Archives for June 1, 2014

SuperSwizz Spiral Slicer Easy & Fun to use!

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This product is so fun and easy to use! Did I say fun? Yes, I did! Now, I can easily make veggie spaghetti out of squash and zucchini. I am having fun trying different veggies with this! Cucumbers didn’t work quite as well as the squash but basically it works with most of the veggies I have tried. This is a Must-Have for making salads. The SuperSwizz is just easy to use and easy to clean. It is a great kitchen tool for healthier eating and even my son will eat more veggies this way. I’m not a big fan of carrots but I like them in my salads now!

More information:

SuperSwizz Spiral Slicer: Stainless Steel Vegetable Spiralizer with Special Japanese Blades 2 Julienne Sizes, Perfect Spiral Cutter for Low Carb Healthy Vegetable Meals – Best Spirelli Julienne Super Cutter for various Veggies such as Zucchini, Paderno & Carrots – As seen on numerous cooking shows it’s Perfect for Low Carb Heart Healthy meals – With Manual and Cleaning Brush

  • ★ Top Quality Spiral Slicer – Spiralizer with Bonus Brush for Easy Cleaning

    ★ Feature: Special, sturdy Japanese blades made of stainless steel Create endless Julienne strips Two Julienne sizes – 2×3 mm and 3.5×5 mm Dishwasher – safe Stainless steel / plastic

    ★ Easy and quick to operate, small enough to fit into your kitchen drawer, and works better than expensive spiral cutter products

    ★ Comes complete with a KITCHEN BRUSH, DETAILED OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS.

    ★ Designed to make raw vegetable “pastas” with ease from carrots, zucchinis and the like, the SuperSwizz Spiral Slicer is the perfect gadget for raw foodists. From veggie spaghetti, easy stir fry, to fancy garnishes for the sushi plate, this spiral cutter makes it all so easy. It is ideal for making curly strands of firm vegetables, creating garlands of vegetables, making stunning salads and food preparations. Creating easy and healthly meals –

    ★Simply use this vegetable spiralizer like a pencil sharpener. There will be a little leftover (like a pencil-sized core) which you can easily slice as normal. SuperSwizz Spiral vegetable slicer can cut spirals in 2 thicknesses (2x3mm & 3.5x5mm).

Available on Amazon.com.

 

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Looking for a great gift for New Moms and Moms-to-be? Baby Mantra Calming Massage Oil, the perfect at-home or in-hospital remedy for aching feet, shoulders and neck.

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A favorite among moms and babies alike, Calming Massage Oil is a highly moisturizing and non-greasy formula that restores skin’s natural balance and is ideal to use before or after baby’s bath. With key ingredients like Apricot Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Jojoba, Avocado Oil, Soy Bean Oil and Orange Peel Oil, the Calming Oil is made in the U.S.A.

We received a sample of this and it really is great on aching feet! Since I don’t have a little one I figured that I would try it out myself and I really like that it is non-greasy and left my feet feeling soft.

Price: $12.50 and is available at BabyMantra.com and Diapers.com.

About Baby Mantra: A certified natural, cruelty-free and gluten-free baby skincare line, Baby Mantra offers environmentally conscious products from ingredients to packaging. Inspired by all-natural home-based remedies from their childhood, Baby Mantra was created by two sisters on a mission to provide safe and ecologically sound skincare for moms and babies everywhere.

Self Disclosure: I received a product sample to facilitate this feature but any opinions expressed are my own.

ISLAND PACKERS CRUISES INVITES FUN SEEKING EXPLORERS TO VENTURE OFFSHORE WITH DINNER, DRINKS AND LIVE MUSIC

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Since 1968, Island Packer Cruises has provided Southern California locals and visitors with steadfast, enjoyable transportation between the Ventura/Oxnard Harbors and the Channel Islands National Park & Marine Sanctuary. Over the years, Island Packers has grown and so have its vessels – now larger, faster and more comfortable than ever before.

