Author Archives: Lynn Marie

Secret of Life

Secret of Life

secret of life

Do you know the Secret of Life?   Maybe it is something you have wondered about at times in your life. I know that I have. A very dear friend’s blog post this month was about the Secret to Life. She is a Stroke Survivor and an exceptionally strong woman.  I knew her before her stroke and have followed her progress for over 10 years now. To be honest, when I heard about her stroke, I had little hope. But she has continued to make remarkable progress through the years. She loves her life and has attacked her recovery with every bit of spunk and will that she has in her other life endeavors. She continues to amaze me. 

As I mentioned, her post this month was about the Secret. She shared the story of Barry Zito, a former pitcher for the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants. .My friend loves baseball and Barry’s newest endeavor caught her eye. He has become a  singer and one of his first songs is all about the Secret of Life

After watching the video numerous times, which I love, I was curious to learn more about Barry and what inspired him about this song. I found several videos on YouTube that I watched about his early career that chronicled the ups and downs he experienced. When he started with the A’s he won the Cy Young award two times, When he signed with the Giants he became the highest paid pitcher in MLB history. He led the kind of life any movie star, rock star, or other sport’s star would seemingly love. Then his career took a hit. The fans turned on him. He watched his beloved team go on to win the World Series without him. 

He spent his time off reading self-help books to try and build his confidence to see what he was lacking. Finally, his girlfriend came to him and said there is only one book you need to be reading and she gave him a Bible. He began to read it and found what was missing in his life. He ended up making a huge comeback, but more importantly, he figured out what he thought was the Secret of Life, wasn’t. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlPBmiMQRDI

 

There are many Secrets of Life. Today is my 50th birthday so I thought I would share my Secret:
Faith, Family, and Friends.

I thank God every day for my life. Even though my life is not always easy, I am blessed to have a husband who loves me and takes care of me. I have three wonderful sons and three amazing grandchildren. My life is vastly different than what I imagined it would be, but I have so much more than most. 

I have been fortunate to have some amazing friends through the years. Not all friendships have lasted the test of time, but each one of them has left me with dear memories and lessons learned. 

I hope you take the time to listen to Barry’s new song and watch at least one of the other videos. If you are searching for the Secret of Life, I urge you to look towards Faith. I don’t mean to make this sound like I am preaching, but I can not tell you how much comfort my own faith has brought to me since I was in high school. If I didn’t share my most honest feelings with my friends and loved ones, what kind of person would I be? 

To read more about my incredible friend Vangi, check out Vangi Uribe’s Stroke Blog. The song inspired her in a little different way, as I am sure it may have for you also. It is a worthwhile read.

I apologize for being offline the last few months. It has been a hard winter but things are looking up. I have a lot of new things to share and, of course, lots of plans for some new things for you!  I hope you have enjoyed my “comeback” post and please do share about what you have found to be Secrets of Life. 

Thank you all for being a part of my life. 

Lynn Marie

Election Results 2016 :: Partisanship vs. Citizenship

Election Results 2016 :: Partisanship vs. Citizenship

My dear friend Mary wrote this on her Facebook page and it really spoke to me in light of the current atmosphere in the news media and on social media surrounding our Presidential election. What she has to say on the subject places the truth where it needs to be and so I wanted to share it with you all.

“Like so many in our country, I am saddened by the events of the past three days. I am deeply distressed by the explosion of hate and anger that is tearing this country apart. I have been thinking back to events that have clouded America just in my lifetime. I am a post-WWII baby boomer. At the end of WWII America was the savior of the world. Returning soldiers were cheered and honored with parades. 

Then in 1950, Harry Truman, a Democrat, committed troops to Korea and American lives were lost again on foreign soil. Mr, Truman was a foul-mouthed, vulgar man who had little filter to his mouth. Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, was elected in 1952. Shortly after his inauguration he visited the war zone for 3 days, ate C-rations with his troops and generals and made a commitment that enough American lives had died. On July 23, 1953, peace was declared. After troops were pulled out of Korea, not one American soldier died on foreign soil during the rest of his term, a fact that no other president can claim. 

Our next president, John Kennedy, a Democrat, had his legacy tarnished as a womanizer, the Cuban Bay of Pigs, the Cuban crisis and the entrance of the Cold War. How many of us remember the disaster drills at school of hiding under our desks if there was a nuclear attack? As if that was supposed to save us if a bomb were to hit. Those were also the civil rights years and our country was divided. I remember rumors that were flying during his campaign. He was a Catholic and rumors were that he had made a pact with Russia that if he was elected, non-converted Protestants were to be sent to concentration camps in Siberia. (LOL). The assassination of JFK was a dark time in our country. JFK was a good president, but he was not considered a great one. 

JFK had sent advisors to Vietnam. Enter Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat. LBJ instituted the draft and troops in mass were sent to Vietnam. Again our country was split and on the brink of civil war. Civil Rights a continued issue, young men fleeing to Canada to dodge the draft, riots in our cities and on our campuses. Men returning from Vietnam were disrespected and spit upon.

Richard Nixon, a Republican, brought the troops home, but, without victory in Vietnam. Soldiers, even POWs, were treated with dishonor, no parades welcomed them. A very sad time in our country. President Nixon’s second term was disgraced with Watergate and his resignation.

Gerald Ford, known for his integrity and openness, tried to curb inflation, revive a depressed economy, reduce government intervention and spending. He tried to re-establish US power and prestige in the world and endeavored to prevent war in the Middle East. He was defeated by Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, in 1976.

Carter’s campaign was “A leader for change”. He promised to never tell a lie. His campaign was tarnished by an interview with Playboy where he admitted committing adultery “in his heart” and made other glib remarks about sex and infidelity. He had narrowly defeated Gerald Ford. Carter was a weak president. His presidency was marred by the hostage take over in Iran in which 66 Americans were held hostage for 444 days, released to his disgrace the day he left office. Carter’s second term hopes were ended by a crushing defeat by Ronald Reagan, a Republican. Carter’s reputation was saved after he left office for his humanitarian efforts and peace saving efforts in the Middle East.

Our country enjoyed a growing economy under Reagan. We enjoyed prosperity and peacetime under the leadership of Ronald Reagan. He was successful in foreign policy of tearing the Berlin Wall down and reuniting east and West Berlin. He designated the Martin Luther King holiday. A fairer tax code was put in place during his presidency. 

