Category Archives: Breaking news

Life is on pause

2016-07-16 20.31.28

My entire life has been on pause for the past few months.   Sometimes a pause can be a short little pause and sometimes it can be a little longer than a week.  I did not plan for this pause to be so long, but life is too short and I really want to enjoy this time with my family.  At the moment, I am busy making memories with my family and enjoying some time off that I deserve.  I hope that it does not keep you away from coming back to my blog.  Just know that I will be back soon.

Until then, enjoy your summer! Make those memories last for a lifetime!  See you soon Charis by Design fans!



Rock my hair: L’oreal Everpure Sulphate-free Review

loreal pic

Here is the deal….my hair is really curly and dry.  I have switched over shampoo several times trying to find one that would not dry out my hair.  Because I  wash my hair several times within a week, my hair is very dry and brittle.  At first, I was a bit hesitant to try out these products because I am very cautious as to what products I actually use on my hair.  I feel like not all products are created equal so I do not just get any product to experiment on my hair. However, this particular shampoo got my attention because it is sulfate free product. Usually, I try to write a review on a product pretty quickly.  But, I wanted to give it at least two weeks of trial before I can give my honest review on this product.  I am not going to lie and say that I was not excited about getting products from L’Oreal, but I was really thrilled.  The fact that they included a leave-in and a hair mask actually gave them more credentials in my eyes.  They really understood the importance of always using leave-in and hair mask so your hair can repair from all the damage of hair dye among so many other chemicals.  I love the packaging, but I love the smell the most.  It smells like mint rosemary and it leaves you feeling soft.  Here is a little known fact about L’oreal Everpure from the manufacturer: EverPure Repair & Defend is our first sulfate-free color-care system for damaged, color-treated hair.  Formulated with our exclusive Antioxidant Complex- Acai, Goji and a UV Filter – our system helps repair damaged hair while protecting from daily color aggressors like UV rays, water and heat styling.  Hair is 3X stronger, more resistant and helps color stay pure wash after wash. Overall, I feel that L’oreal Everpure fulfills my expectation! It does not leave my hair feeling dry and brittle.  So far, the products that I have received has been doing a great job at repairing my damaged hair. I received these products complimentary for testing purposes but all opinions are my own. Have you tried L’oreal Everpure collection? If so, which one have you tried? Check out my video!

Borghese Makeup Review

borghese watermark

I was so thrilled to get a package from Borghese!! It was filled with gorgeous goodies and it was packaged so elegantly.  The presentation of the makeup really captivated my attention.

My experience: These are some of the best eyeshadows that I have tried so far.  The pigmentation is great except the light colors can be a little too light if you have fair skin.  These are great colors for an every day use.  The darker colors make a great smoky eye for those nights out with friends or a date night.  Smoky eyes are hard to do if you do not have the right eye shadow combination.

The name of the product that I received was the Eclissare Color Eclipse Five Shades of Torrid.  (Retail at $29).  It is a small palette packed with five neutral shades with an assortment of mattes, pearls and metallics.  The eyeshadows are smooth and they last longer than other shadows that I have tried in the past.  At first I was a little hesitant because I personally have never heard of Borghese.  They apply smoothly and effortlessly and it does not require a primer to intensify or for longevity.  Although I have to say that primer does help bring the color out.  The best part that I really enjoyed was that there was no fading and it was not too powdery.  I dislike shadows that are too powdery because when you are in a rush in the morning you really do not want to get your clothes dirty as you are trying to get ready.

The downside of this product has to be that they are a little bit difficult to find at stores.  You can find at Bloomingdales, Lord and Taylor and online stores.  You can also find it on Amazon.  Below is the link if you would like to make a purchase today at Amazon.

Clear Creek Mountain

soapI have always wanted to learn to make my own soap.  The kind of soap that does not have too much chemicals but still leaves your body nourished.  But, the problem is that time is always against me.  A very close friend of mine has been making some amazing soap and I wanted to share it with my readers.  If you are looking for all natural soaps, then you are going to love Clear creek mountain soap.  I was drawn to her soaps because it is hand-made, all natural and so beautifully presented.

Below is her story how she started her company:

I’m a veterinarian by day and soap-maker by night.  I began doing this at the request of my husband, Stephen. During his years in research science, he developed a distain for products composed of materials with questionable safety.  In particular, he wanted us to switch to soaps that did not contain triclosan, an antimicrobial and antifungal agent used in many soaps and detergents.  The following is an excerpt from the FDA on triclosan:

“Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation. Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.”

