Sponsor: Say Hello

I love my sponsors. They’re what make my blog possible – Today, I bring you my newest sponsor, Sarah from Say Hello.  I’ve said it before, but I really love when my readers (and sponsors) get something out of my blog. Sarah is a self-proclaimed closet nerd and so I decided to ask her some great geeky questions to get to know her (and her nerdy side) a little better.
Via Say Hello

My name is Sarah and I am the blogger behind Say Hello. I am from Littleton, Colorado and love books, cats, yoga, wine and all things geeky! I love reading The Nerdy Fox so I’m super excited to guest post for Heather!
Mac or PC: Well the Husband works for a Microsoft based company so I am legally bound by marriage to say PC {apparently Apple is the Devil and we don’t talk about them, let alone praise them}. But honestly, I have always preferred a PC over Mac and have only primarily used a PC. I recently got a Surface Pro 3 and I’m pretty much in love. It replaced my iPad and my laptop. Just like the commercial said it would.
Gaming console of choice: Xbox One. I flippin’ love our Xbox. We use it for all media in our house and I game the crap out of it as well. I loved Assassins Creed: Black Flag so much – so as soon Assassins Creed: Unity came out, I was all over it. It is a bit different than Black Flag but I like it so far!
Favorite book of all time: This one is tough. On average, I read about a book a week so to pick just one is challenging. Hmmm errrrr. Ok, ok, my all-time favorite book is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and my current favorite is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It’s such a cool book that covers all of late twentieth century pop culture. And the best part – the audio book is read by Wil Wheaton.
Star Trek or Star Wars: My 10 year old self would be so mad at me– but I have to say Star Trek. I grew up living and breathing Star Wars. My cousins and I used to take our Star Wars action figures into the woods in our back yard and make mini movies. When I got married to my husband he introduced me to the world of Star Trek. I love it. I love old, new, the original, Next Generation, whatever I can get my hands on – I am equal opportunity Star Trek watcher. And can we talk about Chris Pine? HOT.
What game should more people know more about: I am a big fan of tabletop games and our collection keeps growing despite the Husband’s protests. Typically when you think of tabletop games, Monopoly or Life come to mind. We play more eclectic games like Lords of Waterdeep, Dominion and Smash Up. One game that we play a ton of is Ticket to Ride. This game is so much fun and everyone in the family can play. It’s not too hard and it only takes about an hour from set-up to game end. We’ve introduced the game to a few friends and family members and now they’re hooked!
If you had to choose one of these things and why:
-Join Starfleet
-Become a Jedi
-Travel Space and Time with The Doctor
-Go on an adventure in Middle Earth
-Attend Hogwarts to become a witch
 
ACK! I have to choose just one?! Even though I am a Star Trek fan I would become a Jedi. I get use a light saber!? I have jedi-mind tricks?! YES PLEASE. This is not the Sarah you are looking for.

Social Media Love:

Twitter
Instagram
BlogLovin
Pinterest

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Sponsor: InstaNatural MEGA Review

I’ve been super lucky in the testing things for review department, lately. It’s mostly been beauty supplies, which I love. Recently, I was given the chance to work in Insta Natural.

About InstaNatural

InstaNatural was started as a small local business in Florida with a vision to provide safe, effective, and affordable skin care products – without sacrificing quality. InstaNatural is constantly in search of wonderful wholesome ingredients to enhance the natural beauty that is often lost due to various external and internal factors. The product line was developed by focusing on using premium organic and natural ingredients in their formulations without the use of harmful alcohols, parabens or sulfates.
At present, InstaNatural is a leading online distributor of a collection of nature-inspired beauty and cosmetic products. All of InstaNatural’s products are produced in small batches and packaged in FDA-certified facilities in the USA to ensure freshness and safety for customers. With results-driven products backed by a lifetime satisfaction guarantee, InstaNatural is focused on providing the best collection of beauty products to address a wide variety of skincare needs.

-From InstaNatural.com

What I love about InstaNatural:

They’re using natural ingredients. This means that you’re not putting gross parabens and sulfates on your face/body. It’s produced in the USA which is ALWAYS a good thing for the US economy. Plus, it’s backed by a lifetime satisfaction guarantee. They want your to be complete satisfied with the product. That’s great.

