of baby skin issues. Our daughter has gone through everything from eczema to cradle cap. She’s had an occasional pimple, extremely dry skin, and even a small patch where it looks like she never developed pigment. (We still don’t know what that is, but the doctor isn’t concerned.) I’ve watched other baby skin issues occur too, like the development of birthmarks and even moles that didn’t use to exist. Like I said, we are no strangers to baby skin issues, and now, toddler skin issues.
For every baby skin issue, you can likely find a dozen or more skincare products designed to treat it. I’ve had some success with some products, while in some cases, other treatments recommended by the pediatrician also seemed to work wonders. Here’s my rundown of a few baby skincare products and their effects on various baby skin issues.
Gentle Naturals Baby Therapeutics
What mom doesn’t appreciate baby skin products that are paraben-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free, along with being gentle for continued use as needed? I received a couple of products by Gentle Naturals for the purpose of review. I never knew I would need the Gentle Naturals baby eczema cream and baby eczema wash until one day dry, scaly, patches of red skin appeared behind my daughter’s knees.
We switched out our normal baby wash for the gentle naturals, and sometimes just pure water. We also applied the Gentle Naturals cream—a rich, emollient skin cream similar in texture to Aquaphor. I found that the cream helped to care for the eczema, but my daughter’s case was relatively intense, so we did pair it with other treatments. I found that a little bit of 1% hydrocortisone cream mixed in with the Gentle Naturals or the Aquaphor seemed to do the trick after a couple of days.
I also received Gentle Natural’s Cradle Cap treatment. I did not get to use it as my husband quickly learned to use cotton balls and baby oil to remove the dry skin from the top of our daughter’s head. He had the cradle cap fully under control before I even had a chance to worry. However, the cradle cap treatment is a light, non-greasy solution that includes natural, healthy ingredients like calendula, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E.
Shea Moisture Organic Baby Care Products
Most of the time, moms love to see the words “natural” and “organic” when it comes to choosing products for their babies and children. Shea Moisture, established in 1912, contains certified organic ingredients, like raw Shea, chamomile, and Argan oil. The products are rich, emollient, and leave even an adult’s skin feeling great for hours after applying the lotions and creams. (I do admit I probably used more than half of the one lotion product on my hands alone during the winter.)
I received a generous selection of organic baby products from Shea Moisture, including Organic Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Head-to-Toe Ointment with Frankincense & Myrrh, Organic Shea Butter Baby Eczema Therapy with Argan Oil and Extracts of Frankincense & Myrrh, Organic Red Bush & Babassu Baby Head-to-Toe Lotion with Carrot Oil and Shea Butters, and finally, Organic Olive & Marula Baby Head-to-Toe Lotion with Avocado & Shea Butters.
The creams have pleasant scents that are a bit earthy and certainly organic. They go on smoothly and absorb nicely into the skin. I really enjoyed the pump bottle Head-to-Toe lotions on myself as well as on our daughter. The eczema therapy product has a pleasant scent but I did find it a bit tricky to apply, as it is more of a waxy solid in a small cylinder tub. The severity of my daughter’s eczema had me applying creams constantly, so I did not get around to using this product as much as I think I would have, had her eczema been milder. The Head-to-Toe Ointment is useful for everything from chapped lips to cheeks, hands, arms, legs, and even to baby’s bottom during a diaper change.
Weleda Baby Calendula Weather Protection Cream
Babies are known to get very dry skin, especially on their faces and especially during the colder months. Weleda Baby Calendula Weather Protection Cream is a 100% certified natural baby care product designed to protect delicate skin from the harsh cold. Key ingredients like beeswax, Lanolin, Sweet Almond Oil, Chamomile, and Calendula soothe sensitive skin and add moisture to overly dry skin. This product absorbs easily and is dermatologist tested and recommended for sensitive skin. Calendula Weather Protection Cream is suitable for use from birth onward through adulthood. I received one bottle of Weleda Baby Calendula Weather Protection Cream for the purpose of review.
pHisoderm Baby Tear-Free Gel Wash
We have tried lots of different baby wash products, including popular Johnson’s brand and even the basic, fragrance-free Dove bar. Phisoderm Baby Tear-Free Gel Wash is a phthalate-free formula that is designed to gently and effective cleanse baby from the top of her head to the sole of her foot. The powder fresh scent is subtle and pleasant, especially for a new baby just getting acquainted with all the new sights and smells. pHisoderm Baby Tear-Free Gel Wash is allergy tested, dermatologist-recommended, and it is pH balanced to moisturize in addition to cleansing. The formula is also soap-free and specially crafted to gently cleanse even the driest baby skin. I received one bottle of pHisoderm Baby Tear-Free Gel Wash for the purpose of review and have enjoyed the formula and its results.
