Saturday, November 21, 2015

Crowdtap sampling: Splenda now available in granualted form - even closer to real sugar than before!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - my Splenda in granulated form, you can use it just like regular sugar
 I received through Crowdtap a new version of Splenda. Often when using sugar substitute, the texture is not quite that of sugar; the substitute always seems like a light powder in contrast to the very granulated sugar that has little crystals. Now Splenda comes in granulated form as well, making the switch to a healthy sugar substitute even easier. I received this box sample and right away started using it in hot beverage, like a really tastyy, but low calorie mocha beverage that was missing none of the falvor of the original, but a lot of calories (and guilt).
copyright Durhamonthecheap -use it in hot or cold beverages, like the mocha above
 I also used it on a mixed  salad, where Splenda gave an interesting note to the pastrami topping and enhanced the flavor.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - - add it to salads for some sweetness - a mixed salad with pastrami
 But of course the real test was a dessert such as the apple pie. Loved to include Splenda and especially since I was able to serve the sugar substitute in my little sugar server next to milk, which made for a very traditional and festive table setting, but the modern trend to healthy eating was present too!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - and of course dessert - like a guilt-free apple pie
Disclaimer: Through Crowdtap I received a free sample of granulated Splenda in exchange for a review. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party or Splenda.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Book Review: The Four Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership by Jenni Catron

This book ties great leadership in with Christian belief. This is not surprising because the author is a church leader and so she feels that leadership theory can be found be interpreting in the commandment to love the lord with all heart and soul and mind and strength. It is these four legs listed in the commandment that she feels are needed for someone to become a great leader. And by extension, everyone that is a Christian and believes in the commandment can become a great leader.
She argues that leadership in relationship can be found through following your heart, while the soul should be followed for spiritual leadership and the mind for managerial leadership (or what I call rational leadership). Lastly, strength she argues is needed for visionary leadership.

While I believe that strength to be a leader and fight at times against the odds can be found through religion, I am not totally convinced by her arguments put forward in this book. To me, the theory shown in the book is too hard trying to make a case for these four different components of leadership and while I believe that a leader has to have strength, vision, a sound mind and can exceed at building relationships, the connection between leadership and this one commandment seems far-fetched.

I like the message of the book that everyone can be a leader, which I believe for the most part to be true. But this author is trying too hard in my opinion to make a case that the philosophy of leadership is found in the bible. Overall, the book is an interesting read for this wanting to learn more about leadership philosophies. but you have to keep an open mind when approaching this book. To me, it was too much interested in making a case for how important believing in the bible is rather than making a case for what makes a great leader. 

available for pre-order at

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this blog is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Crowdtap sampling event: AVEENO ULTRA-CALMING Nourishing Night Cream

 I received samples of the AVEENO ULTRA-CALMING Nourishing Night Cream through Crowdtap and started using my sample about two weeks ago. I also gave a sample to my mother (pictured below) and one of my friends to see how they liked the product. We all loved the product. Not only does it work, it does so in a way that even our quite sensitive skin does not suffer. We apply it once daily before going to bed and then wake up after only one week of use with a skin that feels and looks younger. The skin is more elastic, not as dry (something that especially my mother commented on) and it has a more healthy glow.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - my mother with her sample and she is happy with its effects.
 Overall, we all three can highly recommend this product. The product is available in stores right now, but can also be purchased online. The price is around $15 for 1.7 oz, but it truly worth it. It does calm your skin and contains all natural ingredients, which is important to me since I many chemicals simply prove too irritating on my skin for long-term use. Aveeno used oat and calming feverfew and no redness or any other irritation is visible.
The Aveeno product is, have a look and give it a try. We can only highly recommend it and keep enjoying our samples before we go out and purchase some more!