 

Special Saturday Summer Harbor Cruises:

Tickets are available for two hour cruises from Ventura Harbor with Island Packers now through October on selected Saturdays.  Island Packers offers several wine tasting, beer tasting and dinner cruises with live music and appetizers with selected wineries and brewery’s scheduled.  Savor food from Milano’s Italian Restaurant, The Greek at the Harbor, The Rhumbline Restaurant or Anacapa Brewery and cruise the Ventura Harbor and marina’s.

 

The cruise departs from Island Packers at 1691 Spinnaker Drive aboard a 64’ power catamaran with seating inside lower cabin and upper cabin.  Guests can choose from a number of trips which feature various musicians playing jazz, blues, eclectic, rock n roll, and more.

 

Island Packers Dinner Cruise offers live music and dinner by Milano’s Italian Restaurant, The Greek at the Harbor or Anacapa Brewing Company.  The cruise Includes one appetizer, dinner, dessert and one free beverage of choice.  Wines produced by local wineries are served and available for purchase.

Cruise the harbor, marinas and the Ventura Keys.

 

All trips depart at 7 p.m. and return by 9:00 p.m. *Fare is $ 56 adult, $ 52 senior (55+), $43.00 child (12 and under).

 

June 28                  Blues with Blue Stew Trio

Asiago Cheese Dip with vegetables & homemade beer bread.
Bruschetta chicken breast, rice pilaf & summer vegetables, vinaigrette mixed green salad with pine nuts & gorgonzola cheese and Crème brulee for dessert from Anacapa Brewing Company

 

July 26                   Tribute to Johnny Cash with Mighty Cash Cats Band

Tri tip and chicken skewers, oven roasted potatoes, steamed carrots, caesar salad, sourdough bread and Baklava cheesecakefrom the Greek at the Harbor Restaurant

 

 

– More –

 

 

August 23             Blues with Blue Stew Trio

Shrimp Cocktail, and fresh rock shrimp served south of the Border style,
Caesar Salad, BBQ St. Louis Ribs & Chicken, corn on the cob & Macaroni & cheese,
and White Chocolate Bread Pudding from Anacapa Brewing Company

September 27      Harmony Traditional and Acoustic Rock Music with The Catawailer’s

Bacon Wrapped Dates, Chicken Piccata with pasta roma, Venetian baby green salad, foccacia bread, and brownies from Milano’s Italian Restaurant

 

October 18           Acoustic Rock & Blues with Teresa Russell & Stephen Geyer

Hummus and pita bread, shrimp & tri tip skewers, rice, sautéed mix vegetables, caesar salad, bread, and baklava cheesecake from the Greek at the Harbor Restaurant

Beer or Wine Tasting Cruises:  

Include five tastings, appetizers, music, and one complimentary beverage of your choice.

Time: Departs at 7 p.m. and returns by 9 p.m.

Cost: $42 adult, $38 senior (55+)

 

July 12                   Beer Tastings with Island Brewery, variety of gourmet grill cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and mac n cheese appetizers from 805 Bar & Grill Cheese Acoustic Rock & Blues with Teresa Russell

 

August 9               Wine Tastings with Boccali’s Vineyard Winery & Milano’s Italian Restaurant catering appetizers (Salmon ceviche, shrimp, chicken skewers, marguerite pizza, bacon wrapped dates, basil caprese, grilled asparagus, artichoke dip and foccacia bread)                                                                                                                            Classic Jazz, R & B with guitarist Steven Sunnarborg

 

September 13      Wine Tasting with Herzog Winery & Rhumbline Restaurant providing pepperoni, prosciutto, olives, pepperoncini, mushrooms, cheeses, fruit, nuts and crackers & lemon cheesecake bites. Classic Jazz, R & B with Steven Sunnarborg

 

October 4             Beer Tasting and appetizers with Anacapa Brewing Company Restaurant providing asiago cheese dip with homemade beer bread, teriyaki chicken skewers, asian slaw, Chicago sausage, mac n cheese and creme brulee. World Class bluegrass fiddler with Phil Salazar

 

Friday, 4th of July Cruises:  Departs from Ventura Harbor at 7p.m., returns at 10p.m.   Boat will cruise the coast to Oxnard Harbor for viewing of fireworks at 9 p.m.   Crossing can be rough and not for everyone.  Includes one complimentary beverage.  Snack bar for food and snacks and beverages for sale.

