Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Music of Joy Williams

Joy William's new solo album (out June 29th) titled, VENUS is the something new I've been craving for. Every album has a mood and I guess that's why VENUS resonated with me. The mood in Joy's words is, "Acceptance. Transcendence. Trans-formation. Letting go of things that don’t serve you." This is a relatable and introspective "womens" album. I identified with several of the songs on the album like, "Until the Levee," "One Day I Will," and "Before I Sleep." Every song flows nicely into one another. They are reflective.... like reading someone's journal. My other favorites are, "Welcome Home," "The Dying Kind," "Sweet Love of Mine, and "Woman (Oh Mama)" ... a great song! Joy has a pretty voice, intense, emotional, and melodic. She was part of a four time folk rock Grammy winning duo, The Civil Wars. "It’s my coming-of-age album, becoming the woman I’ve always wanted to be. I think over the course of the last couple of years making this album, I finally felt that I stepped into my own skin. I’ve spent my whole life trying to be the best version of myself, and I’ve finally let myself just be me." Joy Williams The Official Joy William's Website, Joy can be found at Facebook, YouTube, and Intagram. Check out her music at iTunes and Amazon. DISCLOSURE: I participated in the Joy William's Venus album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Madonna's NEW album Rebel Heart

Madonna's new album "Rebel Heart" was just released March 10 and is on iTunes. I was given the opportunity to listen to her new release. My first impression was, "Madonna's still going strong! There's a lot of intensity and variety on this album." There are collaborations with Nicki Manaj, Nas, Kayne West, Mike Tyson, and Chance the Rapper. The long list of producers are Madonna, Kayne West, Blood Diamonds, Billboard, Avicci, DJ Dahi, Ryan Teddler, Toby Gad, and Ariel Rechtshald, most I haven't heard of but made for a huge production. Madonna said of the album, “Rebel Heart explores two very distinct sides of my personality, the rebellious renegade side of me and the romantic side of me.” It's romantic, funky, wild, sometimes steamy and rebellious. Besides the first hits, Rebel Heart and Living for Love, my favorites are the slower songs. I like Ghosttown, Messiah, Hold Tight, Wash All Over Me, Veni Vidi Vici, Best Time, Joan of Arc, and Inside Out. Iconic is a good jam, it's catchy. It's a album I played over and over again. I can hear all of these songs being played at clubs, fashion shows, and parties. It's for all the night owls. Rebel Heart Track List 01 “Living For Love” 02 “Devil Pray” 03 “Ghosttown” 04 “Unapologetic Bitch” 05 “Illuminati” 06 “Bitch I’m Madonna” (Feat. Nicki Minaj) 07 “Hold Tight” 08 “Joan Of Arc” 09 “Iconic” (Feat. Chance The Rapper & Mike Tyson) 10 “HeartBreakCity” 11 “Body Shop” 12 “Holy Water” 13 “Inside Out” 14 “Wash All Over Me” 15 “Best Night” 16 “Veni Vidi Vici” (Feat. Nas) 17 “S.E.X.” 18 “Messiah” 19 “Rebel Heart” REBEL HEART WORLD TOUR 2015 NORTH AMERICA / PUERTO RICO: Date City Venue Aug. 29 Miami, FL American Airlines Arena On Sale Mar. 9 Sept. 2 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena On Sale Mar. 16 Sept. 5 San Juan, PR Coliseo de Puerto Rico On Sale Mar. 21 Sept. 9 Montreal, QC Bell Centre On Sale Mar. 14 Sept. 12 Washington, DC Verizon Center On Sale Mar. 16 Sept. 16 New York, NY Madison Square Garden On Sale Mar. 9 Sept. 19 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center On Sale Mar. 9 Sept. 24 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center On Sale Mar. 16 Sept. 26 Boston, MA TD Garden On Sale Mar. 16 Sept. 28 Chicago, IL United Center On Sale Mar. 9 Oct. 1 Detroit, MI Joe Louis Arena On Sale Mar. 23 Oct. 3 Atlantic City, NJ Boardwalk Hall On Sale Mar. 16 Oct. 5 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre On Sale Mar. 9 Oct. 8 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center On Sale Mar. 16 Oct. 11 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place On Sale Mar. 9 Oct. 14 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena On Sale Mar. 9 Oct. 17 Portland, OR MODA Center On Sale Mar. 23 Oct. 19 San Jose, CA SAP Center at San Jose On Sale Mar. 9 Oct. 22 Glendale, AZ Gila River Arena On Sale Mar. 23 Oct. 24 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena On Sale Mar. 16 Oct. 27 Los Angeles, CA Forum On Sale Mar. 16 Linkys:, Instagram Twitter Youtube DISCLOSURES: I participated in the Madonna Rebel Heart album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own. "This album has some explicit language and references to sex and drugs. It is Madonna after all, but just so you're aware."