Disclaimer: I received a free sample to use and review. The opinion expressed in this blog is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Book Review: Churchill's Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government by Dr. Larry Arnn

 As someone who has always been intrigued by Churchill, I was excited to find another book about this great and controversial statesman. While I think that Churchill was a great politician, who had a lot of foresight about developments involving the power balance between Russia and the USA and its effects on Europe, I do not think that he was the most important politician of the 20th century as the author states. Churchill was involved in politics long before WW2II and had a life that sought controversy from the Boer War through WWI and finally WWII. In some decision he was right, eerily seeming to know what the future would being, in other decisions he was wrong and cost many people their lives. He was a great leader, that I agree with the author, but like all great leaders he had to also learn from his earlier mistakes. I am setting up the review with this rather long statement because the author does focus on only one aspect of Churchill's work and life, so anyone not familiar with his life may want to take a step back ever so often and reread a section because this book tackles complex subjects using Churchill as an example.
As stated, this author is focused on one specific aspect of Churchill's life and work, namely his thoughts on free government in various times such as war and peace. This book is somewhat philosophical, but also historical because Churchill's view does evolve. This evolution of political thinking is expected because Churchill did make mistakes and what made him great as a politician was his ability to learn and adapt. Did his thought-process fundamentally change? No, but it evolved. I thought this author did a great job with this book. Not only did he pick a wonderful politician as an example (using Churchill's involvement in several wars and political action in peace times), but he also managed to lay out a clear image of how free government must differ between war and peace time and must consider treaties and changing nation states into account. Churchill not only lived through the experiences of a guerrilla war in South Africa through a traditional war in WWI to the advent of modern weaponry in WWII, but he also saw major changes in the British Empire happen that were independent of the war, but certainly influenced some of his decision in war and peace.
Overall, for anyone interested in Churchill, this book is a good add-on to have and have read. But also people who seek to understand how free government can work in various times, will find this book interesting to read.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Book Review: Summer with My Sisters by Holly Chamberlin

Bestselling author Holly Chamberlin’s heartfelt novel, set in a beautiful Maine beach town, tells of three sisters—and one summer filled with revelations…

When Poppy Higgins left Yorktide, Maine, for Boston, she pictured future visits home as brief diversions from her real life in the big city. Fate had different ideas, and at twenty-five, Poppy has been called back to care for her two younger sisters following their father’s death.

Sixteen-year-old Daisy resents Poppy’s long absence and chafes under her sometimes fumbling efforts to be a parent. Violet, now thirteen, is a virtual stranger to her oldest sister. Once a happy, united family, the Higginses seem adrift, and Poppy longs to escape her responsibilities. But when Daisy befriends Evie, an enigmatic newcomer to Yorktide, the young woman will be an unlikely catalyst in the sisters’ journey back to each other. For as Poppy discovers the deep loss in Evie’s life, she awakens to the truth about her own, and about the town, and the people, she’s tried to leave behind.

Filled with the candid warmth of real sisterhood, Summer with My Sisters explores the many forms a family can take, and the unspoken ties that endure, season after season…
available for pre-order at

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this blog is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Book Review: In Plain Sight by Fern Michaels

For years Myra Rutledge and Annie de Silva, founding members of the Sisterhood, have funded an underground network run by former Supreme Court Justice Pearl Barnes to help women escape abusive relationships. When two of Pearl’s clients fail to report for their weekly check-in, the Sisterhood and their allies begin a search for French model Amalie Laurent and her one-time maid, Rosalee Muno. Amalie’s estranged husband, Lincoln Moss, is a distant cousin of the President of the United States and one of his closest advisers. Moss’s power is matched by the violent streak he hides from the world, and he beat Amalie viciously until she finally escaped with her maid’s help. Moss is accustomed to doing exactly what he wants without fear of consequence. But Moss has never faced an adversary like the Sisterhood…

available for pre-order at

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Crowdtap: Kleenex Poacket Packs

Through Crowdtap I received a sample of Kleenex Pocket Packs in three vibrant covers. They come in handy when you are on the go and need to blow your nose, fix a bloody knee or wipe a little spill in the car. So many uses and they came in really handy in the latest cold wave that hit our family. No more, I had no Kleenex. Now the pocket pack goes into the backpack and the purse and is always handy.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - the three samples from Crowdtap and Kleenex

copyright Durhamonthecheap - leaving a friendly note to start the day off well with Kleenex
 Have you ever used the Kleenex Pocket Packs? If yes, leave a comment and let me know which little mishap they helped you with!

Disclaimer: I received a free sample in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in the blog post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.