Fare is $35 adult, $32 senior (55+), and $24 child (12 & under)

 

No outside alcohol permitted on board our cruises.  Recommend to dress warm, casual and no high heels.  Plan to enjoy the Ventura Harbor Village before or after your cruise.  For details of all harbor cruises, visit our web site www.islandpackers.com or call 805-642-1393

 

ABOUT ISLAND PACKERS CRUISES

For schedules, directions, tickets and more information, visit http://www.islandpackers.com, or call (805) 642-1393. Excursion prices range are $59 adult, $54 senior, $41 child for island landings; wildlife and whale watching are $36 adult, $32 senior, $26 child.   Gift cards are available over the phone or at the Island Packers office.  Office hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

Teen Volunteers Sought For Summer Adventures Day Camp at Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site

Local teenagers are invited to volunteer as Summer Adventures day camp counselors. The program, now in its 7th year, serves children ages 6-11. The camp, located on the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic site, runs in three week-long historically themed sessions, beginning on July 14th.

 

Interested teens must attend a Teen Volunteer Opportunities Meeting on Wednesday, June 25th. Meetings will be held from 10 AM to 11:30 AM, or from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM. Completed paperwork must be submitted by noon on the following day. If selected, teens must attend a mandatory training session on Wednesday, July 9th from 9 AM to 3:30 PM, and commit to volunteering for one week-long camp session.

                                                                                            

Summer Adventure campsare designed to allow today’s urban children to learn about history by ‘doing’ history.   A typical Summer Adventures camp includes so many fun experiences that the participants barely recognize how much they’re learning. Teen volunteers will assist children with craft projects and activities, including stomping mud, sculpting with clay, planting seedlings, making bird houses, designing brands, churning butter, making tortillas, dipping candles, and weaving bookmarks. Each week will have a slightly different focus, and present a different set of activities, providing a unique experience for both children and teens who attend multiple weeks.

 

“This remarkable volunteer opportunity allows teens to complete meaningful service-learning work,” notes Volunteer Coordinator Jan Shafer, “so it is something that looks great on college applications, while simultaneously helping teens develop their self-confidence and unique talents.  Both of these are noteworthy advantages to today’s high-school students.”

 

Rancho Los Cerritos is located at 4600 Virginia Road in Long Beach.  Built in 1844, the adobe home and grounds echo with the rich history of Spanish, Mexican, and American California and with the families who helped transform Southern California from its ranching beginnings to the modern, urban society it is today. The two-story Monterey-style adobe is primarily furnished to reflect occupants and lifestyles from the 1860s-1880s.

 

The site, a National, State and Long Beach Historic Landmark, also includes historic gardens and a research library and archives. The Rancho is operated by the Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation in private-public partnership with the City of Long Beach.  For more information please call (562) 570-1755, or visit the website at www.rancholoscerritos.org and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rancholosc.

 

Scooby-Doo and WWE Team Up in WrestleMania Mystery KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions, www.kidsfirst.org

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Scooby-Doo is a perennial favorite with school-aged kids and adults who have been life-long fans. The new shows, such as this one, are more hip than ever. And, of course, Scooby is beloved by all, including our KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Shelby R, age 14, who says, “Scooby is my second favorite character because I love his voice and he is a better fighter than Shaggy because his moves are so swift and smooth.” And, Justin S, age 16 added: We expected it to be a typical kiddy type of show but it actually isn’t.” See her full review below.