George HW Bush, a Republican, became our 41st president January 1989. His desire was to have a kinder/gentler nation. The Americans with a Disability Act in 1990 is his credit. He authorized military invasions in Panama and Iraq. Operation Desert Storm freed Kuwait. His term was marred by economic recession and his bid for a second term was crushed by Bill Clinton, a Democrat,

Economic prosperity ruled during Clinton’s administration. His legacy was marred by an impeachment in 1998 and scandals of infidelity. Under Bill, invasions happened in Haiti, the Balkans, and Somali. There was the bombing of the World Trade Center, WACO, Texas, the Brady Bill, and NAFTA. Clinton was a champion for the LGBT community.

George W Bush became the 43rd president in January 2001. The campaign was a controversial one in which Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election. The White House was trashed and items stolen as the Clinton administration vacated. Nine months into his presidency came the horrors of 9/11. Bush brought unity in our country and lead with compassion and a resolve to bring to justice those responsible. The Department of Homeland Security was established. War on terrorism was launched and invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan brought American into war again. Bush won tax bill cuts, prescription coverage for seniors, signed the “No Child Left Behind” bill. George entered his second term with high voter approval but his popularity plummeted after Hurricane Katrina, and the worse financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Barrack Obama became our county’s 44th president in 2009. As with every other president, he has had his challenges, numerous mass shootings in the USA and a failure to bring home all the troops from the Middle East, Benghazi, Lybia, his Affordable Health Care, race relations. I suppose that historians will determine what kind of a president he was.

My point is that we are all imperfect people living in an imperfect world. Our leaders have “feet of clay”. Every president has had accomplishments and defeats. Citizens either love our leaders or they hate them. Somehow we must find a way to unity despite our differences or we will be split apart, hate and anger will prevail and there could be civil war and blood shed on our own soil by the hands of our own “American brothers and sisters, friends, and neighbors. May today’s crisis bring us all to our knees to again pray for, “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Mary has really touched on a hard hitting truth. If we can not find a way to stop this needless bickering that gets us nowhere and find a way to move forward, we are at risk of losing everything that we hold dear.


 

Product Review :: Double Hammock #XLLightweightPortableDurableNylonHammock

Product Review :: Double Hammock #XLLightweightPortableDurableNylonHammock


YUEDGE Lightweight Portable Durable Nylon Hammock for Outdoor,Traveling, Camping, Hiking, Backpacking (XL Blue)


Durable enough to stand up to several rambunctious kids!

Please note, I received this at a discount in exchange for my review. 

I ordered this hammock for my grandchildren to use in the back yard and on camping trips. Our family really loves hammocks and everyone seems to always gravitate to them when they are out. I thought if I got this double hammock it would be big enough to hold a few children and I was right, it is perfect. Two adults can even snuggle up in this for a nice nap.

Advantages:
* Accurate size at approx 108″ x 80″
* Big enough for 2-3 kids under 10, 2 kids and 1 adult, or 2 average sized adults
* Made of breathable nylon, easy to clean, dries quickly
* Carabiners and thick nylon ropes came already attached to the hammock
* Easy to hang and comfortable to use

Disadvantages:
* I wish the carrying case, which is actually attached to the hammock, was just a little bit larger. I found it difficult to get it all packed back up into the bag but it is possible. If you are the methodical type, you will have no problem.

double hammock

This hammock comes in 4 different sizes and 2 different colors so make sure you are ordering the size that you need. I ordered the XL in Blue and have been very happy with it. It does match up to the product description very well so as long as you are aware of what is described in the listing and that is what you are looking for, you should be very happy too.

I think the smaller sized hammock would make a great reading nook hammock in a closet. Kids love hammocks and any small space would do. You could even make a reading area in an unfinished basement or attic by hanging one of these from the beams and simply putting some tumbling mats below it in case of a spill from the hammock. These hammocks are lightweight and durable, perfect for all kinds of different projects with kids, indoors and out.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this YUEDGE Lightweight Portable Durable Nylon Hammock for Outdoor,Traveling, Camping, Hiking, Backpacking (XL Blue) 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.

#XLLightweightPortableDurableNylonHammock


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


Reviewing 🌟 The Dust Has Settled, What’s Next? Even Better Things!

Reviewing 🌟 The Dust Has Settled, What’s Next? Even Better Things!

keep-calm-and-experience-serendipity🌟”Late Reviews”  🌟ARAT  

🌟Blogging  🌟Social Media

🌟Other Opportunities  🌟Amazon

🌟What’s Next!


 

🌟 “Late Reviews”

Keep calm and just say noI am still hearing about some people receiving pressure from Sellers or admins to finish reviews that you were holding off on. Keep Calm And Just Say No! It will in all probability be taken down by Amazon anyway and you could lose your account. Anything published after the 4th (I believe that is the date, they supposedly gave one day for the policy to go into effect) is subject to the new policy and if you didn’t use your own money to buy it, don’t review it. Let anyone that is pressuring you know that it is against Amazon policy and offer them an alternative posting on one of your social media accounts. If they are still adamant, I would consider reporting them.

If you did post a review after that date for anything that involved any type of agreement, I would delete it. That is my personal opinion only, I have no facts to back that up. I know I have always said in the past not to delete any reviews, but the rules have changed now.

As far as I am concerned, and the consensus among people that I trust, is that the dust has settled and it is time to move on from posting reviews involving anyone else at all, on Amazon. If you haven’t read my post Questions and Answers With Amazon About Writing Reviews I really encourage you to. If you have read it, you should take a look at some of the Comments people have left.

I always love reading Comments, they are the favorite part of my blog. The additional information, corrections, questions, and insightful thoughts really make for great reading. We have had some really great participation the last 2 weeks, it seems to help when I write a post, lol. I love the interaction with you all, your thoughts and opinions, just learning more about you. Thank you!

