Author Archives: Lynn Marie

About Lynn Marie

Wife :: Mother :: Grandmother :: Blogger :: Product Reviewer :: #Dysautonomia #Fibromyalgia #InvisibleIllness #CFS #CPS #Hypoxia

Amazon TOS Changes :: Increase in Minimum Purchases to Write a Review, Again

Amazon TOS Changes :: Increase in Minimum Purchases to Write a Review, Again

I have just read that Amazon has changed their Customer Review Creation Guidelines once again. Last month we saw them make an addition to their TOS (Terms of Service) requiring anyone that wanted to leave a review for a product must first have spent a total of  $5.00 on Amazon using a valid credit or debit card. Prime subscriptions and promotional discounts wouldn’t go towards that minimum.

Today, that $5.00 change has been increased to a minimum of $50.00 total worth of purchases on a valid credit or debit card in order to be able to write a product review.

Amazon TOS changes

This link will take you to the complete Customer Creation Guidelines.

Up to that point, anyone who wanted to could write a product review. There have been 3 sets of lawsuits filed in the past year against companies and individuals that were paying for reviews or that used tactics on their product promotion websites that were against Amazon TOS.

Do you think the increase to $50.00 is warranted? It is steep but it will certainly curb the huge number of fake profiles being created in order to write reviews in exchange for money. Many Reviewers may feel this is targeted at the Reviewer Community but I see it as targeting unscrupulous Sellers who will try anything to manipulate their ranking.

As a reminder, any special Seller requests are against Amazon TOS.  Even if you refuse to do the request but receive a product from that Seller, your account is still in jeopardy.  When a Seller loses their account, Amazon is more than likely to also wipe all known Reviewers who have worked with them. Keyword Searches, Wishlisting, and Other Seller Requests are manipulation, plain and simple. This includes asking you to write and/or answer questions on a product listing. Amazon is not going to stop and ask who has participated in these things for certain Sellers, they are just going to wipe all of the Reviewers who are associated with them through writing reviews. Please, if a Seller asks you to do anything special, don’t do it. Let them know that what they are asking is against Amazon TOS, they may not know. If it is obvious they do know, report them.

What do you think? Leave a Comment below, would love to hear from you!


Life is about the map we follow and the treasure we find along the way


Product Review :: #AmazaPens 20 Pack Super Glitter

Product Review :: #AmazaPens 20 Pack Super Glitter


AmazaPens Gel Pens, 20 Pack Super Glitter | 150% More Ink than Other Sets | Best for Adding Sparkle to Your Adult Coloring Books and Art Projects


5 Star Glitter!

 

This set of glitter gel pens really is spectacular! They are incredibly smooth, much smoother than you would ever expect from a glitter gel pen. I go through a lot of coloring supplies, especially gel pens. After all, what girly girl who grew up in the 80’s could resist gel pens, especially ones with glitter? Along with a video review, I will be attaching a color chart, some blending examples, and a mandala I colored with these along with actual images of the gel pens themselves.

Advantages:

#amazapens
* Smooth, even ink that fills the fiber of the paper with deep color
* Medium point tip keeps the glitter and ink flowing without clogging
* 20 unique colors
* Nice comfort pen grip to help ease any strain from coloring too long
* No bleeding through to the back, a huge plus for these pens
* Ink dries quickly so no smearing under normal conditions BUT not so quickly that you can’t blend if you want to.
* Colors identified by the cap and by the end of pen
#amazapens gel pens* Write on a variety of different paper types including glossy paper
* Non-toxic and acid-free so can be used even for scrapbooking and anything else heirloom-related

Disadvantages:

* Like with most pens you use to color with, these will leave some lines on the page with some impressions so if you have something on the back of the page you want to preserve, you might want to make a copy of what you want to color instead of coloring in the book.

#amazapens color chartRecommendation:

* If you like glitter and you like gel pens, these are the perfect glitter gel pens for you. I love that they have 20 distinct colors that aren’t too close to each other in shade. The ink flows so nicely filling in the paper fiber and leaving great color behind. These pens have a multitude of uses for any kind of craft you are interested in.and tons of everyday uses too.

One thing I did want to mention is the amount of ink in these pens. It doesn’t exactly say how much ink is in each pen, which would have been nice since they are making the claim that they will last 2.5 times longer. I have noticed though that so far the ink levels are staying nice even though I have been using them a lot. A few of them I have even been using on a daily basis as writing pens and I haven’t had any noticeable change in the level of ink yet.

Changing the size of the tube that holds the ink was a great idea. As soon as one of them runs out I will take it apart and do some measuring for future reference. This is something that some companies may really manipulate and as consumers, we would never think to look before this.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered these AmazaPens Gel Pens, 20 Pack Super Glitter | 150% More Ink than Other Sets | Best for Adding Sparkle to Your Adult Coloring Books and Art Projects. on Amazon and received them for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised; all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Life is about the map we follow and the treasure we find along the way


Product Review :: Relaxing Sleep Tea #RelaxingSleepTea

Product Review :: Relaxing Sleep Tea #RelaxingSleepTea

Relaxing Sleep Tea – 2 Sizes – Herbal Bedtime Calming Aid – Helps Insomnia and Anxiety – Peaceful Mind and Body – Organic Superior Quality by Cuppa Magic


 

Refreshing sleep with the benefits of aromatherapy, I love the way this smells!

 

I love anything natural that can improve my lifestyle. I deal with numerous health issues so anything that can help me that doesn’t have to be prescribed I am all for! Due to back problems and chronic pain, I have a difficult time sleeping. I can fall asleep in a heartbeat but can’t stay asleep due to the pain. This cuppa magic tea is just the thing I have needed.

Advantages:

#relaxingsleeptea #cuppamagic*  Natural ingredients
*  Smells heavenly
*  Tastes great
*  Helps me sleep longer
*  Beneficial for so many things besides sleep
*  Individually packaged, no measuring needed
*  Package is resealable
* I have been studying natural ingredients for the last year and I have learned that the things they claim their ingredients help, actually do!

Disadvantages:

* None, I love it and it works.

I especially love the way this tea tastes and smells. I love tea anyway, I have always loved the tea ceremonies of Japan and the countless mystery novels I have read set in the Golden Age of England have instilled it in me. There is a science to the perfect cuppa. Having this pre-measured in individual packages takes the science out of it. All that you have to do is add water at your preferred temperature and let it steep, I let mine steep for just under 10 minutes so that I can enjoy the aromatherapy of it. If the tea is too strong for you, you can add some milk that has been slightly warmed, try some honey or sugar, or even just not let it steep for as long.

There is a strong scent of the orient in this tea, that probably comes from the Ginger and Saffron combined with Spearmint. It reminds me of the scent of Singapore that I used to love so much when I traveled more. It is a light floral scent that once you smell it, you will instantly recognize it. I don’t think that many people realize just how powerful a scent can be, I have no doubt that the aromatherapy effects of this tea no doubt help to put you in the right mood for a relaxing nights sleep.

It is important to have a routine built around sleep and preparing for bed. This is the perfect thing to add to your routine. You should drink this at least an hour before you go to bed to give it a chance to get into your system. I don’t think that I will ever sleep all night again because of my pain, but the sleep that I do experience after drinking this is a deeper sleep that leaves me more refreshed.

