Saturday, August 30, 2014

Product Review: True Sol Omega-3 Fish Oil + Giveaway! (Open internationally!)


Choose the Best Quality: True Sol

Research has proven that Omega-3 essential fatty acids are essential for optimal health.

Studies have shown that Omega-3's many benefits include:
  • Promoting Heart Health: heart attack, stroke, coronary heart disease, arrhythmia
  • Increasing Brain Function: cognitive decline & dementia, Alzheimer's
  • Helping Inflammation & Joints: stiffness & joint pain from osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms of asthma & pneumonia
  • Decreasing Depression & Mood: reduction in depression scores and daily stresses
  • Promoting Healthy Skin: photo-aging, especially elastosis, wrinkle formation & chronological aging, skin disorders like acne & psoriasis
Why True Sol?
  • Our fish oil capsules have enteric coating for optimal absorption & no fishy aftertaste.
  • We use molecular distillation so you get highest purity.
Are you looking for a Pure Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement that has the maximum amount of Essential Fatty Acids? Where all of the Essential Fatty Acids will actually be absorbed by your body and none of it going to waste?

True Sol is the best choice.

Review


Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health and stimulate brain functions, so it's a good idea to take it regularly, especially if you do not regularly have fish in your diet. A fish oil supplement is a good alternative to fish—for those who do not like it, or have high cholesterol. My family has a history of high cholesterol so as much as I love fish and other seafood, it's really not something I should be consuming on a daily basis. Luckily, fish oil is ONLY the oil extracted, not the cholesterol, so it's safe for everyone (with the exception of vegetarians, though; FISH oil is an animal-based omega, which I thought this was obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many vegetarians I've met who complain about this! Plant-based omegas exist in the form of coconut oil, so if you don't consume meat or animal byproducts, be sure to check that out).

True Sol fish oil, currently priced $19.95 on Amazon, is a wonderful brand that uses smooth, easy-to-swallow capsules. Beware, with fish oil, the bottle is always going to stink a little (it's not bad, just a deep-sea fishy smell), but I'm glad True Sol's pills do not taste like fish. It is recommended to take two capsules daily, so one regular-sized 60-count bottle is a one-month supply. True Sol also has larger bottles (120- and 180-count), so if you need to buy in bulk, you have that option.

Overall, I was really impressed by this affordable, high-quality fish oil. It's a great way to support your cardiovascular and cognitive systems, and although I cannot make any scientific claims as I am not a nutritionist, based off what doctors have told my family and me, I would recommend everyone consider taking it for a healthy heart and brain. I take fish oil regularly anyway, so I'm looking forward to keeping this brand in my supplement cabinet.

Giveaway!

One lucky Books à la Mode reader will win one 60-count bottle of True Sol Omega-3 Fish Oil—yay! To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What supplements do you regularly take? Whether it be vitamins, fish oil, krill oil, probiotics, collagen, anything... let me know in the comments!
Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the company—a huge thank you to the fabulous folks at True Sol Nutrition!
Giveaway ends September 13th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open internationally—woohoo! That means anyone in the world can enter, provided you have a verifiable email and mailing address.
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize after they have been notified, otherwise risk forfeiting their winnings.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!

FTC Disclosure: I received one complimentary bottle of True Sol Omega-3 Fish Oil via Tomoson.com in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I was not paid in any way to write a review—positive or otherwise—and all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone. I only recommend products or services I have used personally and believe will be good for my beautiful readers!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Product Review: Vita Nut Milk Bag + Giveaway! (US only)


Save time, get better yield, and produce less waste without any stretching or tearing!

Our nut milk bag is made with a premium, tight-weave, fine 200-micron monofilament mesh. This durable, high-quality material is perfect for squeezing without tearing or ripping the bag. This means less waste and smoother, better tasting nut milks, juices, yogurts, and cold brew coffee that you only have to filter once.

The convenient, durable drawstring makes for convenient filtering and cleaning. The large opening fits over almost any container or jar for easy pouring and straining. Perfect for both small batches and large, this 12" by 10" bag reduces your prep and cleaning time.

As an exclusive Amazon bonus, it also comes with Vita's specially written recipe book full of instructions for making almond milk, hemp milk, sprouting, greek yogurt, and much more.

Review


If you don't know what a nut milk bag is, boy, you're missing out!

It's the ultimate multi-purpose kitchen straining tool, useful for making not only nut milks (perfect for vegans!), but you can also use it for juicing, sprouting, in place of a cheesecloth, and so on. Recent paleo, vegan, and "clean" eating diets call for nut milk bags all the time. I could definitely see myself using this for cauliflower pizza crusts, homemade tofu, and really anything that requires lots of wringing and straining!