The wide range of baby skin issues constantly has moms and dads jumping through hoops to find what’s right for baby, whether it’s a simple moisturizer, cleaner, or an actual treatment to a specific baby skin condition. I hope this review of various baby skincare products is helpful in your quest to keep your little ones comfortable.
Disclaimer: I received a number of products for the purpose of review. The opinions here are my own and receiving products did not change or color my thoughts.
In case you didn’t know, I am one of those people who stands resolutely next to my preferred brands in a number of things—particularly ketchup, Qtips®, toothpaste, and deodorant (anti-perspirant). I have my favorite brands, and in a pinch, or sometimes just for kicks, I will use a different product in lieu of my own. It’s funny how you come to be a strong supporter of certain products in life, based on their fragrance, flavor, performance, or a combination of the above. It’s definitely a good thing to try new products and brands, especially since that is how new favorites can arise. And in this case, it is how I came to find a new favorite deodorant for running and working out. Keep reading for my Dove Advanced Care Deodorant Review.
When choosing a body wash, fragrance choice is typically one of the key factors of consideration. From florals to fruits, ocean scents, and everything in between, there’s surely no shortage of choices when it comes to picking out a delightful shower scent. Caress launched its latest body wash line, the Caress Forever Collection, with a new spin on shower fragrances—scents that last.
When you meet a new guy for the first time, can you tell right away whether he’s a one-night-stand or more of a take-him-home-to-mom kind of guy? Maybe he isn’t either, in fact, maybe you’ve got your best friend calling you in, oh, about five more minutes to save you from a dud date and some potentially regrettable decisions. Whatever the case, you can probably tell fairly early on if you’re attracted to someone and whether or not you have chemistry together. Sex appeal is a two-way street. Men are quickly figuring out the same thing as they’re meeting you for a first date or simply seeing you walk by.
My husband and I went to Hawaii on our honeymoon, which feels like ages ago. While there, we enjoyed massages in a private cabana on the beach. Truly an amazing way to enjoy some of nature’s best elements, the sandy shore, the fresh air… Now with a two-and-a-half-year-old child, I can only dream about going back to Hawaii, or can I? The Suave® Professionals premium Body Care line brings the incredible spa experience and some of the scents of Hawaii to your very own bathroom!
Did you know that you are considered “petite” if you stack up 5’4” or shorter? Many women don’t mind being a shorter height, “good things come in small packages,” you know. But ask yourself this: Have you ever worn high heels and wound up with terrible foot aches within hours? If you’ve ever wished you could look taller, read on for tips to creating an illusory image that conveys tallness.
Rock out with vertical stripes and lines!
Whether you choose pleats, patterns, or plain old stripes, you’ll love the illusion of added height you get from fashions boasting vertical lines. They elongate your body while also giving you a slimmer, trimmer appearance.
Add other vertical elements into your wardrobe.
Try button-down shirts and sweaters, zip-front apparel and racing stripes. Get a little sexy with a slit in your skirt – front, back, or side will do just fine. Pinstripes are totally trendy, but you can also sport beads, embroidery, pretty patterns, corduroy, and any number of creative customization options in a vertical format. Ribbed patterns and pleats also add to the vertical aspect.
Wear a v-neck shirt or sweater for the appearance of added height.
The v-neck gives an illusion of a longer torso, a perfect help to those wanting to use fashion to help them look taller. A v-neck also draws attention to the bust, which can be a plus for those looking to appear thinner.
Introduce accessories that will add height to your image or distract from your “problem areas.”