Ingredient List With Benefits: (provided by Cuppa Magic)

Chamomile: stress & sleep disorders – gastrointestinal disorders including ulcers – menstrual pain – reducing rashes, pimples & scars

Ginger Root: stomach upsets, indigestion & nausea – fight infections – lower cholesterol – improve brain function

Saffron: promote learning & memory – cell formation & repair – maintain blood pressure – disease prevention

Licorice: heal ulcers – relieve pain & stress – calm liver inflammation – PMS

#cuppamagicFennel Seeds: reduce toxic effect of alcohol – digestive disorders – as appetite suppressant – cough & phlegm problems

Rose Buds: clear toxins from internal organs – prevent infections – fight depression & bring inner peace – clear acne & moisturize the skin

Spearmint: improve circulation & reduce stress on blood vessels – fresh breath – nervous strain & fatigue – hormonal balance

Rose Hips: reduces pain, stiffness & joint inflammation – respiratory problems – boost immunity

Lemon Grass: hydrates the skin – eye problems – relax the senses decreasing stress – boost metabolic process aiding digestion

Tulsi Holy Basil: detoxifying & purifying – digestion – relieve headaches – prevent kidney stones by reducing uric acid

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this RELAXING SLEEP TEA – 2 Sizes – Herbal Bedtime Calming Aid – Helps Insomnia and Anxiety – Peaceful Mind and Body – Organic Superior Quality – With Ginger Root – Chamomile – Holy Basil – Saffron on Amazon and received it at a discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised; all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

#RelaxingSleepTea


Life is about the map we follow and the treasure we find along the way


Product Review :: Set of Solar Lights #GardenLight

Product Review :: Set of Solar Lights #GardenLight


Ohuhu Solar Garden Light, Solar Powered LED Lantern Light for Gardening, Outdoor, Patio, Pathway, Wall, Ground, Hanging Mount, 2 Pack


 

Attractive design with plenty of advantages!

 

Anyone who knows me knows that I love options and this solar light set is full of options! It comes with 2 solar lights that you can mount on a wall, use the included ground stakes, hang them on the shepherd’s hooks that are included, or any combination of those options. We are using these as accent lights in our backyard by our koi pond. I especially like the look of the shepherd’s hook option. It isn’t something you see everywhere. I think the option of one shepherd’s hook and the second accent nearby on a ground stake is another great look.

Advantages:

#GardenLight* Attractive design, I especially like the shepherd’s hook
* Options for installation with everything included
* Lantern part is nice size, approximately 8.5 in from base to loop
* Light bulb is approximately 3 in, light strength is average for a solar light
* On/Off switch (don’t forget to turn it on to get it to work), battery included
* If placed in full sun while charging, the charge will last around 8 hours
* Sheperd’s hook is made of metal
* Less expensive, easier to install, and no monthly charge when compared to wired lighting
* Environmentally friendly

Disadvantages:

* More care could have been taken in packaging this to ensure it arrives safely and all of the parts are easy to find in the box. I thought I was missing 2 tiny parts until I found them underneath the bottom layer of styrofoam in a gap in the box. All loose parts should be packaged together somehow like the screws were. Packaging isn’t something I usually include in a review so will not be using that as part of my rating.

These lights aren’t super bright like a security light would need to be; they are just right as accents or somewhere when you need just a little extra light to see when it is dark. It is nice that they aren’t so super bright that they ruin a lovely view at night. It is so peaceful to sit and enjoy the night sky in the backyard, I wouldn’t want something so bright that it was distracting. Make sure that these are placed in full sun to charge if you want them to last a full 8 hours. If they don’t receive a great deal of light for at least 4 hours a day, they aren’t going to last as long or be as bright as they could be.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I was selected to receive this Ohuhu Solar Garden Light, Solar Powered LED Lantern Light for Gardening, Outdoor, Patio, Pathway, Wall, Ground, Hanging Mount, 2 Pack direct from the Seller, Ohuhu, for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised; all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own, and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

#GardenLight


Life is about the map we follow and the treasure we find along the way


Product Review :: Copper Compression Gloves

Product Review :: Copper Compression Gloves

Best Compression Gloves Copper Comfort- Helps Arthritis Speeds Recovery in Hands & Fingers – Highest Copper Percent Guaranteed Pair of Medium Gloves


Cool and Comfortable #compressioncomfort

I ordered these copper compression gloves to help with carpal tunnel and pain in my hands. I have heard for years about the benefits of copper and so copper gloves seem to be a logical step. I am trying to use more natural things in my life and for my health and have felt better for it. I ordered a size medium, if you are between sizes or in doubt, I would go larger. The material is very soft and the gloves slip on very easily. They are well sewn so I don’t have any reason to doubt their durability.

#compressioncomfort

Image courtesy of Best Bargains

When you slip them on they are comfortable to wear and not hot at all, which is something I worried about. It is easy to wear them for an extended period of time. My hands don’t swell normally but I do have a lot of pain in them. I wish I would have ordered a size Large instead because I might have been able to wear these more and got more benefit from them when it comes to pain relief.

I did like the fact that they gave good support to my wrists. These are much easier to wear than a whole wrist brace which my doctor wants me to wear for carpel tunnel. They give me enough support as a reminder to hold my wrists correctly as I type and to keep them straight when holding my tablet for extended periods of time.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered these Best Compression Gloves Copper Comfort- Helps Arthritis Speeds Recovery in Hands & Fingers – Highest Copper Percent GUARANTEED *Pair of Medium Gloves* on Amazon and received them for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised; all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Life is about the map we follow and the treasure we find along the way


Finding Serendipity

Finding Serendipity

Well, some of my regular readers may have noticed I have been offline for the last few weeks.  I was on another doctor ordered break from everything….  My heart beats at an exceedingly fast rate at times and the doctors have been trying different things to get it to regulate.  I have been reluctant to speak too much about my health of here though I have referenced issues such as Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain. For me, those are just the tip of the iceberg, and believe me, they are enough by themselves!

This blog started out as a vehicle for sharing what I have learned about writing product reviews. Then I realized that writing product reviews gave me something that I didn’t even know I needed. Something I wasn’t looking for. Something that I didn’t even know I needed.

I connected to people. For the 7 years prior to that point I had been completely hiding away from the world. I was at such a great place in my life before that. My career was just what I wanted, my husband and I had made it through the ups and downs of raising our children and were soon to become empty nesters. I was looking forward to the honeymoon years we never had. My life wasn’t perfect but everything we had worked so hard for seemed to be working out. Then I got sick. I got very sick.

I am still sick 8 years later and I will always be sick. I am not saying that because I am giving up, I am saying that because dealing with chronic illness means that at some point you have to have acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t mean that I have given up hope and have lost my faith. It means that I needed to ground myself and accept that my life has changed and I will never be the person that I once was or the person that I had planned and dreamed of being.  As with any great challenge in life, it  changes who you are at your core level.

I have talked before about wanting to share about my health but to be honest I have never known where to start.  So I have just decided to start from today. Today I am anxious to get back to work after being cut off from all of you for almost two weeks. I have so many things to catch up on and so many reviews to write.

I am making a public commitment today and announcing that I will be sharing more about the things that really matter in my life. My health, my family, our family growing to become a grandfamily. In the middle of everything else going on in the last 8 years, my husband and I adopted our youngest son. We are a grandfamily now because he was actually a child we thought of as our grandson, though he was only related by marriage.  When grandparents adopt or start raising a grandchild they are often called a grandfamily. Grandchildren and adoption are things that are very near and dear to my heart so I will be sharing about them also.

To keep everything straight and make it easy for you to pick and choose the posts you are interested in reading, I will be including the name of the category in the post titles. They will go something like this:

Product Review ::  XXXXXXXX
Health :: XXXXXXXX
Grandfamily :: XXXXXXXX
Inspiration :: XXXXXXXX
Coloring for Adults :: XXXXXXXX

I hope you all continue to stick with me as I share my journey and the many different ways that I find Serendipity in my life. Or is it Serendipity finding me?

Lynn Marie


Life is about the map we follow and the treasure we find along the way


Product Review :: Expandable Garden Hose

Product Review :: Expandable Garden Hose


Expandable Hose Nozzle, No Kinking Flexible Lightweight Super Strong Green Nozzle, Water Garden, Expands 3 Times From It’s Original Length, Solid All Brass Sprayer With 7-pattern Multi-functional Spray Nozzle 75ft (Lawn & Patio)
by Hosezzle


Lightweight and a great length for our yard

This is the second expandable hose that I have ordered from Amazon. I wanted to get a longer one for my husband since the first one just wasn’t long enough to get all of the jobs done that he needed to get done in the back yard.