What I’ve Received to Review:

Left to Right: Vitaman C Moisturizer, Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Emu Oil, Argan Oil Hair Mask, Dead Sea Mud Mask.

Dead Sea Mud Mask:

“InstaNatural’s Dead Sea Mud Mask is an all-natural detoxifier and purifier that comes from the renowned and sacred Dead Sea. More than a million visitors each year flock to this extraordinary body of water in the Mediterranean, which contains many minerals beneficial to the skin, such as magnesium, sodium, bromine, potassium and calcium. Once applied, this mud mask treatment starts working to absorb excess oil, dirt and toxins from the skin. It is great to expunge acne, pimples and blackheads. It also helps to restore an even skin tone for a smoother complexion. When used as a body treatment, the mud mask can soothe and relieve muscles aches and pains. Whether used on the face or the body, our Dead Sea Mud Mask is a superb in-home spa treatment that will reveal more vibrant, refined, healthier skin.”

How I Have Used It:

I’ve used it as a face mask once a week and a body mask one time. After cleansing the area, I would apply a THIN layer of the mask and let it set for 10-15 minutes and then wash/rinse it off.

My Thoughts On It: 

It leaves my skin feeling clean and tight. Not super tight or an uncomfortable tight – but that really great feeling you get after you’ve had a facial at a spa, that’s the feeling it leaves on your skin. It does not have a smell, which is something that I enjoyed. It did not dry my skin out or cause any problems. I would recommend this product.

Emu Oil:

“InstaNatural’s Ultra Premium Emu Oil is 100% pure and fully refined, packed with powerful ingredients. It is naturally rich in unsaturated fatty acids and provides unsurpassed moisturizing benefits to the skin and hair.

  • Can be used on all skin types
  • Provides ultimate hydration for dry, itchy, flaky skin
  • Reduces appearance of scars, dark spots, stretch marks, burns and other discoloration
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe injuries, such as aching joints, sores muscles and sprains
  • Nourishes scalp and hair follicles to rejuvenate and replenish hair”

Something you need to know about emu oil is that it is obviously (maybe not obviously?) not vegan. That being said, it’s kind of this wonder oil that does a variety of things that almost makes your skeptical when you read the claims. However, from the limited amount of time I’ve been using it, I can tell you that it does what it claims to do.

How I Used It:

I won’t lie to you, I had a hard time figuring out how to use this product and there was a part of my brain that wasn’t so sure if I would use it because it’s, well, oil from an emu. However, I did use it and let me tell you, it’s pretty amazing stuff. I started using it on Chanel. She gets really, really dry skin in the winter – like, to the point where her hands crack and bleed. I started to apply a small amount to her hands at night before bed and within a day or two, her hands weren’t bothering her anymore. The good thing about using the emu oil on her hands was that it didn’t hurt her like lotions and creams were doing. Her hands were so cracked and dry that even applying the mildest lotions would make her cry. We were obviously desperate to find something to help her and I decided to give this a try on her hands and it seriously worked wonders.

I personally used it on my hair and body. I use a very, very small amount and applied it to my hair after I get out of the shower and leave it in and then style as usual.When I apply it to my face/body, I start with a drop or two and then add more as needed.

What I Thought Of It: 

This product is so amazing. I would recommend it simply based on the experience Chanel had with it. She’s had 7 years of dry, red, cracked skin in the winter and I’ve never been able to find something that would help until now.  It doesn’t smell, it absorbs fast, it really helps moisturize the skin. If you’re not concerned about vegan products, this is an amazing oil that you should definitely try out.

Hyaluronic Acid Serum:

“InstaNatural’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum contains Hyaluronic Acid along with a perfect blend of antioxidants such as Vitamin C + Jojoba Oil + Green Tea. With a capacity to sustain up to a 1,000 times its weight in water, Hyaluronic Acid is a great natural hydrator by helping the skin to retain moisture.

  • Provides hydration to soothe dry and flaky skin
  • Does not contain alcohol or parabens
  • Enriched with Vitamin C, Green Tea and Aloe for a boost in antioxidants
  • Helps tackle signs of aging by increasing firmness and strength of skin”

How I Used It: 

I use this every morning after I wash my face and before putting on lotion. This is a thicker serum and can be used twice a day. I apply a small amount to my face and neck, let it absorb into my skin and follow up with a face lotion and then makeup, if I’m applying any that day.