Silky scarves, dangling earrings and long pendants, pearls or necklaces should give a nice boost to your stature. Accessories like sunglasses, hats, barrettes and shawls can also add to the height factor as well as making your overall appearance more interesting.
When selecting pants, choose those that fit properly and brush the tops of your shoes.
Your pants should definitely cover your socks, creating an appearance of longer legs. Some trendy pants of varying lengths (for example, capris or floods) may not be the best for you if you are trying to add the illusion of height to your physique. Find pants that fit comfortably but give the illusion of a slimmer figure. Dark pants, especially black slacks, can help to trim down your curves.
Create a few true extra inches with platforms or high heels.
Depending on the rest of your outfit and the particular shoe types in style at the moment, you can judge if the chunky heels, stiletto heels, or platform sandals will work best. Don’t forget about the timeless value of a nice pair of boots! Every girl’s wardrobe should contain a staple of shoes – blacks and browns, summer and winter styles, open-toe, closed-toe, and boots. If your feet become sensitive to pressure easily, consider wearing platforms over heels, or just skip the stylish shoes altogether and opt for flats.
Worry less about the things you can’t change and focus on the things you can change.
Finally, when everything is said and done, the perfect dress or suit can really make the occasion. Put your main focus on coordinating the perfect outfit – from the clothing itself to the best shoes, purse, and accessories you can find.
Keep Reading for Tips to Help You Achieve a Thinner Look…
You can always count on ChapStick to keep your lips soft and kissable for the next big holiday or special occasion. I’ve always loved the fun flavors and products ChapStick brings to the lip care market, but I feel like the new holiday collection of limited edition gift tins and wintry flavors ups the ante this year. I constantly find myself thinking I need just one more little item for so-and-so when finishing up my holiday shopping, so this time I’m prepared ahead of schedule. I know just what I’ll buy for those people on my list who need a little extra TLC this year.
Like anyone, I have my favorite flavors and favorite lip products, but it’s exciting to add new lip balms to my stash when one season rolls into the next, or even on a passing whim. ChapStick kindly sent me a selection of their holiday lip balms and gift tins for the purpose of an honest review, and I’m delighted to share my experience with you.
ChapStick Classic Cherry
Okay, I’m convinced. It’s completely impossible to go wrong with ChapStick’s Classic Cherry lip balm. It is still the same flavor and fragrance I remember as a young girl trying out ChapStick for the very first time. It takes me back, but it is also so wonderfully smooth and tasty that it keeps me happy right where I am. I am pretty sure you’d have to be devoid of at least two of your five senses if you don’t like the cherry ChapStick, at least that’s my own humble opinion. This flavor is available separately or as part of a few variety-pack holiday gift tins by ChapStick, available at Walmart and Target in a nice collection of designs and colors.
Similar to the cherry, the ChapStick Strawberry flavor is familiar and pleasant. I find these two to be lip balm staples. The strawberry flavor is nice for any time of year, and like its cherry counterpart, the soft pinkish shade of the lip balm is rather appealing. I don’t think there’s much else to say about the strawberry flavor – I like it and recommend it. Sometimes I could swear I caught a tiny tingle on my lips while using it, but I’ve also been using two minty flavors as well, so it’s hard to say….
When it comes to chewing gum, spearmint is always my first pick. I find it tasty and refreshing, so it’s nice to see spearmint offered in a line of lip products as well. The ChapStick Spearmint flavor goes on just as smoothly as all the other ChapStick products, but it almost convinces me I’ve got fresher breath or a tingly kiss just waiting to happen. I adore its pale green hue.
And, you’ve guessed it—now I want a stick of gum. In fact, I think I would use this ChapStick for sure if I found out I had run out of gum. It would also be great right before a kiss. I like this one a lot – just remind me not to wear it outside in the bitter cold or I might think my lips are about to fall off!
ChapStick Limited Edition Candy Cane
The Candy Cane ChapStick flavor invigorates your senses with a burst of peppermint that starts as a fragrance and quickly escalates to a teasing tingle on your lips. (I guess the Spearmint one does this too, but I am feeling more inspired writing this part of the review!) I don’t usually prefer mint flavors aside from chewing gum, but this ChapStick is a winner due to its refreshing approach to lip care. After I applied this flavor to my lips, I lost track of how long the tingling lasted, perhaps because I got bored waiting for it to fade. In fact, my lips are still tingling now, about 20 minutes later. Candy Cane ChapStick is available individually wrapped or as part of a holiday gift tin.