75 expandable hoseAdvantages:
* 75 ft long
* Light weight, much easier for my husband’s bad back
* Does expand and contract as stated
* Does not leak
* Brass fittings, much better than what came on our first expandable hose
* Includes mid-grade nozzle that has 7 spray patterns
* This will connect to our other expandable hose that we already have

Disadvantages:
* I was hoping that this would work for our RV also, but it is not for potable water. Potable means you can drink it. Nonpotable means you should not drink it. I wish they would have put that in the product description since a lot of people who have RVs would love to have a hose like this one. There is a disclosure in the box though that clearly states you should not drink from this. Some of the reasons it gives are standard for any hose, but it does leave it open to questions so I would not recommend it at all for RV use, unless you need an outside hose separate from your water hose. If it was for Potable water, it should be clearly stated, and this is not.
* This hose will need a lot of care that you might not be used to having to do with a regular garden hose. It should be drained and put away after every use, somewhere out of the sun where it can lie flat.

We have only had this hose for a few weeks and used it a handful of times. I am hesitant to wholeheartedly endorse it since it hasn’t even been used a whole season yet. A garden hose is something that will take more uses than this one has had to really be sure that it is durable. So far it has been great. If anything happens with the hose to change my opinion of it, I will certainly update my review at that time.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this Expandable Hose Nozzle, No Kinking Flexible Lightweight Super Strong Green Nozzle, Water Graden, Expands 3 Times From It’s Original Length, Solid All Brass Sprayer With 7-pattern Multi-functional Spray Nozzle 75ft on Amazon and received it for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised; all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Product Review :: Bright LED Headlamp/Flashlight #Luxolite

Product Review :: Bright LED Headlamp/Flashlight #Luxolite


Bright LED Headlamp Flashlight with Red Light – Best Adjustable Headlight for Running, Camping, Hiking, Fishing, Hunting, Reading, Kids – Waterproof CREE Work Headlamps Batteries Included


Lots of options on this headlight make it great for focused activities, has even given my son a boost of needed confidence

This LED Headlamp provides many different options when it comes to the light itself and the uses are wide and varied. The product description is accurate concerning the details of the product design and operation so I won’t take up time repeating everything, I will just start by outlining what I found, in my opinion, to be the overall best advantages and then the disadvantages of this headlamp. Then I will share my recommendation and how our family actually uses this headlamp/flashlight.

Advantages

headlamp flashlight✦ This is wonderful if you need a hands-free option in order to do work or hobbies more efficiently and/or safely
✦ Adjusts to a wide range of head sizes, in fact, it will more than likely fit anyone in your family
✦ This is built to last: impact and water resistant
✦ LED bulbs that last more than 50,000 hours
✦ The head mount tilts up and down with 5 positions, helping to direct the light where it is most needed
✦ Options: White Light (High, Medium, Low, Flashing) Red Light (Steady or Strobe night vision)
✦ Comes in 5 different colors so you can easily tell who’s is who’s if you have multiple family members that have them
✦ Comes with 3 AAA Duracell batteries, ready to use. I hate getting something and not having the needed batteries on hand.
✦ Lifetime guarantee, I think it is great that more companies are focusing on customer service and standing behind their products

Advantage and Disadvantage all in one:

headlamp flashlight red flash headlamp flashlight red✦ This light is extremely bright, much brighter than ordinary lights or flashlights. You will be able to light up the area you are focused on close at hand and you will not need to use multiple lights to do the work. If you are looking further away and using it for your light when walking at night, it provides a focused path of light quite a ways away depending on the terrain. In emergencies, the SOS modes will provide the visibility you need while leaving your hands free to cope with other things.

bright headlamp flashlightHowever, this light is so bright that it can result in some temporary vision problems if someone looks directly into it. Just be sure that anyone using it knows what each setting does and the one that they should use, especially children.

Disadvantages:

✦ Since the beam of the headlight/flashlight is so focused, I would not rely on this for any activity that involved traveling quickly or for something that involved being out in the wilderness with this as your only option. Bicycling, hiking, running/jogging, or hunting are things that the product description mentions that I would definitely want a light with a wider beam than this provides. You need to be able to see your surroundings with a wide field of vision in those situations, not just what this headlamp/flashlight’s beam produces which is too narrow for those activities.

Recommendation:

✦ This LED Headlamp/Flashlight is great to have for focused activities. When I say focused, I mean activities that have a defined scope of vision and one in which you don’t need a broad field of vision, where you don’t need to see what is going on in the environment around you. I don’t agree with the product description about many of the activities it does list that they think this headlamp could be used for. In fact, this headlamp could actually be a liability in certain situations they list, making you feel safe or secure when you actually need a different kind of light for those activities, many of those which I discussed in the Disadvantages section of this review.

✦ It would be really great if the company who makes these looked into offering two types of beams for this, the narrow one it currently does and wide one.

How our family uses this and other people who might benefit from having one:

✦ I really do like this light and it is perfect for what I had in mind which is something a little bit different. My youngest son and the grandchildren all love playing in the back yard. They love playing all kinds of games and riding their battery powered vehicles. My son has limited sight in one eye though and it makes him more hesitant than he really needs to be, especially in the early evening. There aren’t any real obstacles so I thought if he had more light, he would feel more comfortable in being adventurous and exploring.

This light has been perfect for that, it even gives him the extra light needed when it is dark to be able to drive around in one of the little jeeps, adding to the wider field of vision the headlights give. I was right when I thought this would give him the extra boost of confidence he needed to be able to explore more of the yard and participate in activities in the evening. Children need to be able to feel independent and if it takes something like a headlamp, I am all for it.

This really does make a great item for kids to have for so many different things like exploring the yard and house, reading under the covers, playing games like hide-and-seek and so much more. At the time I ordered this, the price point was under $20.00. If you have a lot of kids that is probably too much, but as a special gift or reward it is reasonable, At times I think we guide our children in their play too much, this is the perfect thing to give them and then just sit back and enjoy watching what they find to do with it.

headlamp flashlight white✦ This also makes a great tool for work around the house and in the garage. My husband wants one of his own for his work in the garage.
✦ It will also be very helpful next time we are able to go out camping. Nobody likes walking around the campsite or to the bathroom while tripping over everything not in sight! It won’t be the only type of flashlight we need, though.
✦ The product listing does mention other things this light will be good for that I agree with, especially the caving and walking your dog at night, as long as you are in familiar surroundings.
✦ This is great to use with hobbies where you need to see close up at times but your vision isn’t what it used to be. I love to color but at certain times of the day my eyes are very blurry and just don’t seem to focus well. This added light helps make the whole process easier so that I can relax. People who do any kind of hobbies like embroidery, making models, or painting may find this useful.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this Bright LED Headlamp Flashlight with Red Light – Best Adjustable Headlight for Running, Camping, Hiking, Fishing, Hunting, Reading, Kids – Waterproof CREE Work Headlamps Batteries Included on Amazon and received it for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised; all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

#Luxolight


Product Review :: Stainless Steel Pet Bowls # LallyPet

Product Review :: Stainless Steel Pet Bowls # LallyPet


Set of 2 Dog Bowls 32 oz Stainless Steel for pet/dog/cat food or water and Travel Dog Bowl in Silicone and bottle holder


Nice upgrade for my dog, much better quality than what I had.

DuchessI ordered this new set of stainless steel bowls for my dog Duchess. She is blind now so we have to make sure that her bowls stay in the same place all of the time. They are working out well and I am fairly pleased with them.