I believe in being responsible with what we put on our bodies and into the environment.  I make my soap in small batches, entirely by hand and with only the purest ingredients; they do not contain any preservatives, bleaches, or fillers. My base formula includes high quality oils such as olive & coconut for a gentle, nourishing bar of soap as well as castor oil to suspend the lather.  Our sensitive skin soaps (Oatmeal, Honey, and Milk Soap and Naked Soap) also include shea butter and locally sourced goat’s milk for extra moisturizing.   The colors you see are the result of a mixture of spices, clays, or charcoal – no chemicals here!  And I use only the highest quality essential oils and fragrance oils from Bramble Berry.


What I’ve come up with are a handful of soaps that I’m really proud of. They look and smell beautiful and I hope you’ll enjoy using them as much as I’ve enjoyed making them!




I share with my readers what I believe are really great products.  The holidays are around the corner and this is a great gift to give to friends, family or colleagues.

Did you enjoy this post? Let me know in the comments below!

ZooBoo Kids Review at Tampa Lowry Park Zoo 2015

goat revise

The best opportunity was presented to do a very exciting blog review for Lowry Park’s annual zoo boo.  Upon arrival, they give the kids bags so they can go trick or treating around the zoo.  The kids got excited just knowing that they will get candy.  As soon as you enter the zoo, there is music to greet you; the kids really loved this.  What kid does not love to dance to music? I think it is a great way to get the kids started.

The petting zoo was one of their favorite spots.  They got to feed them and touch them in person.  It was nice seeing them not being afraid of petting the animals.  My son really loved feeding the goats.

pumpkin revise





We also had a chance to do the fun house and my son was really excited about it.  As we walked through the fun house we made it a fun time and the kids didn’t get scared at all.



There are so many Halloween attractions to go with your little ones.  Between the trick or treat, fun house, and rides the kids will really enjoy going to the zoo without getting scared.

Keep exploring new activities for your little ones!



ZooBoo Kids at Tampa Lowry Park Zoo


Are you looking for something fun to do with your kids?  An event will keep your little ones smiling and not frightened.  Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is introducing a fun event for your little ones.  It’s an all new ZooBoo, just for kids! Ideal for little boys and “ghouls” (age 11 & under), ZooBoo KIDS is a Halloween treat for families. Go batty with extended hours on select nights and “fright free” festivities like a trick-or-treat trail, corn maze, creepy critter encounters, friendly character appearances, fall photo opportunities, Halloween-themed games, festive seasonal decor and a Monster Mash dance party.


ZooBoo is included with your daytime admission

On designated days, guests can watch some of the Zoo’s animals have a smashing good time too with pumpkin toss enrichments. ZooBoo KIDS activities are included with paid Zoo admission or Zoo membership.

Below is the list of dates for ZooBoo Kids Event:

  • Saturday, October 10th
  • Sunday, October 11th
  • Saturday, October 17th
  • Sunday, October 18th
  • Friday, October 23rd
  • Saturday, October 24th
  • Sunday, October 25th
  • Monday, Octoboer 26th
  • Friday, October 30th
  • Saturday, October 31st
  • Sunday, November 1st

What time does it start?

ZooBoo Kids adventure starts from 1pm- 7pm.

Visit for a schedule of events.


About Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is featured among the “Top 25 Zoos in the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015) and “10 Best Zoos in the U.S.” by Trekaroo (2015). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with extended hours on select nights during special events.

Admission prices

Adult – $27.95, seniors (60+) – $25.95, children ages 3-11 – $20.95, and children 2 and under are free. Parking is free.

Visit or call (813) 935-8552 for information.

Please make sure to follow Tampa Lowry Park Zoo  on Facebook  and Twitter to stay updated with all the events.

$3 OFF ZOO ADMISSION – Enjoy $3 off Zoo admission and spend the day visiting more than 1,000 animals on 56 acres of lush, natural habitats! Offer valid for up to 4 guests per original coupon presented. Coupon not combinable with any other offers. No cash value. Valid only during daytime hours; not valid for special events. Prices subject to change without notice. Discount not applicable to AAA rates. Expires 12/31/2015. @usfg

Covergirl super size mascara and Intensify me eyeliner review

covergirl product

Every girl loves to have long beautiful lashes to give your eyes a little pop to your makeup.  This mascara promises flirty, luscious, bold and long lashes.  Mascara is definitely an important step in my book when applying makeup.

The packaging came in with bright colors and a thick tube that is actually rather large compared to other mascaras that I have owned in the past.  It has bristles that really guide the lashes and leaves it looking beautiful.