What I thought of it:

I genuinely love this serum. It’s a little thicker than previous serums that I’ve used but my skin reacts better to this one. It is super hydrating, it doesn’t have a smell and it is light enough that I can use it twice a day without feeling like my skin is bogged down with crap.

Vitamin C Moisturizer:

“InstaNatural’s Vitamin C Moisturizer contains a proprietary blend of supercharged antioxidants and other powerful ingredients that can help you achieve a healthy and glowing complexion. Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant agent, which can help protect your skin from the damaging effects of sun exposure and UV rays. Our moisturizer will deliver a potent 20% dose of Vitamin C to your skin, along with other nourishing ingredients – such as Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, and Plant Stem Cells – that work together to reduce the appearance of signs of aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, discoloration and dryness.”

How I Used It:

I used it after applying serum, morning and night.

What I Thought Of It:

This lotion is REALLY heavy. It is not one that I personally would recommend using twice a day. I’ve cut it down to just a night cream because it’s so heavy. It has a weird smell… which, I don’t like. I don’t like smelly things on my face – whether it’s a good or bad smell – though the smell of this does dissipate after a time. I’m not particularly crazy about this product.

Argan Oil Hair Mask: 

“InstaNatural’s Argan Oil Hair Mask is a deep conditioning treatment designed to transform dry and damaged strands into soft, shiny, healthy hair. Its restorative ingredients – such as Argan Oil, Japanese Green Tea, Amino Acid Complex, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil & Vitamin B5 – work together to penetrate hair deep down and deliver ultimate nourishment and hydration to enhance texture and shine. This intensive blend full of organic ingredients also serves to strengthen hair to defend against heat damage and other external aggressors.

  • Deeply conditions, strengthens and restores hair
  • Provides superior hydration and nourishment
  • Can be used daily as a standard conditioner
  • Turns hair from lifeless and damaged to luxurious and voluminous
  • Increases shine, softness and manageability” 

How I Used It: 

I’ve been using this after a bleach treatment and once every other week after washing my hair.

What I Thought Of It:

OH MY GOD, GUYS. THIS PRODUCT. This product is my favorite. It smells simply amazing. It makes my hair so soft and pretty. I cannot recommend this product enough. It super hydrates my hair which results in me using less product in my hair on a daily basis. I am so crazy about this product!

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Sponsor: A Girl Who Reads

I love my sponsors! I love even more when they’re a kindred spirit. 
A Girl Who Reads is a blog about one of my favorite things, BOOKS! 

“Welcome to A Girl Who Reads, a place that we hope will become a home for every woman who loves a good book. There is a simple joy in picking up a book, to dive into a whole new world without leaving your home. Here I will write book reviews, share book news, ponder literature and generally just want to talk about reading with you. I would love it if you grabbed yourself a cuppa and explored.
An important note, here we do not care how you read your books. We’ve heard the paperback v. eReader arguments but this is a safe space where we do not judge people for how they choose to read their books (as long as they read them). A Girl Who Reads has more paperbacks than space to store them but also loads of books on our Kindle’s. So lets say no more about it.” — About A Girl Who Reads

I love that there are people in this world that love books as much as I do. People who want to share books and enjoy discussing literature with people — no matter the format that they read in! I am partial to paperbacks but I love how easy it is to have my books on my tablet with me at all times!

She writes great reviews and she does something that I really love. When she reviews it she tells you whether or not she recommends it for various groups of people… and TELLS YOU WHY! So for example, she reviewed Seven Letters From Paris. Would she Recommend it for a book club? “As a book no, this doesn’t have the deeper content for a book club. That said I enjoyed that all of the seven letters that the book are named after aren’t all given to you at the very start but spaced throughout – that stylistic choice would be interesting to talk to a book club about.” I love that.

Alys has written some GREAT Gift Guides that I wanted to share with you guys as well. 