The Candy Cane Swirl holiday tin (MSRP: $5.99, exclusively at Walgreens) contains three sticks of lip balm, making this a great gift for any girl who’s got to have a stick in her purse, pocket, and a spare (aka, me). I think this set would also be nice for sharing, since ChapStick products always seem to last nice and long, even though I apply them multiple times per day. I especially like the pretty design of the Candy Cane Swirl tin and look forward to picking up a few of these during my holiday shopping this year.
ChapStick Gingerbread Kiss
Surprisingly subtle, I like this ChapStick for that very reason. It has enough flavor for you to notice a hint of gingerbread, but it does not overpower your senses. I like that a lot, especially because I feel, at least for me personally, gingerbread is something I like once in a while around the holidays, but not all the time, and not necessarily over other cookie flavors. Chocolate chip, sugar cookies, oatmeal raisin – those I love all the time, but gingerbread is special for the holidays and I like it very much as a limited edition lip balm flavor from ChapStick. Think of it like when the pumpkin craze starts in the very early fall… if you aren’t one of the crazy pumpkin flavor fanatics, you certainly know one. (Looking in at least one friend’s general direction…) Gingerbread Kiss is a great lip balm to bring along for all your holiday visiting or to simply keep your lips soft and kissable while winter’s bite sinks in this year.
When I showed my husband the new wintry offerings from this all-star lip care company, he told me I most certainly did not need any more lip balms or ChapSticks. He still remembers a plastic box or drawer I had in college with “at least 200 ChapSticks,” he swears. I’m pretty sure it was a small tub with about 30 or so sticks, but I guess that’s the difference between a lip balm enthusiast and the person lucky enough to be their mate!
I must admit, my only disappointment in the whole experience of testing and tasting these delightful flavors is that, try as I might to avoid it, I almost always peeled some of the label off the ChapStick tube when trying to break the seal holding the cap in place. Perhaps you’ll have better luck. Not that it matters AT ALL, but I just like my ChapSticks to look as nice as they taste, if it even matters to anyone besides me.
I really love ChapStick® Collector’s Edition Ornament Tins and the individual flavors. I can’t wait to pick out a few holiday recipients with whom I can share the joy. (Truth be told, I also can’t wait to see what comes out next from ChapStick… Valentine’s flavors like chocolate-covered strawberry or champagne kiss? St. Patrick’s flavors? Easter styles teeming of coconut, dark chocolate, and marshmallow? I can hardly contain myself. ChapStick, if you’re reading this, please don’t keep us in suspense too long!)
You can find a variety of ChapStick’s holiday sets at Target, Walgreens, and Walmart, making your holiday shopping just a bit easier this year. For additional information, be sure to check out www.chapstick.com or visit ChapStick on facebook at www.facebook.com/chapstick.
Have you had the pleasure of trying any of these yummy flavors this year? Feel free to share your thoughts in our comments below.
Disclosure: The ChapStick® products and sales information have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. The opinions expressed herein are my own unbiased feelings and assessment following product use.
Sevenly is a charitable company that raises money for different causes each week. Unlike other charities, they offer a variety of products at a range of prices. There’s something for everyone on the site: clothing for all ages, home decor, stationery, jewelry, and toys.
The clothing lines are not limited to simply unisex t-shirts. Tops are available for men, women, and children. It’s very nice for women to have a form fitting shirt other than something shapeless or baggy. Show support and bring attention to a cause by wearing your shirt proudly and stylishly.
Each week offers tanks, a range of t-shirt styles, and sweatshirts. I received a tank and a tee — they are so super comfortable and the softest fabric.
I recommend them as perfect to lounge in, workout in, or just to run day to day errands. Basically, you will want to wear these shirts wherever and whenever.
Each week multiple designs are featured on the site for these different shirts. The designs for the causes are amazing. There are several images each week.