Friday, March 27, 2015

NEW Quaker Steel Cut 3 Minute Oats

After hearing about all the healthy benefits of eating steel oats I finally got the opportunity to try them. I received the cranberry and blueberry Quaker 3 minute cut oats. They were better than I expected, very hearty, and flavorful. I always had the misconception that steel oats were stale and bland but that wasn't the case. This is possibly the healthiest breakfast you can eat, heart healthy with anti-oxidants. Great for maintaining your weight and lowering cholesterol. I'm making these part of my morning routine. I received these for free for my honest review because I'm a BzzAgent.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Shimelle's 10 on the 10th: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

1. ANAHIEM SCRAPBOOK EXPO It's that time again! March 19-21 at the Anaheim Convention Center. I'm looking forward to taking classes, cropping, shopping, freebies, card swapping, pin collecting, winning prizes, and doing make n' takes. I've been attending the expo for four years working on and off. They seem to be ramping it up a little this year in their presentation with more colorful and descriptive guides, online and in paper. I missed Queen & Co. last year and happy to see they're back. They have a impressive design team and Disney collection. I'd like to see King's Hawaiian there again. lol Those freebie coupons were great!
2. CUSTOM IMPRESSIONS SCRAPBOOKING Recently my local scrapbooking store Scrapbook Daisies in Long Beach closed down. I was happy when it opened after Tall Mouse and Strictly Scrapbooking closed down in Cerritos. While I was googling SoCal scrapbooking stores, Custom Impressions Scrapbooking popped up in Los Alamitos. They actually moved their store from Bellflower a month ago. I'm looking forward to seeing this store and having a new scrappy home.
3. HELLO KITTY PLUSH NIGHT Dodger's VS Phillies I don't see any Hello Kitty bobble heads this season but there's a plush. It's nice being at the stadium eating Dodger Dogs and peanuts. They have good frozen mango margaritas too.
4. PUPS IN THE PARK Dodger Stadium Sat, June 20th. Dodgers VS Giants (Presented By AvoDerm Natural Pet Foods & Nylabone) I've been wanting to do this for awhile now. Not that we'll be paying attention to the game. There will be a parade, doggy buffet, and doggy swag bags. It also falls on movie night where The Lego Movie will be playing. I don't know what will be on the doggy buffet but I'll be giving my girl a Dodger Dog. lol
5. JAY MANUEL BEAUTY makeup release HouseParty: Jay Manuel known for producing/directing America's Top Model has come out with a new cosmetics line. The Jay Manuel Beauty line will premiere on HSN on March 26th. I will be giving away a swag bag here at the end of the month.
6. DEAD SEA SCROLLS: THE EXHIBITION March 10 at the California Science Center. I've always been fascinated with the 2000 year old manuscripts found hidden in a cave in 1947 in the West Bank. The exhibit will feature 600 ancient artifacts including parts of the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament. I'll finally have to pull out and read my 600 page Dead Sea Scrolls translation book before I go. The Endeavor is also there too, another exhibit I'll finally get to see!
7. REDDIT GIFT EXCHANGE: A few years ago I was in a candy swap with someone from Iceland and I loved all the chocolate and black licorice I received. One of the latest Reddit themes this current round is 'snacks' so I signed up for the international exchange. The other themes are yarn, needlecrafts, fabric, magnets, T-shirts, books, action figures, baseball, soccer, wrestling, and formula 1. I signed up for the Reddit Secret Santa hoping to get Bill Gates or Snoop Dog, but that obviously didn't happen. Maybe with better standing and accumulated 'karma' points I might get lucky next Christmas.
8. EASTER DINNER @ MOMS: I always look forward to my mother's holiday meals because she goes all out. Ever since I turned her on to Pinterest she's been collecting recipes and adding sides and desserts to our holiday meals. She always makes homemade strawberry shortcake but makes an additional two desserts like cherry cheesecake and pie. We have to put her cat Simba up before dinner because cats and china don't mix too well on the dinner table.
9. READ CREATIVITY INC. by Ed Catmull One of my fellow Swapbotters is running the Mark Zuckerberg book challenge. The latest book is "Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration." It's a business read about the origins of Pixar by the three founders: Ed Catmull, John Lasseter and Steve Jobs. I was surprised to find out John Lasseter grew up on Beverly Blvd. in Whittier CA, the same street and city I grew up in. Growing up there was his inspiration for "Cars."
10. FREE CLASSES AT I'm starting with, Get Organized: Scrapbook Storage Solutions with Jill Davis. Spring cleaning time! National Scrapbook Day is coming up too on my birthday. They always give out nice prizes. I've won around three. I think it falls on May 4th this year.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Tute! Tute! Valentine's Day at JANM