This one made me happy – I’m always looking for new children’s books! 
SUCH GREAT BOOKS!!! 
You can find her on: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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Sponsor: Even Glow Serum Review

I’ve been lucky enough to work with some different skin care companies. This one is probably one of my favorites.Valentia (named after the Roman Goddess of healing!) is a company that uses natural ingredients that are free of toxins and paraban-free.


What this product does:

EVENS SKIN TONE:
Vanquish dark spots and skin discoloration, replacing uneven and ill-textured skin with smooth, wrinkle-free skin that leaves you looking flawless and ageless.

INCREASES GLOW & RADIANCE:
Revitalize your skin with essential fatty acids that leave skin smooth and visibly brighter. Smooth skin capable of reflecting light will give your skin a youthful glow and a brilliant shine for that well-rested and refreshed look.

ABSORBS RAPIDLY:
Moisturizes skin due to the capacity of the hyaluronic acid to absorb water, thereby increasing fluid between cells, giving your skin a smoother and younger appearance. This intense water absorption means no more dry, peeling or cracked skin, even in extreme weather.

BOOSTS COLLAGEN PRODUCTION:
The presence of Organic Rosehip Seed oil to support Vitamin C increases collagen production so your skin retains the elasticity responsible for a youthful appearance and prevents skin sagging associated with aging. Enjoy smooth and supple skin that takes years off your appearance.

REDUCES WRINKLES & FINE LINES:
Reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles with the help of our foundation 20 % Vitamin C. Special ingredients such us Hyaluronic Acid and Organic Sea Buckthorn oil work to plump up the skin, which reduces fine lines and wrinkles in the skin so it is smoother, clearer and younger.
____________________________________________________________________

KEY INGREDIENTS

Vitamin C: With a 20% concentration does more than boost the body’s immune system; it also provides many benefits to keep the skin tight, smooth and looking ageless. Vitamin C has been scientifically proven to reduces the effects of sun exposure on the skin, including sunburn, sun spots, redness and wrinkles.

In addition to helping reduce the signs of aging, Vitamin C is essential for everyday maintenance to strengthen and smooth out the skin, as well as neutralizing free radicals before they can damage the skin.

***Our additional Key Ingredients below were all selected for their ability to enhance and support Vitamin C’s effect on the skin.

Organic Rosehip Seed Oil & Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil – These oils promote skin hydration and lock in moisture to protect your skin from signs of aging and improve its beauty and youthfulness. Rosehip Oil specifically has been used in medical communities around the world for those with serious skin ailments and only recently has North America learned to embrace natural solutions from our ancestors. These two organic oils are full of antioxidants and therefore act as the perfect supporting cast for our best friend – Vitamin C

Resistem (Plant Stem Cells) – This provides the perfect mix of protection from stress-related aging and promotes skin detoxification. Resistem will help your skin regenerate faster while protecting it from environmental stressors.

Hyaluronic Acid (Botanical) – Holding up to 1000 times its weight in water and drawing moisture out of the environment and onto the surface of your skin ,there is not a more effective moisturizing agent on the market today. Penetrates deeply, and actives collagen production for a fresher, younger, firmer, and brighter complexion

Green Tea Extact– The catechins in green tea are a potent antioxidant which also contribute to the overall anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant benefits of this ancient health and beauty secret.

How I used it: 

It’s a lighter serum so I used it in the morning after washing my face. The directions on the packaging said, “As natural ingredients may separate, shake lightly for 1-2 seconds before use.”  I followed those instructions. Serums are supposed to cover the skin lightly and absorb quickly so, I only needed to apply a small amount of it on my face.

What I thought:

It smells wonderful! It has such a great citrus smell that I truly enjoyed. It’s not overpowering and dissipates after it’s been absorbed. I had no issues with breakouts or dryness while using this product.

Did it even my skin tone? Well, yes, from what I can tell. I have some red patches around my nose that have gone away since I started using this product.

Where you can get it:

It can be purchased here.

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One Direction Make Up & Giveaway

I was given the opportunity to try out these kits by One Direction. I was a little hesitant because usually make up by bands isn’t anything worth trying. But, I have been enjoying these kits. The nail polish is fabulous – I’ve been wearing the “Moments” (pink) with “Star” topping for a couple of days now and have thoroughly enjoyed how fun it is. I’ve played around with all the colors and they’re all decent nail polishes. They dry in a reasonable amount of time and don’t need a million coats to see the color.