Advantages:
* These look so much better than the rag tag collection of whatever the kids could find to feed her in. Her bowls were always blowing off the back porch and then being chewed up or lost.
* Great size for cats or dogs.
* Easy to clean, you can even put them in the dishwasher.
* Sturdy rubber piece around the bottom edge of the bowl to help it stay in place.
* Nice size, will hold 32 oz of water and approximately 2 cups of food.
* The bottom is open to the underside of the bowl, I have seen some with flat bottoms that become bent out of shape making them wobbly. Since the bottom is open, these are easy to stack freeing up space if you are traveling in your RV or even camping.
* Set comes with a collapsible bowl to take on hikes or short trips.
* 3 year warranty

DuchDuches white

Disadvantages:
* The bowl is a little small to hold enough water for any pet over the size of a medium sized dog for a full day. You will have to watch it during the day to make sure they get enough water, especially in the summer.

I actually decided to keep one of the bowls to use as water for her in my my master bath. She just lounges around all day with me and having her water up here makes more sense than for me to try to let her in and out during the day just to get a drink.

* I wish the rubber base was a little more sturdy. My dog tends to nudge her bowl a lot with her nose when she eats. It does move around a lot on our tile and wooden floors. It is not as bad on the back deck. I think if you put a small rug under it that the bowls would not move at all.

* Due to an error in shipping, I did not receive my green collapsible bowl. I spoke with the Seller though and he is sending one to me. No part of my rating is based on the missing item. If there is something remarkable about the collapsible bowl in any way, positive or negative, I will update the rating and review. We already have a travel kit for our dog so I am not super worried about it.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this on Amazon and received it for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised; all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Amazon TOS Changes :: What is Fact and What is Fiction

Amazon TOS Changes :: What is Fact and What is Fiction


They changed what??? They are making us do what??? No!!! Really??? Who did you hear that from??? They are out to get rid of us!!! How can they do this??? This can’t be legal!!! I’m sure it is because of the …. Do you think that…….

Amazon TOS ChangesThere are currently so many rumors flying around about Amazon’s Customer Review Creation Guidelines. Even though they changed them almost two weeks ago, people are still talking about it and still don’t  understand what changed and how it affects them. I know it can be scary and very confusing at times. What do you believe? Who do you believe? Where do I go for information? Those are all questions that have gone through my mind so many times since I have become a Reviewer.

As if changes to the TOS weren’t enough, around that same timeframe, Amazon wiped another large group of Reviewers again. Many people have claimed that Amazon wiped their account unfairly after they secretly changed their Guidelines, enforcing rules that were not in place when their reviews were written. I won’t address that rumor in this post, but of course, I have some thoughts to share about it later this week….

I have even read where people are going to quit reviewing because Amazon is continually changing the rules and there are no guidelines for a Reviewer to follow. People are unfairly losing their accounts and no explanations are given. Some people think that  Amazon should be sued because they have treated the community so unfairly.

After I heard another rumor that Amazon rewrote the complete Customer Review Creation Guidelines, I knew I needed to read them for myself and see what had changed so drastically. I wanted to know what I should be concerned about the most. So I read them and reread them. Then read them again. To tell you the truth, after reading them I had no idea what people were so upset about. They seemed basically the same to me except for one point. The $5.00 point. We’ll get to the answer to that question, but let’s look at the old and new Guidelines themselves for a minute.

I couldn’t recall exactly what the Amazon’s Review Guidelines said previously, but I knew one place I could find out… What Amazon TOS Really Says, straight from the horse’s mouth.  Ani Ruhama wrote this article back in late January and copied the text exactly from Amazon’s website. Let’s look at this side by side comparison I made. I had decided not to depend on some of the graphics I saw last week where people had compiled a ‘TOS” from bits and pieces they remembered, points they had written down, and partial screenshots. Thank goodness, I didn’t use those for my comparison!

Customer Review Creation Guidelines
Then and Now


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The Promotional Review section and the Paid Reviews section are exactly the same between the two versions except for some formatting changes.

The first section has changed. To post a review, customers must spend at least $5.00 using a valid credit or debit card. Prime subscriptions and promotional discounts don’t qualify towards the $5.00 minimum. What does that mean and is it fair for Amazon to change the rules?

What this does not mean is that you can only write a review if you paid at least $5.00 for the product. What it does mean is that at some time during the life of your Amazon account, you must have spent $5.00 on their website.

  • This is lifetime (of your Amazon account) total of $5.00.
  • The $5.00 can not include what you paid for your Prime Subscription.
  • The $5.00, or any portion of it, can not come from the purchase of a product that was offered at a promotional discount.
  • The $5.00 has to be paid with a valid credit or debit card. You can’t use a gift card you purchased yourself, or one someone else gave to you, to meet this $5.00 minimum.

Am I sure about this? Yes!

I was sure that I understood the new stipulation but there are always people (like me) who want to see the proof with their own eyes. Do not assume anything with Amazon. I was just getting ready to write to them for clarification when I opened an email from Rachel Michelle, Director of Relations at Launchzon.com. They are the sister site to a new review website that I just joined, Ratezon.com. Rachel knew that the Sellers, as well as Reviewers, were concerned about all of the rumors swirling around so she contacted Amazon herself and had just received confirmation of what the “$5.00” stipulation actually means. Here is the actual email response she received from Amazon.

amazonconfimation

Click here if you would like to be able to read the text of the message in an easier format.

 

thank youThank you, Rachel, for sharing your clarification email with us. If there are any quality, experienced reviewers looking for a new site, Ratezon.com has recently launched and is now accepting applicants! Head on over and sign up if you are interested. They are really on top of TOS and want to make sure that Sellers and Reviewers have the support they need.

Now, on to the question as to if this is fair? I think so. Requiring you to spend $5.00 on their site is not that big of a deal. Anyone who just goes there to order things they are going to review at very little to no cost is missing out on a lot of really great deals and quality products. I love to review things and get great deals but our family also purchases a lot of other things on Amazon. Purchasing and then reviewing those things too is also a good way to keep your account well rounded. What is a well-rounded account? More on that next week…..

great dealsThere are several people you all may know, L.j. Redding among them, who regularly post great deals. She has a page on FB, Pelican Freak Frugal Finds that always has great deals, not to mention free eBooks! If you are reading this and have a page with great deals at Amazon, let me know and I will add it to the list.

$5.00 is nothing compared to the benefits we receive as Reviewers. It is not like you are giving them the money like a membership fee and you aren’t receiving anything in return. You can purchase whatever you want with it. There must be a very large number of people who write reviews and never even purchase anything themselves from the site or they would not have put this in place. What can you do if you are one of those people? Go spend some of your own money on Amazon!

Is it legal that Amazon changed their TOS?  They are not breaking any government or state rules and/or regulations by any of the changes they have made. It is their company and they make the rules. They create the rules, enforce the rules, and answer to no one. I have talked about this a lot before, they write their guidelines and policies to be very broad and vague so that they can interpret them how they want to. Once you submit your review you agree to give up all rights to the content, both written and media. You actually agree to abide by all of their TOS when you sign up for an account.

Did they do this so that they could wipe more Reviewers? I really doubt it. There have been a lot of changes lately, not just to Reviewers, but to Sellers and regular consumers also.  I am sure there are many changes that we are not even aware of yet. Let’s face it, they could have wiped every single reviewer if they wanted to without even having to change their TOS. That is not the reason they changed the Guidelines.

why do they get wipedThe review system began as a marketing ploy created so that they could jump ahead of their competition by having the first online store where customers contributed reviews, both good and bad, on a very large scale. It helped make Amazon who they are today. People knew they could go to Amazon and read reviews written by other people just like them.

However, both Sellers and Reviewers have taken advantage of the system. The fact that Amazon is purposely vague and doesn’t have enough real structure in their guidelines has come back to haunt them. That is the reason people get their accounts wiped. There are no real guidelines and with no real direction built in, the system has become flawed. Amazon’s reputation has suffered and Reviewers are not seen in the best light either.

So why did so many people just get wiped again? There are so many reasons why people get wiped and most of them will never know why, unless they knew they were doing something wrong and took the risk. I certainly feel sorry that so many people have lost all of their hard work and effort. I never want to minimalize that. It could happen to any of us.

