Sweet Critique: CLARO Acne Clearing Device

I {thankfully} have never really had to worry about terrible acne.  I had your typical skin problems as a teenager, and suffer from a few blemishes each month.  Other than that, it’s not a huge issue for me.

Still, none are better than some, and the sooner I can get rid of my acne the better.

There are many devices out there that claim to get rid of your acne, but unfortunately many of them are hard to use, smelly, or downright painful.  Other times it just takes too long for them to work.

The CLARO IPL Acne Clearing Device

Yes, I was skeptical.  Yes, it seemed a little too good to be true.  Yes, I was scared.

The CLARO uses intense pulsed light {IPL} technology to deliver heat and light directly to the acne.  This info was taken from the CLARO site:

The bacteria that cause acne produces a compound called porphyrin, CLARO uses heat and light to stimulate porphyrin to produce singlet oxygen that attacks and eliminates the acne bacteria.

To use, you simply turn the device on, place the treatment window over your pimple, and press the button.  The device flashes light on the pimple 10 times.  You repeat this a second time, completing one treatment.

You can treat the same pimple three times in a 24 hour period, waiting eight hours between treatments.

What I Thought

I messed up and did not treat the same pimple after our initial treatment, so our results are a little skewed.

That said, even after that one treatment I can tell that this little device works.  After one round of treatment and 24 hours, the acne treated had significantly reduced in size and redness.

I like this device for what it claims to treat:  mild to moderate acne.  If you have severe acne, you’d spend all your time moving this thing from pimple to pimple.

For a few pimples, though, you can easily treat them quickly and be on your way.  There’s no messy creams, no excessive steps, you just turn it on, press a button, and in a few seconds you’re done.

I know you want to know if it hurt.  I wanted to know.  I was scared to try it.

So, I did what any good blogger would do and asked my husband if he’d sacrifice his comfort for me.

He did, and he survived.

Aside from my excitement and subsequent trigger-happy fingers going to town treating pimples {which caused some moderate heat}, he said he didn’t feel a thing.

At $194.99, it might be a bit pricey for some folks.  If you are looking for an investment in something that is not consumable, this is a great one.  It’s quick, easy, clean, and effective.

True Confessions:  I have received the reviewed product from Best Buy for free.  All opinions are my own.

Sweet Critique: Homeschooling Gifted and Advanced Learners

I firmly believe everyone is gifted in some way.  All it takes is someone showing a little attention and believing in their abilities, and they can do great things.

When many of us think of a gifted child, our mind automatically focuses on academic talent.  Gifted children can also be gifted artists, dancers, athletes, etc.

For this reason, I absolutely love Homeschooling Gifted and Advanced Learners by Cindy West.

West gives a good overview of homeschooling, curriculum, and styles, but she spends most of the book giving the reader actionable and practical information to help them adjust their teaching to their children.

Tables, Charts, and Resources

West, a veteran homeschooler, knows how much time homeschooling takes.  Her book is not full of a bunch of irrelevant and useless information.

By including tables, charts, and lists of resources, West has made it easy to search through the book and find exactly what you need.

Interested in a classical approach to education?  West provides a list of curriculum resources specifically for that approach.

Have a child that enjoys logic puzzles?  West gives you a list of logic puzzles, grouped by age/ability.

In addition to listing these resources throughout the book, she has placed them all in the back if you’re really just looking for that information.

Those Who Excel and Those Who Struggle

This is perhaps my favorite aspect of the book.  The bulk of the material is designed to take a subject/interest {history, science, spelling} and provide the parent with information to enhance that subject if their child excels or resources and ideas to help those who struggle.

I was keenly interested in what she had to say about spelling.  I’ve noticed that Babydoll is excellent at spelling.  Never has a problem with it.

But because it is a school subject, I felt like we had to set time aside to do it.  Still, there was this nagging feeling that we were wasting our time as she always aced it.

West says what others are afraid to:  if you have a child that excels at spelling, ditch it.  Spend time building vocabulary instead.

Use the time you would have spent doing spelling and provide your child with something useful, such as the ability to understand what those words mean.

Technology, Record Keeping, Socialization, and College

West touches on each of these areas as well, and does it well.

I am a firm believer in using technology in your homeschool, so I appreciated all the ideas and resources she provided in this section.

Record keeping is something that many of us struggle with each year, and West provides yet a few more pearls of wisdom.  She shares the way she keeps track of everything, and it’s not complicated!