🌟 ARAT

keep-calm-and-download-a-copy-of-your-reviews-with-aratIf you still haven’t backed up your Amazon reviews using ARAT, do it now. How To Back Up Your Amazon Reviews Using ARAT  It doesn’t take that long to get a copy of your reviews and you never know when they might come in handy! You have worked hard and you should always keep a copy of your work. Who knows, save it and in 20 years publish it as a “Remember When” funny commentary about products we used in the early part of the century! If you only have an iPhone or Mac and don’t have access to Windows, which is required by ARAT, contact me I will make a copy of your reviews for you. I do not require your Amazon password to do this.

🌟 Blogging

keep-calm-and-enjoy-blogging-5If you are planning on starting a blog and have a copy of all of your reviews from Amazon, courtesy of ARAT or your own foresight, you have ready made content! Just because they are still on Amazon today, doesn’t mean they will be there tomorrow. Remember, Amazon is sifting through the reviews with their new algorithm removing content if the Reviewer was excessive or did not follow policy. Amazon Removing Some Reviews

Even if you already blog, you might be like me and only have a small percentage of your reviews on your blog. Having more reviews on your blog is a great way to showcase your work to potential sponsors (Sellers who either give you products or money in exchange for a potential review or endorsement.)

If you need to start a blog I recommend WordPress. You can get a free account and they even have free templates. They have a great Support Forum too. I can post some places for free tutorials for WordPress and I can offer some support to other WordPress users if you have a problem with your blog. There are other places to get free blogs but I don’t know as much about them, if anyone wants to recommend what you use, I would be happy to add it to this post.

If you are looking for a company for a self hosted blog, I use SiteGround and have been extremely happy with it. It is only $3.95 a month. If you already have a blog but want to move for some reason, you can get free site migration and up to 6 months of free hosting bonus added to your new account for unused time with your current host. (Please note, I do receive a referral bonus, but that is not the intent of this post.)

🌟 Social Media Reviews

keep-calm-and-review-on-social-mediaSocial media just keeps growing and growing and Sponsors are taking advantage of people like us who are usually micro-influencers! A micro-influencer can sometimes market products more effectively than an Influencer who has hundreds of thousands of followers and up. (Blogging is technically social media but for my purposes right now I am keeping it separate because it takes more effort to get started.) If you haven’t already, create your social media accounts and start to build up your network, your followers and friends. The number of people in your network is one of the things that Sponsors look at when choosing who to work with. I will share some tips on how to do this if you want, in the meantime I would recommend these as the most popular social media sites to be on: Facebook with a Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. For YouTube you need a Google+ account which you may have already if you use Gmail. Do you have to do all of them, of course not! Especially if you are new to any of them, go ahead and create your accounts but concentrate on 1 or 2 at a time or you may quickly become overwhelmed.

As you are creating your new accounts, or even if you have existing accounts, think about branding. First of all, do you want your personal and review accounts as the same account? Second of all, think about your name. If you have a blog, your social media accounts should reflect your blog name in some way. This can get tricky, especially if your blog name is long, not all social media accounts allow the same number of characters in your name. Some of the services will let you change your name, on others it is harder to do, so think about it first.

🌟 Other Opportunities

keep-calm-and-review-on-other-online-retailersMany other online retailers have successful review programs. There are a few FB groups that I know of that are already working with many retailers, if you know of any that are looking for additional members, please let us know! I will share a list once I have the admins approval. There are also a few websites I can think of that put you in contact with different brands. So if you just enjoy the ease of posting on one site, similar to what many people did on Amazon, those opportunities are out there.

🌟 Amazon

keep-calm-and-keep-reviewing-your-own-purchases-on-amazonReviewing on Amazon is not going away. You can still review books. I plan to still review what I purchase myself. I just enjoy writing and it makes me feel productive. We buy an awful lot of things on Amazon because I am home bound and need an easy way to shop. I know some people feel like Reviewers have been treated poorly by Amazon and I agree that there are things they could have done differently. They have a huge challenge ahead of them to now improve their Customer Service from top level management down, not just at the Help Desk level.

However, they are still the largest online marketplace and a great place to show off your ability to write a well-written review and/or your talent making videos in order to be found by Sellers looking for people to do posts on social media. Don’t forget, you can still pitch to Sellers on Amazon to do reviews on your blog or other social media accounts.

🌟 What’s next for this little blog that started out to help other people learn about Reviewing on Amazon??? Well, it has turned into much more than I planned and I really love it. At times my health gets in the way, but no worries, I always show back up!

keep-calm-and-remember-that-life-is-about-the-map-we-follow-and-the-treasures-we-find-along-the-wayIf there is interest in learning about social media reviewing, I would be happy to share what I know and research what I don’t. There are lots of other things now that I talk about on this site and maybe there isn’t enough interest in reviewing anymore. I plan to send out a survey to see what you all are interested in. so you will really have to let me know what you all enjoy, want, and need. I love still being able to help other people because I learn so much myself along the way.

👑 Coming up I have some inspirational quotes, coloring links to add, craft ideas for colorists, some boring health updates (that help my soul to share, thank you!), and some re-blogging of some really wonderful things from other incredible people I have been wanting to share!

💗 Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


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


 

Questions and Answers With Amazon About Writing Reviews

Questions and Answers With Amazon About Writing Reviews

Last week I promised you I would be asking some specific questions about reviewing to Amazon and then sharing with you what I learned.  

questions-and-answers-with-amazon-about-writing-reviews-frostedI addressed my email to Jeff Bezos himself so that I could be sure that whatever answer I received was carefully considered and not just from someone at the Help Desk who may or may not really understand what I was asking, much less what the right answers are. I wanted an answer from a top-level executive at Amazon that I could trust.

After receiving my email, Jeff asked Jennifer P. (why does no one who works at Amazon ever use their full last name?) to respond on his behalf. Jennifer, who works in Executive Customer Relations, responded right away and let me know that she would need some time so that she could work directly with the Communities team on my list of questions.

Here is the text of the letter I sent to Jeff.  You can see full screenshots of the email that I sent and the emails that I received in response by clicking here.



Dear Mr. Bezos,

There are multiple emails from executives at Amazon circulating among the Reviewer Community that seem to contradict one another. By going straight to the top, my expectation is that I will have the answers that are needed so that responsible reviewers will be in compliance with Amazon’s policies.  I can then help distribute this to other responsible reviewers to share with as many other people as possible.
 
I am going to try and keep this cut and dried so that nothing is left to interpretation. All of these can be answered with a Yes or No.
 
