Perfect Mother’s Day gifts from Juara! Coconut Illipe Hand and Nail Balm and Java Plum & Avocado Nourishing Mask

Mother’s Day is just around the corner – only 14 more days!  I have two fabulous gift ideas for you.  Put these two lovely products in a gift bag and your mom will be thrilled with her soft, supple hands and super hydrated and pampered skin.

Juara Coconut Illipe Hand and Nail Balm and Java Plum & Avocado Nourishing Mask

I’m talking about Juara Coconut Illipe Hand and Nail Balm ($20) and Java Plum & Avocado Nourishing Mask ($38).  They make a great pair that any mom will love, and Juara always has specials going on so you can save – or buy some cool stuff for yourself, too.

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Juara Coconut Illipe Hand and Nail Balm

The Coconut Illipe Hand and Nail Balm is to die for.  When I hear balm, I think it’s going to be clear and gel-like, but this is creamy and more of a mix between a lotion and a balm.  Whatever, it’s fantastic.  It’s a combo of Illipe Butter, Coconut, Candlenut, and Buriti Oils, which makes it incredibly moisturizing but it soaks right in without being greasy at all.  It treats even the worst dry, cracked, or torn skin and cuticles.  I wash my hands a lot – I work in a high school which is like working in a huge petri dish, so I am constantly either using hand sanitizer or else washing my hands, which means I need tons of hand cream and lots of cuticle help.  The Coconut Illipe Hand and Nail Balm is seriously amazing – it takes my dry, itchy hands and makes them look divine immediately.  Even better, the balm forms a protective coating over the hands so it actually lasts through my constant hand washing, so I don’t have to constantly reapply.

Juara Coconut Illipe Hand and Nail Balm

Another huge plus is the all natural coconut scent.  Wow this smells amazing!!  Fresh coconut and warm tropical flowers…I am instantly transported to the beach.  It is nothing short of heavenly.  While it smells fantastic, it also helps fade dark areas and makes hands look younger by plumping up those fine lines and wrinkles.  Your mom will love this, and so will you.  For sure buy two of these!

Juara Java Plum & Avocado Nourishing Mask

Juara Java Plum & Avocado Nourishing Mask

Pair the Coconut Illipe Hand and Nail Balm with the Java Plum Avocado Nourishing Mask for a really special mom gift that will give her super soft hands and super soft skin.  Avocado is an amazing treat for the face, and this mask is truly terrific – dry skin simply soaks up the combination of Avocado Oil, Java Plum, Banana and Mango.  It’s like a fruit salad for the face!  There isn’t any added fragrance, and this is a very gentle mask that will work for everyone, plumping up skin and leaving it soft and glowy.

I use this as a moisture mask, or when I am feeling very dry I sometimes use it as an overnight treatment cream.  It’s especially great when my skin is stressed from being outside for too long.

Juara has lots of great sales and specials all the time – here is one going on right now –  Enjoy a Radiance Boost with our Compliments:  From now through Mother’s Day (May 13th), receive a full-size Radiance Enzyme Scrub and Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask ($76 Value), free with your Purchase of any JUARA Face or Body Ritual Set.*