The first thing I made with this was all-natural Jell-O—made purely from fruit purée, gelatin, and honey, they tasted amazing, and were much healthier than the artificially flavored, sugar-laden alternative. Vita nut milk bag is amazingly durable and was definitely a good sport even with me squeezing the hell out of it. The mesh is very fine—it's just a nylon cloth, rather than a hole-y strainer—so it did a great job at catching all the seeds and pulp.

Cleaning is easy, but I was disappointed to see how easily and permanently the bag stained. I thought the plastic-like texture of the cloth would not stain easily, but it turned red after my strawberry juicing, just like a regular fabric cloth would. While the bag is dishwasher-safe, it doesn't do much for the stains. I know the bag is clean, it just looks unsightly and messily colored. Multiple people have suggested to soak it in hydrogen peroxide or grapefruit seed extract, which are both safe methods to "bleach" the stains. I'll have to try it; otherwise I'll just buy a new one! This is such a useful kitchen product and I think all health foodies—whether you're raw, paleo, or just like experimenting in the kitchen!—should have one of these.

Giveaway!


One lucky Books à la Mode reader will win
one Vita nut milk bag—yay! To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
If you had a Vita nut milk bag, what would you use it for? There are so many great possibilities with this—tell me why you want it!
Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the company—a huge thank you to the fabulous folks at Vita!
Giveaway ends September 3rd at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open internationally—there are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize after they have been notified, otherwise risk forfeiting their winnings.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!

FTC Disclosure: I received one complimentary Vita nut milk bag via Tomoson.com in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I was not paid in any way to write a review—positive or otherwise—and all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone. I only recommend products or services I have used personally and believe will be good for my beautiful readers!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Exclusive Sneak Peek of Forever Kinda Love by Clara Stone + Giveaway! (International!)

Forever Kinda Love
Clara Stone

Life’s little surprises...

The last thing seven-year-old Carrigan "Ace" Casper foresaw was an eight-year-old Heath Lovelly walking into her life the day her mother died. From that moment on, Heath stuck by her side, slowly becoming her strength, her confidant, and her entire world. What she didn't know is she was his saving grace, too.

Ten years later, Ace is handed another crippling challenge that threatens everything in her almost perfect life. Only, this time, she doesn't turn to Heath—hiding the truth instead. But Heath knows Ace too well and won't back down easily. He's ready to do whatever it takes and will stay by her side until she accepts that their love is the kinda love worth fighting for.

Will he be her forever triumph or her unexpected downfall?

Two lives.

One story.

And an unexpected journey to falling in love. Forever.
Buy the book from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Autographed Copies

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Vitamin C Diaries #5: How to Apply Vitamin C Serum + Petunia Skincare Review & Giveaway! (US only)

It's no secret that Vitamin C serums are a huge skin care must-have these days. With anti-aging, acne-fighting, and scar-reducing properties, they're sweeping the beauty blogosphere; even I'm writing a series on Vitamin C you can follow!

The benefits of Vitamin C have always been known to skin care specialists, but it's only recently emerged in highly concentrated forms—through serums.

So how does one exactly apply a Vitamin C serum? Here are some simple instructions and tips on where, when, and how to apply a Vitamin C serum:

Where


Vitamin C serums are formulated for the face, although they are fantastic for the neck and décolletage areas as well. Vitamin C targets wrinkles and fine lines and acne scars, and has been known to reverse signs of premature aging and sun damage as well. Since skin on the face and neck is extra sensitive (and not to mention, prone to wrinkles!) it's important to treat those areas with serum.

Pro tip: When shopping for Vitamin C serums, try to find one that uses natural, organic, and cruelty-free ingredients. Like any skin product you use, they should not contain chemicals that can be harmful for your skin such as parabens, comedogenic oils, alcohol, or petroleum. Check out the serums I've reviewed in the past—most of them were all-natural and cruelty-free, and I would recommend them to anyone! Stay tuned for a giveaway at the end of this post to WIN one of them for free!

When


To get the most out of Vitamin C serums, you should apply them consistently, just like you would any other skin product. That's key, here; many people are disappointed when they expect one application of Vitamin C to produce instant results—and they don't! It's kind of like a weight loss journey; the path to beautiful skin is not something you can expect to change radically overnight. Just like you can't expect to lose ten pounds after one workout, you can't expect all your wrinkles to be erased after using a serum once.

I use my serums twice a day—in both my morning and nighttime skin care routines—but since Vitamin C is mildly acidic, people with extremely sensitive or dry skin should only use it once a day. I have sensitive skin, and using my serums twice a day has not affected me aversely at all, so I think most people can get away with twice-a-day usage.

Serums should be applied right after cleansing (and after clarifying, if you use a toner) for maximum absorption. I use a few drops per application, because that's really all I need. Most serums are very watery, so a little amount goes a long way.