Seven dollars of every purchase on the website is donated to a particular cause for the entire week. Past charities have included Invisible Children, National Autism Association, The Humane Society, and To Write Love On Her Arms
Sevenly also offers accessories, like necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, as well art prints.The art prints feature past designs so you can always show your support for a cause. Art prints allow certain designs to be available past the typical seven day timeline.
To see what Sevenly is raising awareness for this week, stop by their site by clicking here.
Now that the summer is winding down, you may not be spending your time outside from sunup to sundown. Why ruin your hair-do by constantly flipping your sunglasses from your eyes to the top of your head? An innovative new product saves the day (and your coiff!) with a stylish new accessory.
Coral continues to be a hot color this summer, and pretty shades of orange join along for the fun. The navy and white stripes and nautical look and feel drives another powerful trend this summer. And it seems fun and flirty sundresses in bright or bold colors and interesting patterns will never go out of style. Dressing in matching outfits with your daughter can make for some adorable pictures and it can be an enjoyable experience for moms and infants, toddlers, and little girls alike.
It might be tough to find matching outfits for mom and daughter, so we’re trying to do as much of the work for you as possible. Check out these cute mommy-and-me infant, toddler, or little girl matching or close-to-matching outfits for a lovely second half of the summer.
Orange / Coral Dresses for Mom and Daughter
Hues of the orange family add a fun burst of color to your summer days. Whether it’s a summer wedding, graduation party, or another special event, consider dressing up in duplicate with your little one for some great photo ops and a fun experience across the board.
Stunning Nautical Themed Dresses for Mom and Daughter
It seems the nautical theme is back and better than ever. You can find tons of dresses in navy and white patterns for adults, and a few cute styles for kids as well. Check out these gorgeous navy and white striped nautical dresses for mom and somewhat matching or at least complementing styles for infants and young girls.
Cute, Flirty Sundresses for Moms and their Girls
When all else fails this summer, throw on a sundress. Better yet if you and your shining star can match. Consider these fun and stylish mother-daughter dresses as a nice way to bond with your daughter this summer. Your infants may not know what’s going on, and your toddlers may fight you on getting dressed, but your little girls are sure to love dressing up like their mama. Check out some too-cute options for summer mommy-and-me fashion.
Protecting your little ones’ skin is so important, especially when it comes to the summer sun. You probably know from personal experience how painful sunburn can be, and you might even know someone who had to deal with skin cancer. Despite how much of a nuisance it can be to apply sunscreen to your children every time you go out in the sun, it really IS that important. You don’t want them to get sunburn or to have problems later in life, so you can feel good taking the time to apply sunscreen thoroughly before each exposure.
With a one-year-old of my own and a few trips already planned to the beach, I knew I had to scope out the best sunscreen products for little ones this summer. I have a few adult sunscreen products I like for myself, but I didn’t know where to start as far as baby sunscreen and kid sunscreen.
I was fortunate to receive a few sample products for the purpose of my review, including: Banana Boat Kids Lotion Mist SPF50, Banana Boat Natural Reflect Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF50, COOLA Baby SPF50 Unscented Mineral Sunscreen, and VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Baby 50+ Full-Spectrum, Water-Resistant Physical Sun + Light Screen for Infants, Children + Adults.
Banana Boat makes a ton of products for sun care needs. I found the Banana Boat Kids Tear Free Sting Free SPF50 Continuous Spray Sunscreen to be very easy to apply and extremely effective. We had no issues with this sunscreen aside from it getting a bit clogged once it was more than halfway gone, and the clear spray came out instead of the lotion spray. I’m thinking it’s not empty yet, but I have yet to figure out how to get it unclogged. (If you know how, please leave a comment as I’m sure I am not the only person this has happened to!)
This sunscreen product for kids did not irritate my daughter’s skin, and my husband and I tried it out as well and enjoyed the ease of use, even if we had just gotten out of the ocean. This product provides protection against UVA and UVB rays and lasts quite a while—water resistant up to 80 minutes. I have used it at the beach, the pool, jogging in my neighborhood, and in my own backyard, and my daughter’s fared well each time.
Active ingredients include Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (5%), and Octocrylene (6%).