Scooby-Doo: Wrestlemania Mystery
Reviewed by Shelby R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

This movie is about Shaggy and Scooby winning a trip to WWE city to see WrestleMania.  The gang runs into trouble when Scooby is accused of stealing the WWE championship belt. Some of their new friends must prove Scooby’s innocence before it’s too late and the mysterious Ghost bear ruins the main event.  Daphne (Grey DeLisle) is my favorite character because she is in love with John Cena and it reminds of me of myself when I have a big crush on a celebrity.  I love when she confesses to Fred that she gave John her phone number, cellular number, email address and home address.  That is pretty funny and cute and – Fred gets jealous. Scooby (Frank Welker) is my second favorite character because I love his voice and he is a better fighter than Shaggy because his moves are so swift and smooth.

I enjoyed the wrestling scenes in this movie, especially when Scooby is dreaming of being in a video game and he is up against a slice of a pizza, two delicious hotdogs and a huge cup of soda.

My favorite scene is Scooby playing the bonus level of the video game by doing Sin Cara’s victory dance because Scooby has some nice dance moves.  I is really cool to see WWE city animated because you get to experience what it is like to be a wrestler and what it is like to see a fight in the stadium. The upbeat music allows the audience to feel the excitement of the opponents. My least favorite part is the beginning because it takes forever to get to the plot and I is confusing for the first 30 minutes of the film.

The moral of the film is to not allow one’s anger to turn into revenge.  It’s okay to be angry. It is not okay to act on the anger and make bad decisions.  Parents should be aware that there are fighting scenes and a Ghost bear before allowing small children to view this movie.  I recommend this movie for ages nine year to 18 years. I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars.

Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery
By Justin Storey, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

 

To all cartoon fans, WWE fans and even Scooby-Doo fans, this might just be the best news that you’ve heard yet this year! WWE Studios and Warner Bros Productions releases another surprising and startling movie – “Scooby-Doo WrestleMania Mystery.” If you’re wondering why we said surprising, well that’s because it is! Who would have thought that Warner Bros productions would partner Scooby-Doo with WWE?

“Scooby-Doo WrestleMania Mystery” is actually a pretty cool film to watch.  It made us smile at moments, laugh at moments and even scared at moments. We expected it to be a typical kiddy type of show but it actually isn’t. The unexpected happens. The movie is very interesting and they unexpectedly keep the villain and ghost mystery involved but this time it was with WWE superstars such as Triple H, John Cena, Kane and The Miz – just to name a few. Watching WWE Superstars in a “Scooby-Doo” movie is fascinating in every way. What happens when WWE Superstars are put in the same city with villains and the Scooby Doo gang?

Here is what happens, when Scooby and the gang win tickets to the WrestleMania event, they all travel through a wacky mysterious machine that gets them to WWE city. A lot of mysterious things are going on that lead them all to figuring out the Mystery. The movie offers cool visual animated effects especially in the chase scenes. Now is your chance. You can figure the mystery out with Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, Fred and all your favorite WWE Super stars. The Storey twins give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. It is interesting, funny and kept us tuned in and you don’t need to be a Scooby-Doo fan to enjoy it.  SCOOBY-DOO Where are you?

Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions

X-Men: Days of Future Past – Probably the Best X-Men Film Yet KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions, www.kidsfirst.org

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The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants. “I’ve been waiting for this movie for a while and what a payoff,: exclaims KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer B., age 13. Raven D, age 16, adds, “This film is absolutely epic. I have been a fan of the X-Men from the very beginning and, seeing the cast from the original films right along side the younger cast of “X-Men: First Class” is amazing.” See their full reviews below.

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Reviewed by Raven D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

X-Men: Days of Future Past is the newest installment in the “X-Men” series. The world is in a war unlike any we have ever seen before. With the government targeting mutants and any human who tries to help them, the earth has been set into a futuristic holocaust. The main weapon being utilized to hunt down the mutants are the Sentinels –  war machines with the ability to adapt to any mutant power, making them invisible. What made all of this possible is the DNA of a mutant named Raven, also know as Mystique. Now, with the power of the Sentinels, the entire mutant population faces extinction. The X-Men who are still alive (from the original group) call upon the assistance of a small group of mutants to help them end the war. They send Logan / Wolverine, back in time to the 70s to stop the original event that set this war into motion. It is up to Logan to convince the younger versions of his mutant comrades to change their ways before it’s too late, otherwise the future has a darker fate then ever.