I do have some other things I have heard about recently and things I read while researching this article that I will share more about later, but I am going off topic now. Those accounts being wiped do not have anything to do with the recent changes to Amazon’s Customer Review Creation Guidelines.

question marksWill all reviewers be wiped? Is the review system going to away? No. It would be an extremely disastrous business decision for them to wipe all reviews ever done, or even just the ones that were done by Reviewers. For the same reason, the system is not going to go away. Remember, the review system is what made Amazon into the largest online retailer. For them to have to publicly denounce and then do away with what made them who they are would be shooting themselves not only in the foot but In the head.

If Amazon has carte blanche to do whatever they want anyway, why bother to make any changes in the TOS at this point?  Changes in the Customer Review Creation Guidelines are actually a good sign. Amazon is moving forward with changes to the way Customer Reviews should be done. This seems to be part of the needed framework.

change is goodThe constant suspensions of updating rankings and blocking API access is a sure sign to me that they are working on their internal database structure which is what supports the algorithm they use to monitor transactions, especially transactions between Reviewers and Sellers. Until they have made all of the needed changes and are sure their database structure will support what they want to implement, they will probably go forward with minor changes like this instead of a major announcement and then implementation of how they plan to reinvent their once best-in-class system.



Amazon Customer Review Creation Guidelines TOS Changes :: What is Fact and What is Fiction
Most of what I have heard is FICTION (thankfully)
I hope I have cleared up the question about what the $5.00 stipulation means.

To keep your account as safe as possible, whatever you do, don’t forget to put your Disclosure in your review and don’t participate in Keyword Searching, Wishlisting, or other Special Seller Requests.

Do you have other questions about the recent changes?
What other things have you heard?
Do you have questions about the email from Amazon?

You know I always love to hear from other Reviewers or interested parties, please leave a comment letting me know what you think of the recent change, Amazon TOS in general, Customer Review Creation Guidelines, a question about reviewing, or anything else you would like to comment on.


Disclosure: I don’t pretend to know all of the answers and my opinion does have a tendency to come through very strongly in my posts, but I do state all of the facts that I know and make every effort possible to share with you the correct information. I am always very open to hearing opposing viewpoints. If we don’t share what we have learned with each other, none of us will ever make it as a Reviewer.

Product Review :: Sandalwood Essential Oil #brooklynbetter

Product Review :: Sandalwood Essential Oil #brooklynbetter


Ultra Pure Sandalwood Essential Oil (Santalum Album) – Brooklyn Botany – East Indian Sandalwood, 100% Pure, 1 fl. oz. Great for Skin, Hair Care, Acne Treatment & Aromatherapy

Sold by Brooklyn Botany


Smells heavenly, makes my skin look great, and makes me feel calm

sandalwood essential oil I have found my new favorite essential oil. Move over Bergamot and Bulgarian Lavender. Sorry Basil. I think this is truly one of the most wonderful things I have smelled in a very long time. I have been wanting to smell Sandalwood for a long time but of course, it is usually out of my price range. This is East Indian Sandalwood though and not from the Australian Sandalwood that is almost non-existant anymore. I am sure that is why this is so reasonably priced. I can’t imagine the Australian smelling any better than this! Sandalwood is used a lot in perfumes, now I know why, it smells so great.

Usually, I prefer flowery scents. This isn’t flowery but it has the soft tones that I love. I think another thing that makes it such a memorable scent is that it actually lasts for a very long time. When I unwrapped the package and opened the bottle I immediately smelled it. That one sniff stayed with me for the longest time. My husband really likes this scent too because he gets so tired of my flowery scents all of the time. I use this a lot in my bedroom diffuser which runs almost all of the time. I often combine it with Jasmine and the smell just takes me back to the times I traveled in Asia. Smell can trigger some powerful memories.

This essential oil is good for so many different things. I have been using it as a moisturizer on my face and added a few drops to the toner that I have made for my own use. In the diffuser or in an aromatherapy necklace, this is said to have a very calming effect. That is always something good to have constantly being diffused throughout the room.

sandalwood essential oil colorI think some people immediately get upset that some essential oils are not as expensive as they expect them to be. I for one am thrilled this is at a reasonable price point because that means I can order some more when I use all of this. My skin looks better and my mood is better. It smells fantastic. Those three reasons are enough for me to be convinced that this oil really is what it says it is. If I get the opportunity to ever try the Australian Sandalwood I will be sure to update this review with my thoughts on the comparison between that and this Indian Sandalwood.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this Ultra Pure Sandalwood Essential Oil (Santalum Album) – Brooklyn Botany – East Indian Sandalwood, 100% Pure, 1 fl. oz. Great for Skin, Hair Care, Acne Treatment & Aromatherapy on Amazon and received it for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised; all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

#brooklynbetter

Product Review :: Antique Edison Style Chandelier Light Bulbs

Product Review :: Antique Edison Style Chandelier Light Bulbs


Enlightened Ambience 40 Watt Antique Edison Style Chandelier Light Bulb
(E26) Dimmable with Flame Tip Set of 6

by Enlightened Ambience


Timeless Elegance

antique style edison ligh bulbThis is a really elegant and unique set of lightbulbs. You can use these for your more elegant fixtures or pair them with something more contemporary to create a style just right for you. When I first saw these I knew right away that I wanted them for something in my own home, even though I wasn’t sure exactly which special fixture would get a makeover with these.

If you don’t have a full sized chandelier, you will need to make sure beforehand that these will fit. The base of these is exactly like a common white lightbulb that would fit in any full size lamp or overhead light. If you can screw one of those plain white lightbulbs into the light fixture you want to use these in, they will work. I have a standing lamp chandelier that I thought about using these in, but it takes a smaller base than these.

I ended up using this set in the small chandelier over our dining room table. The difference between the chandelier bulbs I had in there originally and these is very noticeable. The light is softer and it is interesting to look up and see the way the filament glows, almost like it is moving. If you haven’t seen one of these lights with an antique looking filament in them it is hard to explain so be sure to check out the images I added and my video.

Edison Style light bulbAdvantages:

✦ Unique look that really catches your eye
✦ Golden tint to the glass of the bulb diffuses the brightness of the bulb making it seem to glow
✦ Edison shaped (see images) filament creates an effect that seems to move
✦ Love the almost ice cream cone shape of the of the bulb itself
✦ 40 watt bulb; if your light switch or fixture has a dim switch already on it, you can dim these bulbs as low as 25 watts

Disadvantages:

✦ None – these work exactly as described and are even lovelier than I imagined they would be.

Recommendation:

✦ If you love antiques, reproductions, or vintage light fixtures these are the perfect bulb for you. These would also be great for the type of person who loves mixing old with new to create something unique. I actually thought of putting these in one of my son’s modern lamps before deciding that I would enjoy them best on something special. You could even just use a single bulb with no shade on a table lamp. The beauty is in the bulb itself; the light from the filament combined with the darker tint to the glass gives these bulbs a glow that is truly lovely.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I received these 40 Watt Antique Edison Style Chandelier Light Bulbs, set of 6 directly from Enlightened Ambience in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised; all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

#Light #EdisonLightBulb #AntiqueLightBulb


Product Review :: PinPix Recipe Board #pinpix

Product Review :: PinPix Recipe Board #pinpix

PinPix Decorative Pin Cork Bulletin Board, Recipe Board with Fruit 24×16 framed in Satin Black

by Art To Frames


Decorate and organize with practical art for your kitchen!

 

pinpixThis is such a nice cork board, I actually consider it more art for my kitchen. The design is fresh and bright and it is framed with a real wooden frame just like a picture would be. I expected more of a piece of cork board in a plastic frame that would be nice, I didn’t expect anything this nice. Isn’t it a great feeling when your expectations in a product are more than met!