This year I got crafty for Valentine's Day, collected some Hello Kitty haul, and spent the day with my friends at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. Earlier in the week I decided to create some Valentine schultute (shul-toot) so I pulled out some American Crafts Valentine patterned paper I had and got busy. My mother discovered schultute on her trip to Germany around 10 years ago so we've been making them for awhile. Germans have been making them for awhile too.... since 1810. I hope they don't mind me borrowing from their culture and adding my own spin to their popular tradition. After all they borrowed a little culture from Mexicans too making cool silver vintage Mexican jewelery, another one of my mother's discoveries on her trip!
Schultute making is a tradition that takes place on the first day school. Parents and God-parents make schultutes filling them with school supplies, favorite treats, and toys and drop them off at school before the student arrives. When all the kids arrive they look for their schultute with their name on it and pull it from the schultute tree. My schultute recipient asked why there wasn't any fruit in hers. lol I filled it with Valentine candy. I found a Hello Kitty heart shaped box in the Valentine's Day section at Target, took it apart, and glue-gunned Webster's Pages trim around it. It stayed down with some of that heavy duty 99 Cent Store double sided foam tape. That stuff is strong.
I also made a mini-tute for my Hello Kitty Junkies swap partner. We had a Valentine exchange.
Hello Kitty Con was the last time I saw the Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum. I got to see that again. Target was sponsoring the festivities outside. There was apple origami, fortune telling, a Hello Kitty meet and greet, Valentine making, a jumper, Hello Kitty tattoos, free cotton candy and a performance by Candyboy. If Hello Kitty had a voice and a band she would sound like Candyboy. I'm now up for a fruit schultute challenge!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

InstaNatural Dead Sea Mask and Retinol Serum/Moisturizer

Recently my all time favorite mud mask changed packaging and as I suspected, the new formula was watered down. At the same time I received a new mud mask to try. It's the Mineral Infused Dead Sea Mud Facial Mask from InstaNatural. I like their line of anti-aging products because they're natural and holistic, affordable, good quality and aren't filled with shiny bits of glitter found in a lot of popular $100+ anti-aging products I have tried. The reason I love mud masks is because I like the feel of blood rushing to my face as the mask tightens my skin. It helps soften my deep brow furrow. I read that Botox was first created for that particular frown wrinkle, sitting between the eyebrows. This mask will definitely replace my old one. I like that it also has organic jojoba oil, healing aloe vera and shea butter in it too. Whenever I go out I slather on a mud mask for 45 minutes before showering so when it's rinsed off in the shower my skin is firm and my complexion is even and prepped for my makeup. I also got the opportunity to try InstaNatural's retinol in two forms. The InstaNatural Moisturizing Cream is nice, smooth, and light while still feeling the active ingredients working when it's applied. Not sticky or harsh with a natural soft pleasant fragrance. It also contains vitamin C and jojoba oil. Retinal is an anti-aging, wrinkle fighting must. You can't get around it. Everyone from Dr. Oz to your esthetician/dermatologist will tell you that. I also tried the IntaNatural Retinol Serum with vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid. I like putting this directly on my annoying new pillow wrinkle on the side of my nose. It leaves my skin soft and moisturized. Very satisfied with the IntaNatural line of organic, Made in the USA beauty products. I think when I turn 50 I'm going to have to start a "50 is the new 35" blog with all these great anti-aging products I use! And the way time is flying, it's not too far away! I received these complimentary products for review in exchange for my honest opinion. BrandBacker

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Probiotic Oral Health With Hyperbiotics

Last week an article popped out at me. It was titled, "What advice doctors give their own friends and family." One doctor stressed the importance of oral/dental health in connection to fertility. That was surprising! I knew about the dental health heart connection. I'm always scared straight every nine months when that Dr. G Coroner episode comes on with the man who passes away because he waited to long to take care of his teeth. I myself have been patiently waiting for the dental portion of California Care (Obamacare) to go through and I'm now picking out my dentist. (Whew!) Throughout the years I've always seen the little probiotic bottles at Asian markets but never took interest in probiotics until recently.
Unbeknownst to me probiotic health reaches far beyond the digestive tract. Oral health issues we suffer from such as cavities, gum disease, bad breath including ear, nose, throat and sinus infections are because the probiotics in our oral cavities have been depleted. I got the opportunity to try a complimentary bottle of PRO-DENTAL Hyperbiotics from Here's some science behind the benefits of oral probiotics. "REPOPULATE YOUR ORAL MICROBIOME. You might be familiar with your “gut microbiome”, but did you know that different probiotic strains populate your oral cavities? Your mouth is your first line of defense and the entry point for most infections. When your balance of healthy oral microflora is compromised by diet, disease, stress or antibiotics, you can quickly develop oral health related problems. With PRO-Dental, you can finally keep this often forgotten microbiome in optimal shape!" Receiving these for me was perfect timing since I've been suffering from throat, ear and upper respiratory infections lately due to my overcrowding dental issues. I like the minty taste of the chewable tablet too. I received a free bottle to try in exchange for my honest opinion from BrandBacker.


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