 

This film is absolutely epic. I have been a fan of the X-Men from the very beginning and, seeing the cast from the original films right along side the younger cast of “X-Men: First Class” is amazing. The cinematography and special effects in this film are gorgeously stunning. From the first scene, the crispness of the images and the way each unique mutant power is brought to life on the screen is completely breathtaking. It is interesting to see how the war of the future is shown in this film. All mutants are branded with the letter M across their faces and are being forced into camps along with any humans who have assisted them to be slaughtered and dumped into mass graves. This completely reminded me of a futuristic holocaust and immediately set a serious tone for the film. Most of the movie is set in the 70s and involves quite a few public political events. Whenever there is an incident involving a mutant, the cinematography changes to look like a live filming of the original event. This is a very cool aspect of the film. When the visuals change to a vintage, grainy, hand-held look, it adds to the realistic feeling of what is happening. The soundtrack is amazing, of course, and completes the feel of the film by carrying the emotions and climaxes of each scene.

 

My favorite character is Quicksilver, played by the incredible Evan Peters. I am so thrilled that he is in this movie. Evan Peters is my all-time, favorite actor and is in some of my favorite films and TV shows such as “American Horror Story” and “An American Crime.” So, I was very excited to see him in a film that I love so much. Quicksilver is a teen mutant with the power of super-speed. Not only can he move at the speed of light but he talks insanely fast and has a speedy personality with a sense of wit to match. Logan, a young Xavier and Beast go to him for assistance in freeing Magneto from the Pentagon. Quicksilver, being a bit of a kleptomaniac and a sucker for breaking the rules, jumps at the opportunity to break into the most heavily guarded building in the country. Quicksilver is so hilarious and entertaining to watch during the break-in to free Magneto and, even though he is only in a few scenes, he is such a memorably funny character.

 

My favorite scene is after Quicksilver frees Magneto and is now trying to escape the Pentagon with Xavier, Beast and Logan. They have a run in with a few guards and, right when it seems like it’s all over, Quicksilver comes to the rescue. Since he is so incredibly fast, the scene is in slow motion with Quicksilver running around at what appears to be normal speed. This is such a hilarious scene because he is so nonchalant about saving everyone. Not only does he casually move bullets aside so they miss his friends but, he takes his time to have some fun and mess with the security guards. He seems so pleased with himself the whole time and has a very funny air about him. I think Evan Peters does an amazing job of embodying this fun, mischievous and comical character.

 

Being a long time fan of these films, I believe I was able to get a lot more out of it than someone who may have not seen the previous films. This movie has so many old faces and characters that we haven’t seen in a while and there are quite a few inside jokes from past films. It is nice for the series to get back to its roots. I think that if you haven’t seen the older movies you may be confused about some of the characters and their importance to the film and its events. I saw this with my mom who has only seen the first X-Men film and I did have to fill her in on a few things throughout the movie. However, this film is so well done, the cast and characters are so phenomenal, the story line are so detailed and moving, the visuals are so incredible, that anyone will have a wonderful experience with this movie, regardless of your history with the previous films.

 

This movie does have some very heavy and dark situations, some graphic and violent images and profanity. Parts of this film get so dark that it lead me to believe many times that the outcome of the story line would be less than pleasant.  This film is rated PG-13 and I believe it is too intense for younger children. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and I will definitely see this again. Be sure to check it out in theaters now!

 

X-Men Days of Future Past

Reviewed by Keefer B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

 

X-traordinarily perfect! I’ve been waiting for this movie for a while and what a payoff.

The future, as we know it, is a wasteland for mutants: hunted and eliminated by the Sentinels. To stop this from ever happening, Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent into the past to prevent this dark outcome.

 

I adore the X-Men series and to see it again is beyond fantastic. Bringing back the original iconic actors such as Sir Patrick Stewart (Professor X) and Sir Ian McKellen (Magneto) makes me overjoyed! Even the younger versions of them – Micheal Fassbender and James McAvory are their own 3-dimensional characters because they’re not trying to be replicas of their older selves. Their interaction and relationships are strong and, just as in “X-Men First Class,” I love seeing Eric and Xavier just talking. These two started as friends and the film shows that perfectly. They have different pathways and ways to fix events but they never give up on each other.