Advantages:

✦ This is more than a cork board, it is décor for your kitchen
✦ Many designs and sizes to choose from
✦ The print is bright and crisp
✦ The texture of the cork board makes it look like a painting
✦ Comes with everything you need to hang and use it (except recipes of course, lol)
✦ Very well constructed; on the level of department store quality, not a big box store and certainly not a discount store item
✦ New technology that prevents the pin pricks made on it from staying the same size, the material reforms around the holes leaving a much smoother and cleaner looking surface than a regular bulletin/cork board. Pretty cool!
✦ Some of these designs can easily be used in different locations than the kitchen, depending on the décor of your home
✦ This looks much better than the side of my refrigerator with scribbled notes all over it.
✦ This decorative board is keeping me more organized, my kitchen looks better, makes for a better environment overall.

Disadvantages:

✦ None

Recommendation:

✦ This is perfect if you are looking for a bulletin board/cork board/recipe board for your kitchen. It is also great if you are just looking for something to brighten an area of your home with a splash of color. This is such a nice looking piece, it would make a great housewarming gift, shower gift, or even a wedding present, This would make the perfect gift for anyone who loves to cook or bake, especially if you paired it with some family recipes or recipes that you know they love. You could even add a few pictures and little mementos to embellish it more.

I am very pleased with mine and can’t wait to see what designs the company may come up with next. There are endless possibilities with this new technology that seems to heal the canvas. This type of product would be useful for bulletin boards in children’s/teens/students rooms, offices, the garage, mud room, classroom, etc…

pinpix          juicy pinpix recipe board

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this PinPix decorative pin cork bulletin board made from high-quality canvas, Recipe Board with Fruit printed at 24×16 Inches and framed in Satin Black (PinPix-36) on Amazon and received it at a discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised; all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

#pinpix #arttoframes


 

Product Review :: Exercise Ball #liveinfinitely

Product Review :: Exercise Ball #liveinfinitely


Exercise Ball – Professional Grade Anti Burst Tested with Hand Pump- Supports 2200lbs- Includes Workout Guide Access- 55cm/65cm/75cm/85cm Balance Balls (Purple, 55 cm)


This ball will not let you down…

I ordered this Professional Grade Exercise Ball on the promises that it made concerning it’s anti-burst properties and it’s ability to hold a lot of weight. I wasn’t sure what size to order so I contacted the company and they got right back to me; I ended up ordering the Purple 55″ one. I am 5 ft. 5 in tall and weigh around 230. I have had three back surgeries and have chronic health problems that really limit my activity. I need to build up my core strength and my muscles in my back that have been damaged due to the surgeries.

I want to build up strength so that I can sit at the computer desk, in front of my photography booth while I take pictures, or maybe in front of the TV for short periods of time. I have seen these used in offices and have talked to people who say that it makes a world of difference, if you can find the right ball. Of course the worst thing that could happen to my pride and my back would be for the ball to burst unexpectedly and leave me on the floor. I know I am overweight, I don’t want a purple ball to emphasize the fact.

Advantages:

* The ball fit me perfectly, just like their customer service rep told me it would
* The purple color is more of a soft lavender, very feminine
* The ball has raised anti-slip ridges
* Made of heavy duty, Latex free, PVC
* Tested extensively, it is not going to break unexpectedly and I am not going to land on the ground on my bum
* Log on to www.liveinfinintely.com/foreverflex for their free workouts, exercise ball routines, free bonuses, and free PDF poster

Disadvantages:

* None

It took me several days to learn to sit on this and feel at ease and I still can not do it for a long time. Part of that is due to a learning curve and part of it is due to extreme caution. I just have to be exceedingly careful not to injure my back in any way. I don’t have anything to compare this to since I have never tried to sit on one of these before. It is soft, certainly softer than sitting in an office chair even while using extra seat pads to help with pain. I feel confident that I can build up some strength by continuing to increase the time I spend simply sitting on the ball.

When I received this, I noticed right away on the front of the box that it says it has a limit of 2200 pounds. I thought that was a typo on the product listing and the limit was 220, lol, but I was going to try anyway since I am so close to that weight. I was very happy to see it was not a typo! The box contained the ball, two plugs, a plug remover, and the hand pump. I tried the hand pump and it works but then I cheated and sent it outside with my husband to be filled with the air compressor. I didn’t know I would have to fill it 80% full and then wait 24 hours for it to stretch and then fill it some more, so be sure to read the directions. Your ball will be properly inflated when the outermost edge of the ball is the same distance from the wall as the size ball you bought. For example, I ordered the 55″ ball so the instructions said to place the box it came in 55″ from the wall. When the ball fits exactly in that space – from the wall to the box – it is full.

A properly sized ball should allow your knees to be at a 90 degree angle while sitting on it with your thighs parallel to the floor. For those of us who may not remember what parallel and 90 degrees mean, your body should essentially make the shape of a chair when you are sitting on the ball. Your thighs should go straight out in front of you, your legs bend at your knees, and then go straight to the ground. Your knees should not be higher than your thighs and your feet should rest on the ground, not hang in the air.

This exercise ball is great for beginners like me and I think that people who have used one before will really like the features this one has such as the anti-slip ridges and the no burst construction.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this Exercise Ball -Professional Grade Anti Burst Tested with Hand Pump- Supports 2200lbs- Includes Workout Guide Access- 55cm/65cm/75cm/85cm Balance Balls (Purple, 55 cm) on Amazon and received it for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised; all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

#liveinfinitely


Product Review :: The Gel Pens That I Actually Threw Away

Product Review :: The Gel Pens That I Actually Threw Away

GL-Sail(TM) 36 Pack Diamante Tipped Gel Pens with Case, for Adult Coloring Books and Drawing (Glitter ,Neon, Pastel)


Pens worked for a while but then leaked and wouldn’t write anymore, I was not able to get a replacement set

When I first received these pens I was thrilled with them. You can never have enough gel pens and these had so many positive things going for them. I had a great review in mind but had to change it after using these pens again after they had not been used for a few weeks.

Advantages:
* Great variety of colors, very fine lines
* Colors did not bleed through the page
* The Metallic colors especially were very vibrant and distinct
* Non-toxic and acid free
* Very nice case, this is the nicest plastic case I have ever received pens in. It is thick and has three tab closures on it. This was designed to last.
* These come with a Lifetime Guarantee, you will probably have to use Amazon’s A to Z guarantee though…..

Disadvantages:
* The pens are a little thin and wobble a little when you write with them. I think with a thicker shell they would be much easier to use.
* I was showing these to my daughter-in-law who also loves to color and she wanted to try them out. Right away she noticed that a few of them would not write, even though the caps had been placed on correctly. I told her to shake it gently and ink went flying everywhere. It got all over her brand new blouse, her t-shirt she was wearing under it, and my bedspread. After I discovered this problem I decided to shake each one to see if they were all okay or had the same problem. Shaking a pen gently is something I often do when the ink is not flowing. Two more pens broke right away and then a few days later, 3 more. Four of the pens will not write. So now I have a set of 36 pens but only 26 work. However, I don’t want to chance using them and possibly ruining more clothing or a coloring page work in progress.
* Since there is a Lifetime Guarantee I contacted them. I was promised a replacement set over a month ago. I have contacted them four additional times with no response. If someone promises a Lifetime Guarantee, they need to deliver on it. Since this is in the Product Description I do consider this to be part of the Product Review and not Feedback.