It’s safe to say that I am a lip stain kind of girl.  I like to put something on my lips and forget about it – but I keep gloss in my purse at all times. The “Through The Dark” (poppy) is my favorite! It adds just enough color for it to be noticeable but it’s not overpoweringly red. It’s defeinitely been my go-to lip gloss lately. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it.

The mascaras are fun and bright and I full plan on using them for cosplay reasons – They’re not something that I would include in my everyday look but they are fun to add a bit of color to your hair if you’re looking for that sort of temporary fix. (Also, the yellow looks great with my purple hair. xD )

Overall, these kits are fun and enjoyable for all ages – not just teenagers. If you’re interested in more information, see the product information below. It describes the product and the colors. Below the product information there is a place for you to enter a giveaway for a chance to win your own sets! Who doesn’t love free make up??


About the products:

ELECTRO GLAM MASCARA
Give your look a jolt of electric colour, with this limited-edition trio of ultra-bold coloured mascaras for hair and lashes, in three heavily pigmented, buildable colours.
FOR LASHES- Make a subtle statement by adding a pop of colour to the tips of your lashes, or add coats to your entire lashes for a shockingly chic look. The more the better!
AS A HAIR MASCARA- Apply to small sections of hair and swipe through for instant ELECTRIC highlights.

Why don’t we go there- Shock of blue
Does he know?- Pinkest hot pink
Story of my life- Amped canary yellow


LIQUILIGHTS GLOW GLOSS
Liquilights Glow Gloss sparkles brilliantly during the day and illuminates under UV black light after dark. Enriched with natural oils and vitamin E to keep your lips soft and hydrated all day and all night.
Gloss can be worn alone for a pop of sparkle and color, or paired with One Direction crème lipstick for a bolder look.

Through the Dark- Electric glitter poppy lip gloss that glows to neon red-orange under UV light
Kiss You- Orange glitter rush lip gloss that glows to neon yellow under UV light
Taken – Powerhouse glitter pink lip gloss that glows to neon orange under UV light


ROCK ME NAIL KIT
ROCK ME NAIL KIT, featuring NEON UV-REACTIVE Nail Varnish and UV-REACTIVE GLITTER nail toppings that add even more sizzle to your mani, for nails that light up day and night.
Sprinkle the glitter over wet polish for a subtle accent, or go for the glitz and dip your entire wet mani in mega-watt sparkle!

Nail Varnish:
Happily– UV iced blue glitter
Moments- UV neon pink
Diana- UV 3D holographic

Glitter Toppings:
Kicks- UV snow cone blue
Not afraid- UV electrified pink glitter
Star– UV holo glitter

Makeup by One Direction hit the following stores on November 15th!

  • Macy’s
  • Dillards
  • Boscov’s
  • Stage Stores
  • Beauty Brands
  • Lord & Taylor

Facebook:Makeup By One Direction

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5 Tips For Beautiful Curls With KISS InstaWave

Pretty Curls!
This is my beautiful daughter, Chanel. She volunteered to be my model for this post. 

I received a KISS InstaWave to review and I’m absolutely loving it. While I have short hair, my hair has a bit of a natural wave to it so I haven’t ever had to really deal with curling my hair too much. Chanel, on the other hand, has straight hair. It dries perfectly straight without having to do anything to it.  Sometimes she likes having her hair done in something other than a braid or ponytail.

Chanel’s natural hair

The KISS InstaWave is a fully automatic, tangle-free curler that creates beautiful curls instantly. What does that mean? You know that annoying crease you get when you’re curling your hair from the clip? That’s a thing of the past. I was kind of skeptical at first but it’s REALLY easy to use and there is no creases! Chanel was even able to do a curl or two. She thought it was pretty fabulous that you didn’t have to do anything other than place the hair and push a button. The curl dial can rotate in either direction – which makes it easy to create a natural looking curl.

Here is the easy process of using the InstaWave:

1- Place the hair
2-Push the button to twirl the hair around the wand
It should look something like this


3- After letting the wand heat the hair for about 5-10 seconds pull the KISS InstaWave straight down and you’re left with a beautiful curl. You can hold it longer for tighter curls.