 

The action and special effects in this film are grand. Showing different mutant powers is what made X-Men unique to begin with. It’s not entirely combat action, like “Avengers,” it’s more letting their powers do the work. Magneto slowly lifts an entire baseball stadium, which allows us to marvel at how powerful mutants can be.

 

The story is astounding! This film has to pick-up from the previous films and tie-up loose ends. Not only do they succeed but, they also remember little details. Example: the young Wolverine doesn’t have metal claws. They’re bone because he doesn’t get the metal ones until sometime in the future. Specifics like that add to how incredible this film is.

It can also confuse people who haven’t seen the other films. There are inside jokes and character connections that could be lost.

 

My favorite character is Quicksilver (Evan Peters), a mutant who has incredible speed.

This is by far the best representation of a comic-book character. Evan shows the mischievous and cocky side of Silver that is always a kick to watch.

 

My favorite scene is Quicksilver’s super speed sequence. This is when the team breaks Eric/Magneto out of a Pentagon prison and the group is cornered by security. Quicksilver, without a care in the world, pranks the guards by poking the bullets in mid-air, pulling their guns out of their hands and more. This is such an incredible ride that it just needs to be experienced.

 

The message of this film is, “Choices you make in the present, affect your future.” The whole reason for this story is that one careless act has changed the world forever. We need to think through the choices we make to have a bright future.

 

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 13- to 18 year-olds. This film shows dark images and language that is not intended for younger audiences.

 

Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions

 

Konjac Facial Sponge w/ Bamboo Charcoal 100% Natural & Eco-friendly by pureSOL Konjac Facial Sponge

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Konjac is a moisture rich plant fibre which is by nature alkaline, and thus balances the acidity of the skin’s impurities and oils. The unique net like structure of the sponge gently massages the skin, breaks down dirt, stimulates blood flow and new growth of skin cells. Leaving the skin extremely clean and refreshed!

pureSOL Konjac Sponge is unbelievably soft and excellent for all skin types! It is made of 100% pure vegetable fiber and processed without any coloring or additives, great for hypersensitive skin!

I received a product sample and it really does leave my skin feeling more hydrated, brighter and is great for my combination skin. I tend to have sensitive skin at times and this product even works extremely well on my skin. My skin feels so clean and the texture really feels softer.

More info:

IMPROVES SKIN TEXTURE: pureSOL Konjac Facial Sponge gently exfoliates while deep cleansing and removing any toxins and impurities, leaving you with a radiant complexion. It is extremely soft and gentle for everyday skin care. Great for all skin types.

BRIGHTER LOOKING SKIN: The natural woven fibers of the sponge gently massage the skin and stimulate blood flow. It detoxifies and encourages skin renewal while balancing the skins pH, leaving your skin extremely clean and refreshed!

PREVENTS SPOTS, BLACKHEADS AND BREAKOUTS: The added BAMBOO CHARCOAL contains activated carbon and essential minerals to deeply cleanse and absorb excess sebum, toxins and other harmful chemicals from your skin. You will see your pores getting smaller, tightening and brightening your skin.

100% NATURAL AND ECO-FRIENDLY: Why compromise your health with products that contain harsh chemicals and additives on your skin? pureSOL Konjac Sponge is completely natural, eco-friendly and free of parabens, sulphates & chemicals. It is biodegrade, cruelty free and vegan. After use, you can compost the sponge and feel good about the environment! You can even add it to your flower pot! At pureSOL our packaging is 90% compostable.

EASY-TO- HANG SUCTION HOOK: A must have for you konjac sponge! Perfect for hanging in a well-ventilated space so it’s dry and ready for you to use the following day. No more searching for something to hang your pureSOL Konjac Sponge on!

You can buy on Amazon and you can also find them on Facebook.
Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.