Happy shopping!! – Lisa

Coconut Illipe Hand and Nail Balm Ingredients: Water/Eau, Shea (Butyrospermum parkii) Butter, Dicaprylyl Ether*, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate*, Ethyl Olivate, Jojoba Esters, Glycerin, Sorbitan Olivate*, Cetearyl Alcohol*, Candlenut (Aleurites moluccana) Oil, Coconut (Cocos nucifera) Oil, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Algae (Dictyopteris polypodioides) Extract*, Natural Fragrance/Parfum, Rice Bran (Oryza sativa) Oil, Oat (Avena sativa) Bran Extract*, Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa) Fruit Oil, Illipe (Shorea stenoptera) Seed Butter, Avocado (Persea gratissima) Oil, Wild Mangosteen (Garcinia indica) Seed Butter, Tocopherol, Cetyl Palmitate*, Sorbitan Oleate*, Sorbitan Palmitate*, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Phytate, Xanthan Gum*, Sodium Benzoate*, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.
Java Plum Avocado Nourishing Mask Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Cocoglycerides*, Shea (Butyrospermum parkii) Butter, Dicaprylyl Carbonate*, Stearyl Alcohol*, Behenyl Alcohol*, Glyceryl Stearate*, Glycerin, Avocado (Persea gratissima) Oil, Lecithin*, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate*, Wild Soybean (Glycine soja) Sterols*, Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa) Fruit Oil, Java Plum (Spondias mombin) Pulp Extract, Mango (Mangifera indica) Pulp Extract, Banana (Musa sapientum) Pulp Extract, Plum (Prunus domestica) Fruit Extract, Neem (Melia Azadirachta) Leaf Extract, Neem (Melia Azadirachta) Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum*, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.


Sexy hand cream? Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Touch Hand Cream

Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Touch Hand Cream

How could I resist testing a hand cream that is billed as the sexiest of them all?? You know I couldn’t. No way. You might recognize Sol de Janeiro as Sephora’s “Rookie of the Year” for skin care a few years ago thanks to their Brazilian Bum Bum Cream. People went crazy for the scent, so Sol de Janeiro put it into this Brazilian Touch Hand Cream, creating the sexiest hand cream ever.

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Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Touch Hand Cream

Brazilians believe in “cheirosa,” something I am also pretty obsessive about – it means to smell amazing and delicious all day long. The scent in the Brazilian Touch Hand Cream ($15) is mostly a mix of pistachio and salted caramel. Fragrance notes include:

  • Top: pistachio, almond
  • Mid: heliotrope, jasmine petals
  • Dry: vanilla, salted caramel, sandalwood

It smells surprisingly spicy and not foody at all.

Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Touch Hand Cream

This is an addictive scent with a definite wild side. The hand cream is lovely, featuring Cupuaçu Butter, Açaí, Coconut Oil and Brazil Nut. It leaves hands soft and is great for treating cuticles as well, and it isn’t greasy or sticky.


Cupuaçu butter heals and nourishes dry skin

Açaí delivers powerful antioxidants for youthful and resilient skin

Coconut oil conditions and softens hands and cuticles

Brazil nut (selenium) fuels protein enzymes and prevents cell damage to support healthy nails

Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Touch Hand Cream

The packaging is adorable and the scent is spicy and addictive. If you are a wild child at heart, you will love this.  Brazilian Touch Hand Cream launched in January at Sephora so you can find it at and at Sephora stores.  – Lisa

Photo of Rio de Janeiro beach from Travel Channel

It’s a party with the new Soap & Paper Factory Block Party Collection!

I am a big fan of the Soap and Paper Factory ( and absolutely love their body products. The gorgeous, artistic packaging is fabulous! The Soap and Paper Factory recently launched their new Block Party Collection, a whole array of soaps, hand creams and bath bombs that are inspired by – yum! – cocktails.


There are three different scents available – Muddled Peppermint, Vanilla Bourbon and Orange Bitter Pomegranate.  The products available in the collection include:


  • NEW Deluxe Bath Bomb: These fizzing bath bombs are rich with skin softening and moisturizing natural ingredients. The aromatherapeutic oils and salts turn a bath into a complete spa experience, allowing stress relief while you soak.


  • Boxed Hand Cream: These pure, velvety hand creams are beautifully perfumed and loaded with the finest oils available in nature. Carefully selected, these oils will soothe and protect, leaving the skin silky smooth and bursting with vitality.


  • Petite Boxed Hand Cream: The same soothing formula in a stocking-stuffer size, wonderful for travel and on-the-go use.


  • Shea Butter Soap Bar: This carefully crafted soap is packed with Shea Butter to keep skin soft and supple, moisturizing as it cleanses.

  • Hand Cream and Soap Gift Set: Twice as nice, this satchel contains a 1 oz. hand cream and 5 oz. soap. Consider it the perfect hostess gift to dress up a countertop while leaving skin soft and smooth.