Recommendation:
If you would like to take your chances and you do get a good set, you will really like them. Be careful of all of the disadvantages I listed and keep some Stain Remover on hand. I have found that if you soak ink with hairspray first and then stain remover, it is an effective stain remover. Stain remover does not always work by itself on ink. My take away from this is that at least I got a nice container to use for other pens.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this set of GL-Sail(TM) 36 Pack Diamante Tipped Gel Pens with Case, for Adult Coloring Books and Drawing (Glitter, Neon, Pastel) on Amazon and received it at a discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised. All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way influenced or associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Product Review :: Moscow Mule Copper Mug

Product Review :: Moscow Mule Copper Mug


Domestic Corner – Copper Moscow Mule Mug – 16 oz – Smooth Finish

Copper Mug with Nickle Lining – Perfect for an ice cold drink on a hot summer day!

copper mugI love the look of copper and use it as an accent color in my kitchen. When I first say a Moscow Mule Mug, I was just interested in it because I loved the color and it looked unique. It wasn’t until I had my first taste of an acidic drink in a Moscow Mule Mug that I truly appreciated it. The copper in an authentic mug reacts with the acid in the liquid and creates a truly unique flavor. Everything is crisp and sharp, but not bitter. The copper also acts as a conduit for the temperature of whatever the liquid is so the mug feels chilly and cold, which gives the perception that the copper actually makes your drink colder.

Some manufacturer’s have used a stainless steel lining which does keep your drinks colder but this is the first one I have had with a nickel lining. I don’t know anything about nickel, but I do know that the product title of this mug is misleading. This is not a MMM, it is a copper mug lined with nickel. It does state that in the product description, but I know sometimes people make impulse purchases and don’t read the details close enough. If you are like me, you just have to see the words Moscow Mule to get excited!

copper mugAdvantages:

* Nice copper barrel, very smooth
* Brass handle is soldered on and very large, I can use 3 fingers to hold it
* Smooth rolled lip for smooth drinks
* Great shape for drinking from, the ice doesn’t all come at you at once

copper mug

Disadvantages:
* Since the product title is misleading, I did deduct one star for that. Nothing can give you the true taste of a 100% copper Moscow Mule. Since it is listed discreetly in the product description I can’t deduct too much for this in good conscience.
* The copper is not as bright and shiny as some of the other Copper Mugs I have collected over time

If you are just looking for a copper colored mug, this will probably be a really good option for you. I know some people don’t like the unique taste of copper so this would work for them. Also, if you are not drinking something that as some kind of acid in it, you don’t need it to be 100% copper. You can just enjoy the icy cold feeling of a great drink on a hot summer day with this!

copper mug copper mug

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this copper mug on Amazon and received it at a discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised. All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way influenced or associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Product Review :: Vacuum Insulated Food Jar

Product Review :: Vacuum Insulated Food Jar

Vacuum Insulated Food Jar With Spoon (16.9 oz) – Thermos Food Flask – For Hot and Cold – Double Wall – Food Container by The Sellery

Once in a while I get a product that I wish I could give more than 5 stars to. This is one of them, it does what it promises to do, if you follow the directions, and accomplishes more than I would ever expect from a thermos!

thermos



First of all, note that I said you need to follow the directions. You have to prime the thermos before using it. You also need to make sure you aren’t opening and closing it a lot which will change the temperature inside of the thermos.. I don’t like to copy product details from the description into my review but this is really important if you are going to rely on this to keep your food or liquid at the correct temperature. No one wants to take the chance of giving their child or loved one food that will actually spoil before they eat it. If you take your lunch to work or pack your children’s lunches for daycare or school, this is the thermos you need.

For Cold Use: Fill the thermos with ice water for 5 to 10 minutes prior to use to get the maximum chill effect.

For Hot Use: Fill the thermos with hot water for 5 to 10 minutes prior to use to get the maximum heat retention.



ADVANTAGES:
thrmos spoon* Keeps food at the correct temperature, preventing the chance of illness due to eating food that has spoiled, even while still looking fine
* Great size at over 16 oz. This is more than enough for even soup for two.
* Double vacuum wall insulated – food stays hot/cold but the thermos stays comfortable to touch and hold
* Leak proof; gasket comes out though so you can be sure you get it 100% clean
* Comes with it’s own spoon, simply pull handle to full length
* Sturdy base
* Carrying handle

thermos lidDISADVANTAGES:
* None!

I actually use this for ice most of the time so far. Due to my health, I am confined to my bed almost all of the time right now. My husband makes my lunch and snacks for me, including my drinks, before he goes to work. This has worked out nice enough so far. But if there is one thing I have craved, it has been ice. I can’t seem to drink enough ice water. I have a small fridge that can keep water cold, but it won’t keep the ice in my water bottles from melting. This thermos keeps my ice cold as long as I need it to; so far I have let it sit for 9 hours before using the ice and there was just a trace of water in it from melt off.

My son will be going to middle school next year and wants to take a packed lunch but always gets tired of sandwiches. I don’t like to send the same things over and over either so this will give me so many more options. Here in Colorado, the schools are always cold in the winter so I know he will love soup in the thermos. But then I wouldn’t have my ice! Ice or soup? Guess it is time to order another one. 🙂

Since this is vacuum insulated, I would recommend hand washing it, though I don’t recall what the instructions said about this if anything. I have a vacuum walled teacup that I know is not supposed to be put in the dishwasher since it could somehow break the seal.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this on Amazon and received it at a discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised. All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way influenced or associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

#thesteelheadco


 

56 Free Coloring eBooks

56 Free Coloring eBooks

Do you love to color? Do you love free things? 

 

LIfe is about using the whole box of crayons

Note: This list has been removed as it was very much outdated, check out the Coloring for Adults page for the latest updates on free books, thanks!

If you love coloring, today is your lucky day! I double checked my list from last week and all of those are still available and I added over 30 more, giving you a total of 56 eBooks to download now.

You know how Amazon is, though, the prices can change at any time so make sure to grab them while you can. Double check the prices before ordering.  I checked all of these and they are free as of Sunday, July 17th, 3:00 MDT.

Coloring for Adults  If you aren’t sure how you download the eBooks to actually color them, the publishers include a PDF download link in them. For more information on how to do this, see the instructions on the blog’s Coloring for Adults page. Don’t forget to check out the list of Free Collections while you are there.

 

Enjoy!


 

Product Review :: Sleeping and Nursing Bra

Product Review :: Sleeping and Nursing Bra


Mamaway Antibacterial Crossover Sleeping Nursing Bra – Nude – XL

Offered by Mamaway Maternity

I ordered this bra for a different reason than being a nursing mother. I have some very debilitating health issues and have to spend most of my time in bed. I have been looking for something that is comfortable to wear but still gives me some support and coverage under my pajamas. If you don’t wear any bra at all, gravity will soon take its toll. I also have the occasional visitor and still have a young son who lives at home. You can definitely tell the difference when someone as large as I am (40DD) is not wearing any bra at all. I ordered a size XL.

nursing braPROS:
* Comfortable enough to wear all the time
* Anit-bacterial and anti-odor
* Can slip it over your head or use the two-tooth catch at the back that has three different clasps about an inch apart
* The material is whisper soft
* Wide straps and a deep back help it stay put where it belongs, comfortably
* Wide elastic band at the bottom that stays put! I can’t stand a bra that rolls

* Sewn in place flexible support bars on the sides deep the bra from digging into my sides
* Has held up well in the washer
* The material is lightweight and breathable, it is nice not to have a bra that makes me feel hotter

sleep braI know nursing mothers will also appreciate how the material is very stretchy to support your growing figure. It also goes back into place after washing so as you go back to your normal size, the bra can still be worn for sleeping if you want. The cups also have a double layer of material with a slit at the top so that you can slip in nursing pads. And of course, you can see by the pictures in the listing and the ones I am including that it gives your child easy access without you having to do anything but pull the cup over.

What caught my attention the most about this sleeping bra is that it actually has silver microparticles in it that I know can keep you healthier since bacteria can not grow in silver. I am not sure what Meryl skinlife fibre is, I will just take their word on that. Since it is so painful, difficult, and exhausting to even shower on a daily basis, it is important to me to keep as clean as I can by other means. Not showering every day can also cause you to not smell as well as you would like if you aren’t judicious with disposable cleaning cloths. Having a bra that is antibacterial, anti-odor, and comfortable to me is something I couldn’t pass up. These are far better than a normal bra and even much better than a sports bra to sleep in.