Socialization is never far behind when discussing homeschooling, so West gives this area appropriate attention.

Despite the fact that your child might be in elementary school, time flies and college will be a reality sooner than you think.  West provides solid resources and information about what to consider when you get to this point as well.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any homeschool parent, new or old.

The fact that the book is full of links and resources makes it a winner in my book.  I can’t stress enough how wonderful this book is at providing you with solid, specific, practical ideas that you can implement right now.

Definitely give it a try.  I think this is something I’ll be referencing for the rest of our homeschooling days.

Sweet Giveaway: UPrinting Business Cards


It’s giveaway time!!!! Business cards are quickly becoming a must in today’s world, and not just for traditional business owners.

Moms have calling cards, bloggers have business cards, it’s a great way to let your brand shine through and get your contact information in the right hands.

UPrinting {they have great stuff!} is giving away business cards! 250 to be exact!

Here are all the details:

  • 250pcs Die-cut Business Cards for one winner
  • 2×3.5″ Rounded Corners, 2×2″ Rounded Corners, 1.75×3.5″ Rounded Corners, 2×3.5″ Leaf, 2×3.5 Rounded one corner, 2×3.5″ Half Circle Side, 2×3.5″ Oval, 2.5″ Circle
  • 14pt Cardstock Gloss / Matte / High Gloss (UV), or 13pt Cardstock Uncoated
  • 6 Business Days Turnaround time
  • Free US shipping only

Exciting!!!  Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

True Confessions:  You should assume that the owner of this blog received compensation in exchange for the post. Any and all reviews posted are based solely on my own experience and may be atypical. Please practice due diligence in making any related purchase decisions.

The Better

This post makes more sense if you read yesterday’s post first!

I’m working to make Sweet Phenomena better. There is always room for improvement, and I’m ready to reassess and refocus my attention here.

So, what will be better?

I’m an eclectic homeschooler who started out of necessity.  I’m a mom who never thought I’d be doing this.  Part of the problem with homeschool blogging for me is that I’ve been trying to be something I’m not.  I’m not a faith-based homeschooler.

That, to me, brings about its own unique set of circumstances.  There have to be other folks out there like me.  Have to.  Right?

So one thing I’d like to do is blog more intentionally about the joys, trials, curricula, and life of homeschoolers like me.

Most of that will apply to the vast majority of homeschoolers, since I think many of us use a combination of faith-based resources, lapbooks, and a variety of other resources.

Review blogging has taken time away from blogging about domestic violence awareness.  I’ve got some great long-term goals related to this subject, and it’s time to focus more on it.

That means more intentional blogging about domestic violence awareness.

I also enjoy the flexibility that “lifestyle” blogging allows.  I enjoy talking about stuff that’s going on in our life, and stuff that might be of benefit to other families.

So, I’ll definitely keep lifestyle blogging here.

I think all of this encompasses what I want here: a blog about the things that make life sweet, a blog about the everyday moments that make life phenomenal, a blog about making a difference, a blog about looking at life with a touch of pizzazz.

The majority of this is in line with the goals I had for 2012 anyway, but I really feel Blissdom helped me realign my priorities.

Stick around. There are some great things coming in the next couple of months…

Sweet Critique: Don’t Clog the Blog

dont clog the blog dos and donts of blogging ebookHow do I…? What should I…? What is…?

If you’re a blogger, chances are you’ve asked questions like these.  About a variety of topics.  To anyone who would listen.

In my opinion, even if you blog for yourself or your friends, you want your little corner of the ‘net to reflect you, to look good and be easy to navigate.  Otherwise you wouldn’t spend time doing it.

I remember starting my blog and having so many questions.  Sure, you can find answers via Google.  I do remember having to sift through tons of it though.

For this reason, I think Sadie Lankford’s new ebook, Don’t Clog the Blog, is a great resource for those looking to perfect their craft.

Sadie’s book is full of small morsels of information, what to do and what not to do, and it’s very easy to digest.  One of the best things about the book is the fact that Sadie states at the beginning that blogging is a personal thing, and there are exceptions to every rule.  What’s most important is to stay true to who you are.

Using this guiding principle, you can read through the ebook and learn what tips best apply to you, such as how often to post, what to write about, and the best way to use social media.

Want to get your blog going quickly and efficiently? This is the ebook for you!

True Confessions:  I was provided with a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.