Soap and Paper Factory Bourbon Vanilla Shea Butter Hand Cream

Soap and Paper Factory Orange Bitter Pomegranate Shea Butter Hand Cream

I tried two of the scents, Orange Bitter Pomegranate and Bourbon Vanilla in the Shea Butter Hand Cream. First, let me tell you about the hand cream. The packaging is divine – the box is lovely and the cool retro squeeze tube is a work of art. The larger size is great and the smaller size is perfect for traveling or for your desk at work.

Soap and Paper Factory Orange Bitter Pomegranate Shea Butter Hand Cream

Soap and Paper Factory Orange Bitter Pomegranate Shea Butter Hand Cream

The hand cream itself is thick and rich, with an elegant shea-based formula that totally soothes dry skin. This is a lovely, velvety hand cream that leaves hands soft and never greasy. It’s a total winner.

Soap and Paper Factory Bourbon Vanilla Shea Butter Hand Cream

Soap and Paper Factory Bourbon Vanilla Shea Butter Hand Cream

As for the fragrances, Bourbon Vanilla is fantastic – rich and warm, it invites you in like great big hug. This is a truly delightful scent. My husband loves this…it’s a combination of his two favorite scents all done up in a dress somehow.  Very unique and special.

Soap and Paper Factory Orange Bitter Pomegranate Shea Butter Hand Cream

Orange Bitter Pomegranate is a brighter, cleaner scent that is pretty and fresh. The citrus really comes through, although it’s still a subtle scent that doesn’t hit you over the head. You will find yourself sneaking sniffs of your hands and arms,and every time you inhale you’ll smile.

I love these two scents and the Shea Butter Hand Creams from the Soap & Paper Factory Block Party Collection.  Take a look at the website to see if there is anything that would help get your own party started!  – Lisa

Find your inspiration! Dionis Inspire Goat Milk Hand Cream Collection

Dionis Inspire Goat Milk Hand Cream Collection

Think about what inspires you. How about the scent of sweet vanilla wafting through your kitchen as you bake for your family? Or perhaps a rolling blue and green sea? Maybe fields of soft smelling jasmine flowers? Or it might be the pure love you feel from your child? Or maybe, just maybe it’s something as simple as soft hands. Believe it or not, you can get all of these inspirations from the gorgeous Dionis Inspire Goat Milk Hand Collection ($15)!

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Dionis Inspire Goat Milk Hand Cream Collection

The Dionis Goat Milk Hand Milk Hand Cream is fabulous hand cream that leaves hands super soft and supple. Goat milk has a pH level that is close to human skin pH, so our skin loves it. The vitamins are a bonus too, of course. I’m a hand cream junkie and a Dionis fan since way back and the Inspire Collection, a set of five 1 oz. goat milk hand creams, has me absolutely swooning. I love the 1 oz sizes that are perfect for purses, desks, and luggage, and I love the variety of scents. It’s a great set at a wonderful price!

Dionis Vanilla Bean

  • Vanilla Bean is probably my favorite. This is my go-to hand cream – it’s not too foody, just a lovely, warm, creamy vanilla that never lets me (or my hands!) down.

Dionis White Jasmine and Shea Hand Cream

  • White Jasmine & Shea is a beautiful floral that is tempered by vanilla bean and a hint of coconut. I love jasmine and this is fantastic, very different from your typical jasmine scents.

Dionis Sea Treasures Hand Cream

  • Sea Treasures is a new Dionis scent for me. I had read raves for this but it’s the first I’d tried it, and I love it. The scent is Sweet Pea mixed with a beachy scent, like a warm ocean breeze. It is gorgeous – very different and just lovely!

Dionis Love Hand Cream

  • Love is another Dionis fragrance that has a huge following and now I understand why. It has two of my favorite scents – jasmine and vanilla – plus black currant extract, which gives it even more depth and intrigue. This is a very grown up scent that is bound to become one of your favorites.