1. Are hobbyist Reviewers going against Amazon policy if they use the services of a website, Facebook group, email group, or other organizations to come in contact with Sellers who are offering products at a lower than advertised price, as long as the TOS or rules of the business state that there is no expectation of a review in exchange for the product? 
 
1a. Once they receive the product and test it, are they going against Amazon policy to write a review?
 
2. Are Reviewers going against Amazon policy if they accept a gift that is shipped directly from the seller, and then write a review for that gift, as long as there is no expectation of a review?
 
2a. Are Reviewers going against Amazon policy, in the same situation as above, except that the gift is shipped via Amazon? 
 
3. Are Reviewers allowed to use gift cards supplied by a Seller to order products if they are for the full price of the item and nothing more, or are only promotional codes allowed to be used? 
 
3a. Just to verify, a gift card ends in 4 digits and a promotional code in 6 digits correct? 
 
4. Is a disclosure (disclaimer) required when you leave a review if it is written for a product you received at a lower price than what is currently advertised on Amazon if there was no expectation of a review when the product was offered?
 
4a. Does the disclosure have to stipulate whether it was free vs whether it was received at a discount, or is a general disclosure permissible? 
 
5. If no disclosure is required, isn’t that against FTC guidelines? 
 
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. I know that if Reviewers have some concrete answers to these questions, you will find that every effort is made to follow the policy by the vast majority of people who write reviews. 
 
In the past, problems have gotten out of control because there was too much left open to interpretation. In fact, it would be wonderful that if a disclosure is required, you gave us a specific one to use. Just as the Vine Program is clearly identifiable by their badge and no disclosure is necessary, if hobbyist Reviewers had a common disclosure to use it would make things much easier for everyone. 
 
With My Sincerest Gratitude,
Lynn Marie White


As you can tell, I really took into consideration the questions I have read going around in all the different groups I belong to, questions anyone sent me, and things I read on message boards and forums.
I wanted everything to be very clear so nothing would be left to interpretation and no one could argue the facts. I really did try to  make it so specific that a Yes or No answer would be easy for Amazon to provide. Many of these executives are so used to speaking in legalese that perhaps they forget that for the average person, reading their TOS, Community Guidelines, or page about Promotional Content can leave some of us confused at times. I must say, they are getting better and I do think this last change in wording helps define our role more than it did previously. 

At times, change comes with chaos, though. There are so many emails from Amazon executives making the rounds that contradict one another, messages from the help desk that also contradict one another, and some that don’t even make sense. Maybe we should have a contest to see who has received the craziest answer to a recent question about reviewing from Amazon!

That chaos is only taking into consideration the written content from Amazon that I have seen. The rumor mill is out of control with all kinds of crazy speculation from Reviewers, Sellers, Admins, and website representatives too. I will caution you strongly to not believe everything you read and I hope that you have followed what I suggested when the news of the changes started making the rounds, Wait Until the Dust Settles! 

So what are the facts?


First email I received from Jennifer P. 

Hello Lynn,

I’m Jennifer of Amazon.com’s Executive Customer Relations. Jeff Bezos received your e­mail and asked me to respond on his behalf.

Thanks so much for sharing your questions regarding Amazon’s review policies ­­ we appreciate our reviewers wanting to be in compliance and I’m happy to answer your questions.

Lynn, because I want to ensure you’re provided the most accurate response to each of your questions, I’m collaborating directly with our Communities team and it’ll take a bit longer than usual. I truly appreciate your patience and I’ll have a thorough response by 4 PM PDT on Tuesday October 11, 2016.

You’ve been a valuable member of our Prime family for 5 years and we appreciate your patronage. I’ll be in touch Tuesday and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

We’d appreciate your feedback. Please use the links below to tell us about your experience today.

Best regards,

Jennifer P.
Executive Customer Relations

Second email I received from Jennifer:

Hello Lynn,

As you recall, I’m Jennifer of Amazon.com’s Executive Customer Relations. I appreciate your patience while I collaborated with our Communities team regarding your inquiry.

We updated the community guidelines to prohibit incentivized reviews unless they are facilitated through the Amazon Vine program.

We do not permit tying a free or discounted product or other benefit to a review, whether or not a review is expressly required. These reviews are prohibited, whether or not the benefit is disclosed in the review:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201929730

In order to preserve the integrity of Community content, promotional content is only allowed in limited circumstances, and must always be clearly and conspicuously disclosed as promotional content if not obvious from the context:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_left_v4_sib?ie=UTF8&…

Please note we do not have information in addition to what is already provided in our help pages and we’re not able to offer additional insight on these matters. We appreciate your understanding.

Best regards,

Jennifer P.
Executive Customer Relations

Thank you.
Amazon.com


 

blue transparent checkmarkThe fact is that unless you are in the Vine Program, do not write a review on Amazon for anything* that you have not purchased yourself with your own valid credit or debit card.  

I would recommend that you not even load up gift cards anymore and use those to make purchases, especially if you might write a review for the product. I know loading up gift cards can often entitle you to a credit, but now, your gift card purchase could result in a loss of your account privileges if you forget and write a review for something you ordered with it.

* There is one exception to this policy, if you are a bibliophile like myself, you will be happy to know that this does not apply to books. The following statement is from the Community Guidelines page. “Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.” A disclosure is required to be in compliance with Amazon’s policy in regards to Promotional Content. 

I understand that there are people telling us that it is okay to write a review because no one has asked for a review. Here is what Amazon has said that addresses that statement:

“We do not permit tying a free or discounted product or other benefit to a review,
whether or not a review is expressly required.
These reviews are prohibited, whether or not the benefit is disclosed in the review:”

I have been going through the multitude of emails I have received from websites and some of the groups that I have belonged to that ran promotions. I am sure you are getting them too. They are all saying that the rules have changed and they have changed with them. 

Many are changing their rules, guidelines, or TOS and saying that a review on Amazon is in no way required in order to receive a product promotional code through them. They are claiming that the choice is totally up to you whether you want to leave a review, and in fact, you won’t be breaking Amazon’s policy if you do leave a review. They are calling sellers and reviewers 2themselves shops and stores and you are now a shopper or some other similar term, anything but a Reviewer.