I was really impressed with the volume and how long my lashes looked after I applied the mascara.  There was no accident under the eyes as I usually do with other mascaras.  It did get a little clumpy but not that much where it was unbearable.  This mascara does not claim to be waterproof so if you are looking for a mascara that is waterproof then this is not the one.  But, I do have to say that it does not come off that easily.  You will need to use makeup remover or solution for it to come out smoothly.

As for the eyeliner, it has a paddle-ship to create a thick or think line.  I was a little hesitant at the beginning, but I like products that you can use in different t ways.  The eyeliner applied very smoothly and I was amazed how easy it gave me a look of liquid eyeliner, but it was not the liquid eyeliner.  It did last me a few hours, but I wish it would have lased a little longer.

For the few hours that I had the eyeliner, it did not look dry or cracked.  I was able to remove it with eye makeup removal but soap and water did not really work for me.









Would I recommend this mascara? Absolutely! This mascara did the job in my opinion and it did not irritate my eyes which is a huge plus for me! There are so many mascaras that I have tried that really irritate my eyes.  It really did elongate my lashes and made them more noticeable.

Disclaimer: Covergirl Super Size Mascara and Intensify me Eyeliner was provided to me for reviewing purposes only.  My opinions are my own and I like to give my readers and honest opinion on every review.


How to deep condition your child’s curly hair

hair photo

Depending on the type of hair your child has, you should start a deep conditioner routine.  I started this routine when she was three and I noticed that her hair was becoming curlier than ever.  It also meant that it was becoming really tangled. Deep conditioning is vital especially if your child has curly hair.  It is one of the most important steps to keep your child’s hair healthy.

 How often do you deep condition your child’s hair?

It really depends upon your child’s hair type and how much it really needs to be hydrated.  Simply, the more you condition their hair the healthier and shinier it is going to look.  I particularly condition my daughter’s hair at least twice a week.  And if we go to the pool or to the beach, then I condition it four times that week.  Let’s face it, those chemicals can be really hard on their sensitive little scalp.

What type of conditioner should I use for my child? 

There really is no “one way” to approach their hair because every hair is different. So it’s about taking the time to get to know  your child’s hair.  Once you get to know the hair then you can assess whether you should just buy a conditioner or if you really need to cater to the child’s needs.  Sometimes you may just need to make a special conditioner just for their hair but you are the only one that will know what he or she really needs.  There are so many different types of conditioners that you can make from home.  The beauty about the internet is that every recipe that you can think of is at your fingertips.

Should I use heat to deep condition or just let it set on the hair?

You know your child more than anyone.  If they can sit under a hair dryer, then go for it! It is the best way that the conditioner can really penetrate the scalp.  But if your child is not accustomed to that, then no worries.  Just apply the conditioner and place a plastic cap over their head and let them play with water while they have the conditioner on their heads.  Another tip is to let them roam around the house for a while and then rinse off later.  You can leave it for 30 minutes or less.  It is really at your discretion how long to leave the conditioner.  The tip is to not leave it overnight.

Have you started deep conditioning your child’s hair? Please share the conditioner that you like to use or if you make your own conditioner.


Fun trip to Tampa Lowry Park Zoo


I thought Tampa Lowry Park Zoo was going to be a small sized zoo but it turns out that it’s not a small zoo at all and has a lot of very unique and fun exhibits to see for the whole family.

Zoominations (A chinese lantern festival) is now featured in Tampa Lowry Park Zoo and it is absolutely a feast for the eyes! The kids really enjoyed looking at the lanterns being displayed and the dragons that were shown all around the zoo.


We got to see giraffes, elephants, rhinos and so much more.  You have the opportunity to participate in a giraffe feeding which is an amazing experience to get up close and personal with these beautiful animals.


In the exhibit called Primate world, you will find many endangered species like orangutans and chimp.  My kids loved the chimps and watching them just walk around.

There are two outdoor Aviaries that allows you to enjoy a variety of exotic birds in a free flying setting.  My little girl loved the “pink birds” is how she called them.  She loved to see them walking around so close where she could almost touch them.









Lowry Park Zoo is unique because it has several amusement park rides that are scattered throughout the zoo.  It has a carousel, small roller coaster, bumper boats, and a few other kiddie rides that the kids would absolutely enjoy.  The Wallaroo section has even a section for the kids to get refreshed with a splashing zone.  It has in-ground fountains and an interactive splash zone.  My kids absolutely loved this part of the park.










Because of the hot weather (even though it was in May), the splashing zone was a great addition to the park to get the kids refreshed and jumping around in the water.