Dionis Verbena and Cream Hand Cream

  • Verbena & Cream pairs two scents that I would never put together for a different fragrance – it’s got that clean, citrusy thing thanks to the lemon verbena which is then tempered by the milky cream. Together it’s a mellow yet also fresh combination that I am totally digging.

Dionis Goat Milk Hand Cream

All of these beautiful hand creams in such handy 1 ounce sizes (yes, pun intended!) for only $15! Seriously, if you don’t get this for yourself, buy one as a gift for a lucky someone – or for five lucky someones! You can find this set at Ulta and I also recently discovered Cracker Barrel carries the Dionis line at their stores too. Happy shopping and happy hands!  – Lisa

The perfect products for the hazy days of summer and you can find them at Cracker Barrel!

Tons of goodies from Cracker Barrel!

I can’t be the only one. I love Cracker Barrel, and it’s not just for the food. In fact, as much as I love the biscuits and gravy, the yummy green beans, and the to-die-for dumplings, I actually eat pretty quickly so I can get to the real highlight – the shopping afterwards! I have a number of beautiful picture frames and angels (I collect angels and Cracker Barrel always has some fabulous ones) that I bought there, not to mention several clothing items. The old-time candy is always fun too, but the real highlight is of course the body products!! Today I have a few goodies that Cracker Barrel sent me that are just perfect for celebrating these last hazy days of summer.

I love the Burt’s Bees line, and am always perusing it at Cracker Barrel. A few of my favorites include the Garden Tomato Toner which is very refreshing particularly if you tend toward oily skin. I also always pick up the Eye Makeup Remover Pads, which are cool because they are soaked in kiwi water. They are also a unique shape that reaches all corners of the eye and these pads remove even the most stubborn waterproof eye makeup.  I’m also a big fan of the Res-Q Ointment which saves dry, damaged skin. Plant oils and vitamin E are so soothing and I always keep a tin of this around particularly when I’m doing lots of gardening.With the summer heat, lips and hands need attention. You can find J.R. Watkins Beeswax Lip Balm at Cracker Barrel and I love all the flavors. Peppermint is a wonderfully cooling one that is great for summertime. I also adore the Dionis line and always buy some when I am there. I can never have enough hand cream.  The Goat Milk Hand Cream is really fantastic. This one is Mediterranean Blue Tea, which is new for me – I usually go for the Vanilla Bean – and this is a wonderful mix of blue tea leaves, iris, and cardamom. It’s a subtle and sophisticated scent that has totally won me over.

Did you know that you can shop all the wonderful lines that Cracker Barrel carries online?  I didn’t either. Check out their website at for Burt’s Bees, J.R. Watkins, Dionis, and plenty more – including the decor, clothing, and nostalgia candy items. You can even buy those amazing rocking chairs that are outside every Cracker Barrel. Of course, it’s not as fun as eating a big plate of dumplings then wandering about in a food coma and shopping in person…but it is the next best thing. And if you can get to Cracker Barrel in person, be sure to take a look at all the great items they have to get you through the last lazy, hazy days of summer.  – Lisa


Walk Hand in Hand with Farm House Fresh Organic Hand Cream

Farmhouse Fresh Island Elixir Shea Butter Cream

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Isn’t it great? FarmHouse Fresh now has an organic line! They promise to have us ‘illuminate from without’ by crafting their organic line without GMOs, synthetic herbicides and pesticides. FarmHouse Fresh gets certification required inspections from roots to jar. That  means that their pick bins, gloves, equipment, storage containers, handling facilities and filling processes are all organic. Not only that but there is an auditing firm logo on each jar. Could you get any more organic than that?

FarmHouse Fresh Island Elixir Shea Butter

I was lucky enough to be sent the Island Elixir Shea Butter cream. I have very dry cuticles and love the way this delicately scented (coconut and pineapple) cream keeps my hands supple and moist. I’m typing with the cream freshly applied to my hands and am having no problems hitting the right keys or slipping off the keys. There’s no slippage or inability to be flexible. Plus I smell like a delicious fruity cocktail.