It is true that their rules have changed and they don’t require a review to get a code. You can go to Amazon and order the product, the code you get will work just like it did before. But if you write a review on Amazon, you are in breach of Amazon’s policy. I know some of you are thinking that there is no way that Amazon can track people who are doing this, there are so many Sellers and so many Reviewers that they will never be able to find out if you do,

My background is in software development and business management and I am telling you straight up that I know for a fact how easy it would be for Amazon to track this and wipe the Sellers and Reviewers who are participating in this type of activity, It is my opinion that the long periods between updates in rankings have not just been computer glitches or periods of time to just wipe groups of reviewers. They have used that time to upgrade their servers, work on their database structure, develop algorithms (software scripts that analyze data to do things like track Seller and Reviewer interactions, reviewing patterns, review content, Reviewer to Reviewer relationships, and anything else you can imagine), write and develop new software, test it all out, and assuredly have it up and running by now.

Amazon has already let us know that some of our reviews will be deleted retroactively if they are excessive or do not comply with the previous policy. You can read about that here in my post, Amazon Removing Some Reviews.  I really believe that the operative phrase there is “if they are excessive or do not comply with the previous policy.” I do not think they will remove every single review all of us ever wrote in exchange for a promotional code. As long as both the Reviewer and Seller were in compliance when it was written, it should not be deleted. I know many people didn’t think about what a Seller might be up to and were just concerned about being in compliance themselves. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case and it has been and always will be a symbiotic relationship, remember the article about Keyword Searching, Wishlisting, and Other Seller Requests where I talked about how working with someone who did these types of things put your account in jeopardy, even if you didn’t do the special request but did a review for them. It is too bad that at times we weren’t aware of some of the tactics Sellers used or the ones to avoid.

So, do we all stop writing Amazon reviews? No, if you really enjoy writing reviews there is no reason to stop, as long as you write the review for something that you paid for yourself. In fact, there are many reasons to keep writing reviews on Amazon, one of the most important reasons being your ranking. Having a solid ranking is still a great way for Sellers to discover you. I will share more about the other benefits of continuing to write reviews on Amazon later, this post is long enough as it is!

Promotions and free products are not going to go away. They have always been a successful way of marketing, especially for new products. In the future, I will be writing more about other social media reviewing and how to market yourself to Sellers differently now. 

Looking at the facts that Amazon provided, do you agree? Even here on my blog, I urge everyone to look at the facts. I always try to show some evidence if I am saying that things should be done a certain way or in explaining what something means. I can be wrong just as well as the next person, so don’t feel shy about speaking up if you disagree. None of us can learn if we don’t share our knowledge and beliefs with others and be open to discussion about those differences.

I am looking forward to this next stage of development and feel more confident knowing whether I am doing the right thing when it comes to writing reviews on Amazon. The uncertainty surrounding the interpretation of Amazon’s former TOS can be put to rest and we can move forward together. Even those unfortunate Reviewers who were actually honest and good at what they did, but lost their accounts, have huge opportunities moving forward.

Those reviewers who took advantage of the system are out of luck. A  Seller won’t be giving anything to someone who does nothing valid to promote their product.  On Amazon, some Sellers put up with it because perceived sells, the number of positive reviews, and many other metrics improved their Amazon ranking.  Social media reviewing is a whole other game, you need to know what you are doing and not just be a number to the Seller.

if-it-looks-like-a-duck-and-quacks-like-a-duck-then-it-is-probably-a-duck


Thoughts? I would love to hear what you think about this post and how Amazon responded. Do you agree with my conclusion? Do you disagree, if so, why? I love hearing from you all, it is the most important reason I do my blog so let’s hear from you!

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

We have a new map going forward with Amazon and Reviewing in general. You all are the treasures I have found along the way!


Reviewing :: Backing Up Your Reviews With ARAT

Reviewing :: Backing Up Your Reviews With ARAT

keep-calm-and-back-up-your-reviewsARAT, which stands for Amazon Reviewer Analysis Tool, was developed by Kirk Hodges as a tool for his wife to use. She is a hobbyist reviewer who enjoys writing reviews on Amazon like many of us. Talk about a great gift for your wife, way to go, Kirk!

In light of Amazon’s announcement (read more here) that they may be deleting some of our previously published reviews, many people are wondering what they can do to get a copy of their reviews. Having a copy of your reviews is always a good thing to have and is especially important right now. If you have copies of all of your reviews, it will be easy to turn those into a blog if you haven’t already. 

If you haven’t downloaded it yet, here is the link: ARAT kghodgessoftware  I use the full version myself. Kirk has provided excellent documentation on his website on how to download and use this great tool. 

I know most of you are just going to use it to download a copy of your reviews. It has some great functionality built in though that I will talk about when I post about being a well-balanced reviewer. 

I think this information posted on his website is a great overview:

Currently, ARAT provides functionality to:

  • Extract data from existing reviews in order to graph rating tendencies across reviews.
  • Store data from previous ARAT extractions in order to graph rating tendencies over time.
  • Organize data from extraction in order to chart voting behavior on reviews over time.
  • Analyze Vine selections to chart the reviewer’s review percentage on received Vine items.
  • Extract unrated purchase data in order to help the reviewer decide what to review next.
  • Automate extraction runs through a command line interface that can be programmed to run on schedule.

Along with the wonderful documentation, Kirk has provided, another reviewer recently made a video on how she uses it. A huge shout out to Meghan Robledo for allowing me to use this on my blog! Please take some time to check out her blog at Robledo Reviews. She is just transferring over from a different service, so give her a bit to have it moved and fixed up, but be sure to check it out! It is so kind of her to share this with us!

In regards to Downloading and Saving your reviews, Meghan shows you an excellent way. I do it a little bit differently so that everything is easier for me instead of being in Notepad. Once you have all of your reviews displayed on the ARAT screen, go to File ~ Print ~ Reviews. It will process everything into a file but it isn’t saved yet. Go up to the Print icon in the top left corner and click on that.  You could print everything out onto paper if you want, but I use the dropdown menu that will now be displayed and pick Print to PDF instead. I can then save an electronic file that is easy to work with, I just have to copy and paste the text into what I want. 


This will not work on Apple products. If that is all you have, let me know and I will see what I can do. You will have to give me your Amazon profile ID though in order for me to run a report for you. I don’t need your password, just the letter/number combination from your profile. 