On May 11, 2002 Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo introduced Wallaroo Station, a 4.5 acre Australian-themed family area, where thousands of families with young children have enjoyed an interactive Australian adventure. The hands-on, family-friendly features helped the Zoo secure top honors from two national parenting magazines: Parents, “10 Best Zoos,” (2009); and Child, “The 10 Best Zoos for Kids” (2004).

Earlier this year, Wallaroo Station temporarily closed for remodeling – the first significant updating of this award-winning attraction in its 13 year history. Newly re-opened for spring, guests to the “new Wallaroo” can expect this Aussie area to be even more “Auss-ome” with new animals and upgraded amenities, including:

* a female Queensland koala named “Ceduna” (a mate for our male “Heathcliff”);

* “Bushland Birds” habitat with feathered friends and Fiji-banded iguanas;

* more water features in “The Billabong” splash ground;

* redesigned cafe with “grab and go” food and beverage;

* expanded dining area with additional seats and shade canopies;

* a new nursing mothers area with baby-friendly features;

* a new and fun ride for young children – Lil’ Joeys Caravan;

* new midway games and activities;

* ponies on parade (twice daily) and a goat show; and

* livestock training demonstrations with ponies and llamas.


Take a trip to the “Land of Oz” and visit a variety of animals of Australia and its neighbors including koala, wallabies, cockatoos, emu, singing dogs and flying fox bats. Help welcome the newest Aussie additions – a female Queensland koala named “Ceduna,” colorful birds and Fiji-banded iguanas, and take a walkabout with the wallabies in their walk-thru exhibit. The petting area features a herd of friendly goats that children can brush, pet and feed. Adjacent to the petting area, families can step into a barn that houses Haflinger horses and llamas. Don’t miss the new daily pony parade, goat show and livestock training demonstrations!


The newly upgraded “Billabong” water play area takes kids “down under” to an interactive splash zone with in-ground fountains and free standing water features. Try your hand at new midway games with the chance to win prizes and souvenirs, or go mining for gems and fossils at the new Hopper’s Mining Company.


Children can take a spin on one of five fun rides: the NEW Lil Joey’s Caravan, Tasmanian Tiger Family Roller Coaster, Overland Express Kiddie Train, Boomer’s Flyin’ Bananas and Outback Bumper Boats.


Parents can enjoy added shade while their little joeys cool off in the water play area. Next door is Boomer’s Cafe, a redesigned grab-and-go restaurant offering a variety of freshly prepared foods and drinks. A “mommy center,” designed for nursing mothers, provides shade and privacy for infants and caregivers.

About Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and has been rated No. 1 by Parents magazine, “10 Best Zoos,” (2009) and Child magazine, “The 10 Best Zoos for Kids” (2004). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Parking is free. Visit or call (813) 935-8552 for information. Also find the Zoo on Facebook and Twitter.

Enjoy the Savings! Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has offered to give my readers $3 off Zoo Admission! @LowryParkZoo @usfg

Fun indoor games for your kids

paul walking Technology is a great thing but I feel like sometimes it gets in the way of bonding with my kids.  Between television and computers,  it seems like everyone is going off doing their own thing.  It’s hard to stop what you are doing sometimes and just take the time to play with your kids or just talk to them.  But, if you have a hard time to just sit down with them, then here are some ideas on things that you can do with your kids.

1.  Building stuff.  Kids love to build anything from castles to pirate ships.  You can build anything out of blocks or boxes.  You just have to use a little imagination

2.  Indoor bowling is always a fun activity to do! You can purchase one but there are always  fun ways to make your own.  A creative way to make your own is by taking water plastic bottles and line them up to play some bowling ball.  If you want to make it challenging then you can fill it up half way with some water and it will make it a little harder.  The kids would love it!

3.  Simon says: My kids can play this game for hours.  This is a great game to play not only for fun but because it also teaches them to follow directions and instructions.

4.  Indoor basketball is a great way to get the kids moving and it really doesn’t matter if they are old enough.  It’s a great opportunity to for you to also bond with the kids.

5.  Board games is an oldie but a goodie.  Don’t let computers replace the feel of just playing board games.  I feel like it’s a different experience when you play and feel the game as opposed to just playing the games through a computer.

In my opinion, the most important lesson to teach your kids is to teach them that is not all about winning but about having fun.  The kids are so young at this point and some kids can be very competitive.  Honestly, my kids are very competitive at such a young age and I am still teaching them about learning to play and have fun.

Use your imagination and be creative! Send in pictures or more ideas of fun things you do with your family.

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