FarmHouse Fresh Island Elixir Shea Butter

The reasons why FarmHouse Fresh Island Elixir Shea Butter cream is so effective are, of course, due to the ingredients: Organic Shea Butter and Coconut Oil containing Vitamins A, D & E, which help skin retain moisture. Those ingredients are boosted by Sweet Almond Oil which is rich in essential fatty acids.

FarmHouse Fresh Island Elixir Shea Butter


The Island Elixir Shea Butter Cream is also excellent for soothing and beautifying cracked and dry feet; they have made a big difference to the look and texture of mine.

FarmHouse Fresh Island Elixir Shea Butter

If you can’t visit a tropical island, try Island Elixir Shea Butter cream as a scrumptious alternative. Your hands, feet and budget will thank you.  —  written by Phyllis

What’s in my summer tote? Marvis, Soap and Paper, Good Earth Beauty, and Eddie Funkhouser

What’s in my summer tote? Marvis, Soap and Paper, Good Earth Beauty, and Eddie Funkhouser

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This summer I have been on more mini-vacations than ever!  So I’ve become really, really good at throwing together a quick overnight bag or a one day travel tote bag, whether I’m off the beach or off for an 8 hour car ride to pick up my daughter from camp. Here are four (or five, depending on how you want to count them!) items that are always in my summer tote.

Marvis Aquatic Mint Toothpaste

I have been a big fan of Marvis Toothpaste for years and years and I love the travel size ($6) tube! Lately I’ve been digging the Aquatic Mint flavor and I also love Jasmine Mint, the tube I recently finished. There are lots of cool flavors available and let’s face it…the packaging is so awesome, anyone pillaging your tote for lip balm is going to be impressed with how hip you are!

Soap and Paper Green Tea Shea Hand Cream

Soap and Paper Jasmine Shea Hand Cream

Soap and Paper Shea Hand Cream

Any bag I pack always has hand cream in it and Soap and Paper has the best hand cream in a perfect travel size. The Petite Shea Hand Cream ($9, 1 oz.) is thick and rich, with an elegant shea-based formula that totally soothes dry skin. It’s velvety goodness. The Green Tea scent is natural and clean and the Jasmine scent is dreamy and intoxicating. I can’t decide which is my favorite so I just pack both.

Good Earth Beauty Citrus White Grapefruit Perfume

Good Earth Beauty Citrus White Grapefruit Perfume

I love to have a refreshing fragrance at my fingertips and Good Earth Beauty has a perfect option – the rollerball Citrus White Grapefruit Perfume ($21). This is a gorgeous scent – light, refreshing, fresh as a summer’s day. The scent is an intoxicating combination of citrusy white grapefruit, tangerine, sweet orange, and mimosa. There isn’t any alcohol or water in this perfume, it’s straight up essential oils, so you only need a tiny amount to smell spectacular all day long. Love this, and you need it in your tote ASAP. Oh, it’s also vegan, organic, cruelty free and gluten-free.

Eddie Funkhouser Quattro Variable Lash Mascara

A simple swipe of mascara can take me from looking sickly to looking fantastic in three seconds, particularly with Eddie Funkhouser Quattro Variable Lash Mascara ($13). One tube of mascara gives four different finishes, from natural to major drama.  I might do a quick swipe of #2 for a day look, and then later on add a coat of #4 for big, thick lashes.  What I love is this mascara never smudges or smears, regardless of the temperature or humidity.  It’s a perfect mascara to have in your summer tote!

I have a few more items in my summer tote, but these four (or five, since I can’t choose between the Jasmine and Green Tea Soap and Paper Hand Cream scents!) are constants. What are some of your must haves in your summer tote? – Lisa

PS – Speaking of the super talented Eddie Funkhouser, don’t forget to enter our giveaway for some of his lipsticks and lip glosses – enter HERE!