Please let me know if you need any help. 


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


Amazon Removing Some Reviews

Amazon Removing Some Reviews

If you are a Reviewer on Amazon, some of your reviews may be removed. The key word here is may. Make sure you read until the end of the post to find out how to tell if any of your reviews have been removed and one way to save a copy of your reviews if you don’t already have one.

 

Yesterday Amazon sent out a copy of this email to all Reviewers.

amazonemail-we-may-remove reviews

Please read this carefully. It says that reviews are being retroactively removed if they are excessive or do not comply with the previous policy. If you followed policy before, you should not be affected too much, if not at all.  What is excessive? Of course, we do not know what they believe excessive is. If you are submitting more than 100 a month, that is probably excessive, but that is only my opinion. What was the policy they will probably be looking for? Having the correct disclosure displayed prominently on all of your reviews.

There is one other thing that may have been out of your control and could have gotten you wiped before now or will affect whether some of your reviews are removed.  Remember, you are not in this alone. Think about who you got the product from and what Amazon is also looking for when it comes to Sellers.  There are many Sellers who are losing their accounts too now. If a Seller loses their account, all of their product listings are taken down and so that means that your review is also removed. I know I have mentioned in several different posts about working with Sellers that you know do things that are against Seller TOS. Even if you don’t do their special request but do a review for them, Amazon only sees the data relationship between you.  They aren’t going to go to each Reviewer and ask you if they fulfilled a request for something special. They are just going to wipe those reviews that are associated with that Seller and product.

Remember, your disclosure has to have said if it was for free or if it was a discounted item. Having a general disclosure was not acceptable. An example of a general disclosure is: I received this as a promotional item. I received this for free or at a discount. I received this in exchange for the sample. The words free or discount(ed) had to be in the disclosure according to Amazon. For the full article about Disclosures, please click here. 

free-vs-discount-product-for-review-amazon-tos-changes

How will you know what Amazon deletes, if they delete any of yours? If you have not been keeping copies of your reviews or at know how many reviews you have written, now is the time to take notice. You can find the number of reviews you have written by looking at your Public Reviews Written By You page on Amazon. You have to be signed in to see this page. If the link is not working for you, you can get to it by going to Your Account and scrolling down to the bottom to Personalization. 

I use ARAT to keep track of my reviews, I will get a quick tutorial together on this asap for anyone interested. The directions the developer has written up are actually very good.  In the meantime, you can download it here: ARAT kghodgessoftware  It is a great analysis tool that not only lets you keep track of the reviews you have written, but run various reports on your reviews. You can also print copies of your reviews from ARAT.

keep-calm-and-dont-write-reviews-until-the-dust-settles
For now, I recommend you to take a break and relax. Do not do anything. At this point, we need to set back and see what happens in the next few days. I know some people and groups are urging you to write your reviews with no disclosure (or disclaimer as it is sometimes called). It is against the law to write a review without a disclosure according to the FTC. The FTC trumps Amazon. The fines can be very high if you are caught doing this. Even if you are writing short reviews on social media, they need a disclosure. 


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


Product Review :: Valentia Fresh Mist Calming #Toner

Product Review :: Valentia Fresh Mist Calming #Toner


Valentia Fresh Mist Calming Toner – Natural and Organic Ingredients – with Witch Hazel and Vitamin C – Refreshing – Balancing – 4.0 Oz  from Valentia Skin Care


This toner makes me feel fresh and cool!

Valencia skin tonerI really love a good toner. If you don’t currently use toners in your beauty regime, I highly recommend you give one a try. This one is a fantastic one for anyone new to toners or a toner true believer like I am.  I love that it is full of natural ingredients that I have learned about and know from experience that they work. Magnesium, Witch Hazel, Vitamin C and Tea Tree Oil are all proven natural ingredients that are great for your skin and many other things.

Toners provide your skin with multiple benefits. If you use them as part of a beauty routine, it is best to spritz it on after cleansing your face and before applying moisturizer. A toner helps take your clean routine one step further by removing any remaining oil or dirt from deep down in your pores. A good toner like this one will help balance the PH in your skin, which helps it stay clear of bothersome acne. My favorite thing about a toner is that it helps minimize enlarged pores. The Witch Hazel in this toner is the perfect ingredient for that. It is a natural astringent. 

Valentia facial toner radianceI actually keep this toner by my sink and another on my nightstand and use it anytime I pass by, and especially when I need something to help cool me down. This toner has a light fresh scent that I love. If I am feeling the heat, I just spritz some of this on and then as the fan circulates by my bed, the moisture on my face and neck help to cool my whole body.  I actually use toner so much in the summer that I don’t need a lot of my moisturizer anymore.  In fact, for the last few months, I haven’t done anything special to my face beyond using a cleanser and then toner multiple times a day. My skin looks fresh and clear, and most importantly to me, my pores are smaller. 

Thanks, #valentianatural #toner

In the spirit of full disclosure, I received this Valentia Fresh Mist Calming Toner – Natural and Organic Ingredients – with Witch Hazel and Vitamin C – Refreshing – Balancing – 4.0 Oz  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


Amazon TOS :: Fact or Fiction, Again!

Amazon TOS :: Fact or Fiction, Again!


Amazon TOS ChangesAre the words Amazon TOS and change coming up in your thoughts and in discussions too much lately? Are you having trouble keeping up with the changes and don’t know where to go for answers right now? Are you feeling more and more confused? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone and I do have some great advice for you. 

I took a quick look around on the internet today and stopped in at some of the “watering holes” where reviewers congregate. I have read multiple emails from different companies and individuals involved with the Reviewer Community, many of from the Seller side of things also. I have read and re-read the new Guidelines for Amazon.com Community ParticipationThe section that affects those of us who love to write product reviews is under the Promotions and Commercial Solicitations section. 


Promotions and Commercial Solicitations

As that reads, it seems that writing a review is no longer allowed on Amazon if a review has been, or is, requested. I know I have many open reviews that I promised to do on Amazon, three of them are very expensive products and now the Sellers are left without a review. I have been trying out the products so I can’t return them, they are no longer new.

Do I publish them with a different disclosure, or maybe no disclosure at all?