Immediately after the serum dries, you should use your regular moisturizer—this is a crucial step! While Vitamin C serums may contain added ingredients to moisturize your skin—such as Vitamin E, jojoba oil, or aloe—the serum itself is NOT a moisturizer, and in fact can actually dry out your skin. Therefore, it's always safe to follow up with lotion, cream, emulsion, or whatever else you use on a daily or nightly basis. Hydration is very important for acne-free, or for more mature skin, wrinkle-free skin.

Pro tip: Different kinds of serums can be used in conjunction with each other, so if you have any other serums in your beauty repertoire, such as hyaluronic acid or retinol treatments, you should apply those on top of your Vitamin C serum, and then follow with moisturizer.

How


There's really no right or wrong way to apply a serum, but what I like to do is place a few drops on my fingers and dab it all across my face and neck—cheeks, nose, forehead, temples, chin, jaw, browbone, throat, chest—and then pat it in gently using my fingertips, kind of like I'm giving myself a mini massage. Use very soft patting or tapping motions because you don't want to tug or pull on your face—that promotes wrinkling.

Currently I'm using Petunia Skincare Vitamin C serum, which also contains Vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and ferulic acid. I'm giving a full-size bottle away, so keep on reading!

Pro tip: When dispensing serum from the bottle, don't squirt it into your palm. The skin on the inside of your hands is rough, usually drier than anywhere else, and has bigger grooves and indents than any other skin on your body. Just look at your palm, how many lines it has!

Instead, you should dispense the product onto the back of your hand, or directly to your fingertips (if it's not too runny) so that the least possible amount of product is absorbed into the skin on your hands. This saves product, which in turn saves your face (more moisture!) and saves money (yay!).

Giveaway!

One lucky Books à la Mode reader will win a full-size bottle of Petunia Skincare Vitamin C Serum—yay! I've been using this serum for about a week now, and it's a great addition to my skin care routine. It makes the surface of my skin slightly sticky, so that when I apply other serums and eventually moisturizer on top of it, my skin absorbs everything better. 

Petunia Skincare's serum is safe for dry or dull skin, and can minimize wrinkles, fine lines, signs of aging, as well as sun spot, dark spots, and age spots. It also helps return lost elasticity and firmness to skin, so it's really a miracle product!

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is tell me:
What song are you currently obsessed with? If you're not a huge music listener (gasp!), just tell me one of your all-time favorite songs.
I know, I know... completely irrelevant, but I just have to know! I also needed an excuse to share this song with you guys. I've been playing it on constant loop for days.

Super sad, but super addicting. What do you think?

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the company—a huge thank you to the fabulous folks at Petunia Skincare!
Giveaway ends September 7th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open internationally—there are plenty to choose from!

Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize after they have been notified, otherwise risk forfeiting their winnings.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary sample of this Vitamin C Serum from Petunia Skincare using Tomoson.com in exchange for an honest review. I was neither paid nor sponsored in any way to share my opinions—positive or otherwise—and all thoughts reflected in this unbiased post are mine and mine alone. I only recommend products or services I have used personally and believe will be good for my beautiful readers!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Death in Vegas by Christopher Meeks Giveaway! (US only)

A Death in Vegas
Christopher Meeks

Page Count: 174
Release Date: August 15th, 2014
Publisher: White Whisker Books (self-published)
Genre: Mystery

In A Death in Vegas, the president of BenBugs, a company that specializes in beneficial bugs for organic gardening, discovers a young woman dead in his Las Vegas hotel suite. She had worked as a sexy lady bug at his convention booth—and he had nothing to do with her death.

While that’s being investigated, the FBI raids his booth on a money-laundering scam that he knows nothing about, either. Soon, the coroner doesn’t have good news, the police and FBI are against him, and his wife cannot be found.

He flees to find the answers.

About the Author


Christopher Meeks has four novels and two collections of short fiction published. His most recent novel before this was the acclaimed thriller, Blood Drama. His novel The Brightest Moon of the Century made the list of three book critics’ Ten Best Book of 2009. Love at Absolute Zero also made three Best Books lists of 2011, as well as earning a ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Finalist award.

He has had stories published in several literary journals, and they have been included in the collections "Months and Seasons" and "The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea."

Mr. Meeks has had three full-length plays mounted in Los Angeles, and one, "Who Lives?" had been nominated for five Ovation Awards, Los Angeles’ top theatre prize.

Mr. Meeks teaches English and fiction writing at Santa Monica College, and Children’s Literature at the Art Center College of Design.

Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away
 one finished print copy of A Death in Vegas—yay!! To enter, all you have to do is tell me:

Have you been to Vegas? What was the most memorable thing you did there? If you've never been before, what would you like to see or do?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Chris and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and author—a huge thank you to PICT and Christopher Meeks!
Giveaway ends September 3rd at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please watch my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open to my international readers.
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!

Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop 2014! (US only)

The 2014 Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Bookhounds, works like this: each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another. For followers, it means lots of chances to win free books. For blogs hosting giveaways, it means lots of new visitors and followers. It's a win-win! The Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop is scheduled from August 20th at 12.01 AM until August 27th at 11:59 PM (EST).


The Prizes


Two lucky followers will each win one of the following books from my shelf:



What would you choose if you won? We'll have two winners total! Woohoo!!!!

Also


Completely unrelated to the hop, but I wanted to give everyone a quick reminder that I am partnering with St. Martin's Press to host a VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB for Twitter celebrity Jenny Mollen's hilarious memoir, I Like You Just the Way I Am. If you join, the publisher will send you a free copy of the book, you'll get to chat with fellow book club members, AND you'll get to meet the author. Exciting, right? This book club does not have any location restrictions as it will be hosted completely online, and is open to anyone who wants to read the book and have fun with us! Click here to sign up!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Jenny Mollen's I Like You Just the Way I Am Virtual Book Club [SIGNUPS!]

Hello, my lovelies!

I'm excited to announce the first-ever virtual book club hosted by Books à la Mode and want to extend my personal invitation for you—yes, YOU fabulous readers!—to be a part of it.

The book we will be covering is called I Like You Just the Way I Am, a collection of crazy, snarky essays by Hollywood actress and Twitter phenomenon Jenny Mollen (who also happens to be the wife of Jason Biggs. Yes, THE Jason Biggs!). À la Chelsea Handler, Jenny brings us a book about her hilarious, outrageous life antics (most of, but not all of which, she is insanely proud of), appropriately titled "Stories About Me and Some Other People." If you're a fan of Chelsea Handler, Tina Fey, and Sarah Silverman, you will adore Jenny! Here's the back cover of the book:

By the actress, writer, and one of the funniest women on Twitter, an outrageous, hysterical memoir of acting on impulse, plotting elaborate hoaxes, and refusing to acknowledge boundaries in any form

Jenny Mollen is an actress and writer living in Los Angeles. She is also a wife, married to a famous guy (which is annoying only because he gets free shit and she doesn't). She doesn’t want much from life. Just to be loved—by everybody: her parents, her dogs, her ex-boyfriends, her ex-boyfriends’ dogs, her husband, her husband’s ex-girlfriends, her husband's ex-girlfriend's new boyfriends, etc. Some people might call that impulse crazy, but isn’t "crazy" really just a word boring people use to describe fun people? (And Jenny is really, really fun, you guys!).

In these pages, you’ll find stories of Jenny at her most genuine, whether it’s stalking her therapist (because he knows everything about her so shouldn’t she get to know everything about him?); throwing a bachelorette party so bad that one of the guests is suspected dead; or answering the eternal question, Would your best friend blow your husband on a car ride to dinner if she didn't know you were hiding in the backseat?

I Like You Just the Way I Am is about not doing the right thing—about indulging your inner crazy-person. It is Jenny when she’s not trying to impress anyone or come across as a responsible, level-headed member of society. With any luck it will make you better acquainted with who you really are and what you really want. Which, let’s be honest, is most likely someone else’s email password.
Here's how the virtual book club will run: Just like a regular physical book club, we will be reading I Like You Just the Way I Am together within a one-month timeframe, tentatively scheduled to be the first two weeks of September. Each week, we will have checkins, that will either consist of live chats so we can all talk about the book and answer discussion questions, or of blog posts (if you are a blogger).

You know what's awesome? St. Martin's Press will be providing reading copies—woohoo! We have copies available in both digital and print format, although the print copies are limited and restricted to US and Canadian residents only. If you can accept both print or digital, you will most likely be receiving digital just because we should give print-only readers the opportunity to join. However, by being willing to accept an electronic review copy, you are increasing your chances of getting into the book club—and yes, we do have a member limit, so widening your chances is always safer.

You know what's even awesomer? At the conclusion of the book club, Jenny Mollen herself will be joining us for a live chat or video chat to discuss the book. How fabulous is that? Not only will you be able to talk with the author, but you'll get to meet the fabulous woman herself.

Any other questions? Comment below or shoot me an email—I'd love to have you on board!

Interested in signing up?

Below, is the signup sheet (Google form) AND the review copy roster (Rafflecopter). You must fill out both forms in order to be considered for the book club and receive a review copy. If you only fill out the Google form, you will have to find a copy of the book yourself.

Please make sure all required fields of the Google form are filled out, and all the Rafflecopter entries are submitted.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Note: Even though this review copy form is through Rafflecopter, I will not be randomly selecting "winners"—this is just a way for me know who needs what format and where to send it. If you are selected for the book club and indicated needing a review copy, you are guaranteed to receive one (a huge thanks to the wonderful publisher!).

Signups close Thursday, August 21st at 11:59 PM, so make sure you get your submission in quickly! Late requests will not be granted.

I can't wait to do this with you guys! Thanks for considering!!