The bra fit true to size, I just checked my measurements against the chart they provided with their pictures in the listing. I am always a little uneasy about ordering clothes made in Asia because they can be hit or miss when it comes to size. This fits perfect, though. It doesn’t offer all of the support a normal bra does and doesn’t make my bust look as attractive as a wired push-up bra, but I didn’t expect it to. That is not what it is made for or claims to be. It gives me enough support to be comfortable, keeps gravity at bay, and to be modest.

sleep bra  sleep bra  sleep bra

This is a perfect option for pregnant women who have a bust line that is improving quickly, nursing mothers, anyone who wants a comfortable sleeping bra, and especially for women who need something comfortable if they have to stay laying down all of the time.

Now I know some of you are still reading this to see if I will tell you what a Spoonie is! A Spoonie is a person who lives with chronic illness and has difficulty with common day to day tasks and often has to spend most of their time in bed. There is a very good article on where that term originated, just google ‘what is a spoonie.

sleep bra    sleep bra

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this Mamaway Antibacterial Crossover Sleeping Nursing Bra – Nude – XL on Amazon and received it for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised. All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

#spoonie #chroniclife #Mamaway #sleepbra #nursingbra #bra #maternitywear #happymommy #antibacterialbra


Product Review :: 3 Piece Set of Tweezers

Product Review :: 3 Piece Set of Tweezers


3 Tips Premium Stainless Steel Tweezers Set with Case – Slant, Straight and Pointed Tip Tweezers with Case – Best Use for Best for Eyebrow, Ingrown and Nose Hair, Splinters & More

offered by Grooming District


Not all tweezers are created equal

If you have never used a great pair of tweezers before, you do not know what you are missing. All tweezers are not created equal. I ordered this set because every good pair of tweezers I buy seem to disappear frequently. I have finally learned that I can usually find them on my husband’s side of the vanity or hidden in his bedside table 🙂 I do seem to actually loose them easily too so really I liked the concept of 3 different tweezers in their own case.

Advantages

* 3 different tips easily identifiable by their color
* Stainless steel construction which is durable and easy to sanitize
* Appropriate length at around 3 in
* Nice amount of open space between the arms
* Sturdy feel and weight to them, these are not your dime store tweezers
* Designed correctly to make them easy to squeeze and grasp
* The small black case to keep them in is nice. There is a slot for each pair of tweezers or you can place them in the full width larger pocket right behind the slots. I like the idea of having the extra pocket so you could put a little mirror or something similar in there. The case has a smooth, shiny texture on the outside making it easy to wipe clean. The inside of the case is made of a soft material. It is well sewn and should last a long time.
* Lifetime money back guarantee! What more could you want? If you don’t like them, send them back. You have three months to send them back through Amazon. If you have a problem after 3 months, you can still contact them through the Amazon system to get a quick response about how to resolve your issue.

Disadvantages

* The tips of the Silver pair are not as smooth as they need to be. There is a tiny raised knob on the inside edge of the tips making it a little more difficult to grasp and then keep the hair held between the arms long enough to pull the hair out completely.
* The arms are completely smooth. I had another pair that I really liked that just had some etched lines in them where you would hold them. That would be a great thing for these to have because since they are so smooth, they are easy to drop.

Gold
This is my favorite pair. They are what most women are used to using when tweezing their eyebrows. As I have aged, I have also been horrified to learn that I need to watch for horribly coarse long hairs that appear out of nowhere on my chin and jawline! Gasp, and they are sometimes very dark, unlike the blonde, baby-like down fuzz of the rest of my facial hair. (Ladies, this is another thing that no one tells you about as you are growing up, lol. Mine discreetly began after I had my children and now have appeared in full force as I have progressed through my 40’s.)

Back to the tweezers now that I have told the young ladies the secret reason why they need to be prepared with a good pair of tweezers like these. These gold tweezers have the perfect slanted tip for your eyebrows and facial hair. You can easily find and then grasp the tip with the tweezers and then the hair comes out very easily when you pull in the direction of your hair growth. If you pull the opposite way, you may break or cut the hair and possibly even end up with an ingrown hair. Cheaper tweezers make it difficult to find the base of the hair if they aren’t slanted properly and if they are not constructed well enough,with a strong sturdy grip, you lose the hair before you can get it out. We have all been in that frustrating position before. Once you have these, no more need to worry about any of that again. These have performed perfectly every time I have used them and let me tell you there was a lot to catch up on since my husband lost my last favorite pair!

Purple
These have a straight tip that you would use if you needed to pull out larger areas of hair, for example, in the case of a unibrow. Even though I don’t have a unibrow, I do have small tiny pale hairs that you can barely see that seem to grow quickly between my eyebrows. This pair of tweezers worked perfectly to clean that up quickly and easily.

Silver
These are my husband’s favorite kind of tweezers. He has a goatee and mustache and often gets ingrown hairs. He says that these get the job done, but as I mentioned in the CONS, the tips of them need to be level to work most efficiently.

We do not use our personal tweezers for any kind of first aid so I didn’t try them out on anything like that. The same rules apply though so I can see where they would be useful. Since the Silver ones are the ones you are most likely to use for first aid, it is too bad about those tips.

Now that I have told you more than you ever wanted to know about this set of tweezers, I must also say that I ordered this 3 Tips Premium Stainless Steel Tweezers Set with Case – Slant, Straight and Pointed Tip Tweezers with Case – Best Use for Best for Eyebrow, Ingrown and Nose Hair, Splinters & More on Amazon and received it for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised. All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Life is about the map we follow and the treasure we find along the way

Product Review :: Startonight Wall Art Canvas

Product Review :: Startonight Wall Art Canvas

Startonight Wall Art Canvas Maple Tree

Startonight Maple Tree PaintingThe painting appears very much like it does in the product description on Amazon. I believe this is the famous tree in the Japanese Garden in Portland but I could be wrong. I have seen the tree in person and this is a very nice representation. The print actually looks better in person, the yellows are bright and crisp and it looks really glorious to me hanging on the wall. I love photography and trees, so I thought this would be the perfect match for me. I also love unique things so the idea of a glowing photograph was intriguing.

Beautiful print but fails to glow

The technical specifications are correct and it is well constructed and easy to hang. I won’t bother repeating the product listing information again since I am sure you have read it. I will go straight into my thoughts and experiences with the painting. My problem with this product is that it does not glow like the product description promises it will. I have had mine ‘charging’ straight across the hall from a huge window for over a week now. That particular hallway gets direct light almost all day and when the light starts to fade I have been turning on the lights in the hallway and the connecting rooms. Every night my husband takes it down and into our bedroom where it is very dark. With absolutely everything turned off, my husband says that he can see a very faint glow in one area along the top edge, but I can not.

Today I even propped the picture up on a different window sill so that it was directly against the window for several hours and still it did not glow when I took it into my walk in closet. The concept is not hard to understand and there really is no way of doing this wrong. I am going out of my way to charge it with direct sunlight and then direct overhead lighting also. When I take it into a dark room, it should glow. I have even tried shining a large LED desk lamp on it for a few hours before turning off the lights in the bedroom to no avail. I have tried every suggestion that was sent to me when I inquired about my problem.

I think my video will show more than anything how the picture is beautiful but fails to glow. I also need to call to attention that in some places in the product listing, as in the title, for example, this is listed as a painting and in other places, it is described as a print. I think that is misleading to initially call it a painting and go back and forth with the terms. A painting would be valued at much more than a print. In view of these issues, I have to rate it negatively. If this had been marketed as just a photographic print, my rating would have been much higher.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this Startonight Wall Art Canvas Maple Tree, Nature USA Design for Home Decor, Dual View Surprise Artwork Modern Framed Ready to Hang Wall Art 23.62 X 35.43 Inch 100% Original Art Painting! on Amazon and received it for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All ratings are earned and never promised. All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I am in no way associated with the manufacturer or seller. I received no compensation other than the product sample. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

#canvaswallart


Life is about the map we follow and the treasure we find along the way