Are the different sites where we often find products going to shut down and if they don’t are they breaking TOS?

Can Sellers contact us directly and ask us to review a product? Can we pitch to Sellers?

What about the FB groups and email groups, so many of them are handing out conflicting information, who is right?

The best thing any of us can do right now is to sit back and wait for the dust to settle.  My advice to you is to take a break and do not to publish any reviews on Amazon at all right now.  If you are on a deadline for something, contact the Seller and discuss different options like posting to social media. If you go to them with a plan in mind I think they will readily agree with you.  You do not want to make a mistake at this juncture and jeopardize your account.  If there is someone pressuring you to publish a review on Amazon, please consider whether or not that product, that person, or that group is worth the possibility of losing your account.

In the meantime, I am sure there will be more information forthcoming from Amazon, or at least from different people that have contacted Customer Service and have some verified answers to these questions and more. Consider this a vacation, you deserve one anyway! Take some time off from Reviewing and relax. Enjoy the Fall weather and the changes all around us. Do something special for yourself or a neighbor who could use a helping hand.

I will let you know what I come up with, probably sometime over the weekend or at the first of next week. I know that may seem like a long time when we are so used to being on deadlines and in a hurry. This is really going to be a time to reflect on if you want to continue writing reviews and then consider the best way to go about it if you do want to continue. If you still have an account after all of the wipes the last few months, so many of them senseless, then you really do need to do everything you can to safeguard your account. Giving yourself a few days to consider what you have learned and what I can verify is more than fair enough considering the major changes that have been made lately.

If there are other specific questions you are concerned about, please leave them below so I can gather lots of feedback at one time as I go about verification of  my own questions and yours. It is easier if they are shared here instead of individually through email, thanks!


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


Amazon TOS :: No More Reviews in Exchange for Samples

Amazon TOS :: No More Reviews in Exchange for Samples

Amazon has once again changed their TOS. If you currently write product reviews in exchange for free or discounted products, the rules have changed and we will no longer be allowed to do this on Amazon. You can certainly still publish your reviews on other outlets, but it seems like the average reviewer will be out of luck when it comes to finding products to review.

If you have huge followings on social media sites, you may still have many opportunities available and it is not too late to build up those social media accounts if you would still like to review products.

If you enjoy reviewing books, you may still receive an advance copy, but they can not ask you to write a review. The Amazon Vine program is also not going away.

I see more emphasis being placed on their new badges of Enthusiasts but who knows where that will go. Encouraging people to ask and answer questions about products is not the way to go in my opinion. How many times have you read 6 answers to one question that all tell you the exact same thing or someone who answers that “they don’t know” to every question posted!

For myself, I am going to hang back and see where this leads. My blog gets pretty good traffic at times so I may still have the opportunity to publish reviews here. I have several commitments to finish in the meantime also.

Even without reviews, my blog won’t be going away. 🙂


Product Review :: Home Security Camera

Product Review :: Home Security Camera

Smarson HD WIFI Home Security Camera, Baby Monitor, App Controlled, Up to 5 Viewers

Easy set up, fantastic child monitor, loads of functionality

I ordered this WIFI camera to use in our kitchen and dining room area. We have had it about a month now and I am so happy with how it is working out. I have it paired with my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Bluetooth 4.0, Android 5.0.

We have other security cameras set up in the house and have tried to work with a few inexpensive cameras that were better off returned. My husband and I are both amazed at how easy this was to set up and with the functionality of this.

Advantages:
Easy to set up
No wiring needed, everything is through WIFI
Camera is easy to operate through app and camera
I can have 5 preset views
I can pan and zoom, left and right, up and down
Two-way communication
You can set up motion alerts

Disadvantages:
The directions could use some refinement when it comes to details. With a little common sense though it is easy to figure out.

If you are looking for a baby monitor I would highly recommend this. We have a camera in our youngest son’s room just so I can easily keep an eye on him. He is old enough now he doesn’t really need it but since my health makes it difficult to get around, it really helps. Since it is a fixed mount camera I can only see certain areas of the room. When he is anywhere on the floor playing or in his reading nook, I can’t see him. A camera like this would be much more helpful in a young child’s room as a monitor. With the two-way audio, you could soothe a young child back to sleep with a few comforting words without always having to get up.

The reason we wanted a camera in the kitchen once again has to do with my health. Since the stairs are almost impossible for me at times, my youngest does a lot of the leg work around the house for me. Now that he is in middle school, his chores have increased, especially in the kitchen. With the great features on this camera that make it possible for me to follow his every move, I can ‘virtually’ help him out with his chores by lending advice on the best ways to clean certain messes or where certain things need to be put away. He can hear me great without any added speaker on the camera. If you are handicapped, a camera like this can be extremely helpful with your older children as well as your younger ones.

We also like to be able to send our son to the kitchen for a snack and not have to worry about him getting into something he shouldn’t have. He loves sugary snacks but is borderline diabetic. If there is sugar in the house, I swear that child can smell it! Now I can watch and make sure he isn’t searching through the baking supplies or sneaking a treat his dad has saved for a special treat.

I haven’t been able to use it with any Kindle tablets but those are compatibility issues that many apps and hardware combinations are finding. A Kindle, or should I now say Fire tablet, runs on a hybrid Android system so not everything works as it is supposed to.

As far as rating this security system goes I would normally deduct a star for poor instructions but the actual ease of set up and use more than makes up for it. If we were able to rate with partial stars, this would probably rate at around 4.80 all things considered.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this Smarson HD WIFI Home Security Camera, Baby Monitor, App Controlled, Up to 5 Viewers 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.

#smarssen


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


Product Review :: #Smarssen Heart Rate Monitor

Product Review :: #Smarssen Heart Rate Monitor
Product Review :: #Smarssen Heart Rate Monitor


Smarssen Portable Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor, iOS and Android Compatible


Accurate and Comfortable

I experience sinus tachycardia when I move around so I like to keep an eye on my heart rate. I have been considering the different ways to do it. In the past, I have had to wear a portable holtor monitor prescribed my doctor for various lengths of time but to purchase one of those on my own would be too expensive. I was fortunate to come across this Bluetooth heart rate monitor because it will work with various apps and I have found several that work for what I want. I need something that I can wear that will monitor my heart 24/7 so that I will not only have verification of any immediate problems but also have access to data that both my doctor and I can look at to recognize any patterns or trends with my heart rate.