There are two heat settings on the wand – low/high switch with a max temperature of 420 degrees. It automatically shuts off after 90 minutes.  It has a ceramic ionic 1″ barrel and it even works on short hair. Obviously it’s not going to produce cute ringlet curls on short hair, but it does curl my short hair. I’ve been using it to curl my ends under and haven’t had any problem with it.

Some things that I have noticed about the KISS InstaWave are that the mechanism that curls the hair is pretty quiet. The curler itself makes a buzzing noise when it’s plugged in – Chanel kept commenting on the sound that it was making. I hardly noticed it. Overall, it curls your hair pretty quickly, which is nice when you have a 7 year old that doesn’t want to sit still! We both have been loving the curls. It took me a minute to figure it out but once I did, it was a breeze. The hardest part was figuring out how to properly place the hair. (see step 1).

Tips: 

  1. Switch between curling left and right to create a natural curl
  2. Section your hair off and curl the underneath section of hair first. These curls don’t have to be perfect or as tight as the rest of your hair – in fact if you curl it a loosely, it adds some volume to your hair. 
  3. Spray with hair spray after each section – use a flexible hold hairspray to avoid that crunchy look. 
  4. Curl the pieces of hair right by your face away from your face – What I mean is, on the left side curl the piece to the left and the right side to the right. 
  5. Finger comb through the curls to make them look more natural. 

Bonus Cosplay Tips:
***Obviously, only use this with real human hair wigs – synthetic hair will melt!***

    • Due to the fact that this doesn’t PULL your hair like a regular curling iron, makes it ideal for touching up curls on either your clip-ins or wigs! You can do this either while the wig is on your head or on your wig mannequin. It won’t tangle your wig and it won’t leave a crease. Just section the hair and curl, following the same steps as above!

 You can purchase this great product at http://www.kissinstawave.com/

**Full disclosure: I received this product in exchange for a review/product feedback. All opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Acer Iconia A1 Tablet

Let me introduce the Acer Iconia A1 Tablet. This 8″ tablet is great for back to school. Something I didn’t realize is how tech orientated schools are nowadays – even the elementary schools. Basically, we’re looking for something that is user-friendly for school related projects. It’s crazy to me how necessary computers are to children in school!  
Features that I love:
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS 
  • Intel Atom CPU
  • 4:3 Aspect ratio 
  • IPS (in-plane switching)* Technology
  • 1024×768 Resolution 
  • Dual Speakers
  • 7.5 hours of battery life
*IPS Technology – this essentially means that it has brighter colors and better contrast. It is perfect for wider viewing angles. 
Other important features:
*Crisp Display with wide viewing angle
*Intel Inside provides optimal performance
*Premium materials for a sleek look and solid feel
*The beautiful Acer Iconia A1-830 is crafted from premium materials for a sleek look and solid feel.
*It features a fast Intel® CPU for smoother graphics rendering, a brilliant IPS* display that allows a wide viewing angle, two speakers for a powerful audio experience, and a metal back cover and mid-frame for added strength.

Premium and Beautiful Design
Stylish and simple, it fits perfectly in one hand
• A narrow bezel presents a bigger display
• The metal back cover gives a premium feel
• The metal mid-frame adds strength

My overall thoughts on this tablet:
From the research I’ve been able to do, it seems to have a great customer review. It seems user-friendly, which is obviously a big deal. It has a thin, streamlined look, which I love. It is small and portable, which makes it perfect for school and play! The 1.6 GHz processor ensures that it won’t feel slow and clunky while you’re using it. I have a tablet that is pretty but slow which means that I never use it. I need something that has some speed, otherwise, I’ll just use my computer. I The battery life is a pretty decent life span – again, something that is really important to me. I don’t want to be using something that is going to die quickly. If it has a short battery life, I’ll just end up using my computer which makes it pointless to have a tablet. It’s not the most current android OS – but I’m not too worried because functionally, 4.2 isn’t too far behind 4.4 and 4.2 has all the features that I would need. It is full HD and has a great picture on it.


It can be purchased here for 129.99 (it’s on sale!!!)

Watch the video and let me know what you guys think about this tablet in the comments below!

** Full disclosure: This is a PAID sponsor post but all opinions are my own.**

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