The Banana Boat Natural Reflect SPF50 Baby Sunscreen Lotion is made from 100% naturally sourced sunscreens and zinc oxide, contains no parabens, and is PABA free. It’s packaging says it is as mild as water and also tear free and sting free. It smoothes on like regular sunscreen, not the spray kind. This sunscreen was pretty thick to massage in, but it ended up being super water resistant and extremely effective. I loved using it in her baby pool and before we went to the beach.
I like this natural product quite a bit, but we did determine that our daughter was having some mild skin reactions to something in this product. She’s had baby eczema and other skin sensitivities, so despite this one being a natural choice, it did not work out best for her skin type. That’s not to say it would cause your baby any skin issues—every baby’s skin is different and reacts differently to products and the environment around them.
Active ingredients include Titanium Dioxide (3.6%) and Zinc Oxide (4%).
Banana Boat also offers countless products for adults and even more options for kids, like Kids SPF50 Long Lasting UVA UVB Broad Spectrum Sunscreen and Natural Reflect Kids SPF50+ Sunscreen Lotion to name just a few. For more information on Banana Boat products, please check out www.bananaboat.com.
COOLA Baby SPF50 Unscented Mineral Sunscreen comes in a really cool aqua-blue container with a white cap. The sleek packaging holds a thin, very spreadable liquid sunscreen that smoothes onto baby’s skin lickety-split. COOLA sunscreen has a certified organic formula that also moisturizes the skin and offers environmental protection. Zero chemicals and absolutely no preservatives are included, but you will find great ingredients like sunflower oil, sesame seed oil, cocoa butter, Shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and even organic avocado.
This baby mineral sunscreen is water resistant for up to 80 minutes and I really liked using this product on my daughter’s face, ears, and neck, based on how easy it was to spread across her skin. Once done, I have to admit, I had that “chalky” feeling where I wanted to quickly wash the remaining residue off my hands, since they were still a bit oily and slick. Our bottle is leaking a bit through the cap, maybe because it is so liquidy, so be careful and think about keeping any opened bottles inside a ziplock bag just in case.
Active ingredients include Titanium Dioxide (7.6%) and Zinc Oxide (6.8%).
For more information on COOLA products, check out www.coolasuncare.com.
Coppertone Kids Wacky Foam SPF 75+ is another option you can try in keeping your little ones’ skin safe from the sun. I heard about this foaming sunscreen for kids when my nephew came to visit for a cousins’ play date and baby pool party. I decided to pick up my own bottle the next time I was in a CVS and I think this might be one of my favorite finds for fast application in a format that kids find to be fun and engaging. It definitely seemed easier to apply than some of the others when my daughter decided to squirm around. I think the foaming design is clever and the sun block seemed to absorb readily into my daughter’s sensitive skin.
This product retails for around $8 to $12 and unfortunately, I picked it up on the more expensive end of that scale. However, I am very happy with the results and the product itself. This foaming sunscreen lotion is water resistant for up to 80 minutes and it is dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic, and PABA-free.
Active ingredients include Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (10%), and Oxybenzone (6%).
For more information on Coppertone products, check out www.coppertone.com.
VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Baby 50+ Full-Spectrum, Water-Resistant Sunscreen offers very high UVA/UVB protection that is designed especially for infants’ delicate skin. This product contains monolaurin as an antibacterial disinfecting agent and also contains green tea as an antioxidant. Product packaging advises to reapply every one to two hours or as needed, for example after being in the water, toweling off, or playing.
Made in the Philippines, this product comes in a handy jar that is 1.76 oz of gentle yet effective formula—100% fragrance-free, 100% PABA-Preservative-Phthalate-free, and clinically tested, and deemed acceptable for all skin types, including infants, babies, children, men, and women, even those sensitive to chemical sunscreens.
Active ingredients include Titanium Dioxide (15%) and Zinc Oxide (15%).
For more information, check out www.vmvhypoallergenics.com.
What is your favorite sunscreen product for your baby, toddler, or young child? Please share in our comments below.
Disclosure: LifeLoveBeauty received sample sunscreen products for the purpose of this review. The opinions in this post are my own honest experiences and not influenced in any way. Individual experiences may vary.