The phone I paired this with is a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Bluetooth 4.0, Android 5.0.

#Smarssen Heart Rate Monitor

Advantages:
* Works with multiple apps, you can find the one that works best for your needs
* iOS and Android compatible
* Accurate – I measured this against 2 different oximeters and BP monitor
* Band is comfortable to wear, adjustable for many different sizes
* You are able to wash the band, huge plus when you wear something constantly
* Device attaches/detaches easily, no tangle of wires
* Easy to manage by myself
* I can see right away when my HR is staying high for too long a period of time and then do what i can to get it down myself with medication or rest vs going to the ER.
* With the advantage of working with so many apps, everyone is bound to find one that tracks the kinds of things they are interested in be it just plain HR shown on the display of your phone to elaborate charts and graphs displaying your HR data along with your exercise statistics.

Disadvantages:
* The directions could have been a little more explicit when it comes to how the device pairs with apps (it doesn’t pair through Bluetooth scanning, but through scanning within each app) and the need for the band to be very moist in order to work. I really don’t like that the band has to be wet to work. It is not only uncomfortable, once it dries I loose my connectivity and then have to go through the pairing process again.

#Smarssen Heart Rate MonitorIdeally, it would have been nice if this monitor came with its own app. Many of the ones that were recommended didn’t work because of different updates to them or changes in compatibility. I am not done searching for the perfect app yet, but for my use as a 24/7 monitor I have been using primarily BLE Heart Rate Monitor, HRMonitor, and MotiFIT which I found all on Google Play. I will update this review as I find more apps that are useful for monitoring your HR 24/7. I am not really interested in all of the apps that were recommended in the first place since they are more for monitoring your heart rate during exercise. My exercise is walking as far as the bathroom and brushing my teeth.

In fact, the change you see here of an average HR of 75 to a high of 121 was when I simply walked into the bathroom and back.  You can see that something as simple as walking raises my HR, so it is important that I keep a close eye on it so that it doesn’t get dangerously high.

I am excited to show my doctor this heart rate monitor on my next visit along with some data, once I decide which app I like the best. This is such a reasonably priced product (under $40.00 at the time of this review) that anyone who has an interest in or really needs to be monitoring their heart rate will be able to justify the cost easily. It is probably much less expensive than your copay if you have to wear an holtor monitor or event monitor for any length of time.

Please note, many of the pictures are of the apps I have been using. I wanted you to be able to get a feel for the kind of data you will see and so you will know that it was actually tested and used. What you will receive when you get this is the monitor, elastic band, battery, and battery compartment tool. Which app you choose is up to you.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I was selected to receive this Smarssen Portable Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor, iOS and Android Compatible 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.

#Smarssen


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


Health :: Shades of Pain

Health :: Shades of Pain

Shades of pain…. That phrase is running through my mind as I think about the pain I am in right now, today. I was trying to describe it to my friend so that she understands. I always think that my pain can’t get any worse, but it does. How can I begin to explain to her what I am feeling? Maybe other people with chronic pain will understand.

shades of pain poem about chronic pain


I changed doctors a few months ago and my new ones are really not grasping my medical history. I don’t think they have completely read through my records and they dismiss so many things I tell them. Last week at the pain doctor, she told me that it is against the law for her to prescribe opioids for me because I do not have cancer and am not at the end of my life. She explained that I am taking almost 5 times the legal limit. She cut my pain medication by 30% and next week I am supposed to go back and she will cut it down to the legal limit for a cancer patient. She hasn’t said what the next step after that will be. Is she going to take everything away?

In spite of the fact that I have been dealing with chronic pain for 8 years, I have a heart condition, 2 failed back fusions, I am in so much pain already that I can rarely get out of bed, plus I have several diagnoses that are up in the air at this point (they disagree with the Mayo Clinic) she is taking away my pain medication. She told me that the federal government has passed this law and she has to follow it.

The problem is, besides the fact that I am in tremendous pain, I can’t find any information on the laws that have been passed. I know there has been discussion and that the CDC has made recommendations. A recommendation is not a law, though. I have even asked other chronic pain patients on Twitter if they have heard of these new laws. No one has.

My husband is trying to get me in to see his pain doctor, I don’t think I can take much more of this. I have to find a new doctor asap. The pain is horrible, it wasn’t even controlled in the first place. Now on top of it, I am dealing with withdrawal symptoms. I am trying to read and to keep busy, I try not to let myself focus on the pain. This post has taken me hours to write, I just can’t get it together. Tomorrow has to be better! 


Question :: Reblogging

Question :: Reblogging

blogging questionsI love reading other people’s blogs and many of their posts often inspire me, giving me things to really think about and learn from. Other bloggers share great craft ideas i would love to try or think my readers would find fun. I also love finding great recipes, though I could and would never cook them myself. Maybe someday! My bookmarks are always full of incredible ideas!

I think that is why I love Pinterest so much. You see an idea and can grab it to Pin, or now that they have changed it, you can Save it. By the way, are they going to change the name to Saverest now they have renamed the button, lol!

what is rebloggingCircling back to my question, what do you do when you see a great idea on a blog? What exactly is reblogging? What happens when you push that button? I imagine my computer will explode or Bugs Bunny will pop out of my screen saying No-No-No!  Is reblogging where  you just write a few sentences and then that person’s whole post is now on your blog? Or is reblogging taking inspiration from what someone else has written and expounding on it, sharing with your reader’s how it has affected you, how it has inspired you?

questions and more questionsWhat is the etiquette? Every time I have shared something I have contacted the owner and asked. Is it okay to just hit the reblog button without asking? If someone has inspired you is it okay to just tell them after the fact or is your ping-pack enough notification to them?  I have also seen where people leave a message in the comments afterwards.

What do you do?

I hope there is some knowledgeable blogger out there who can answer my question for me, and I hope that it answers someone else’s question too. I have usually found that if someone has a question about something, they are not the only ones!


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


 

 

 

A Little Bit of Everything

A Little Bit of Everything


WelcomeI want to welcome the new subscribers to this blog, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of people signing up for updates just this month alone! I am so excited to have you all here. A lot of the new subscribers seem to be from Europe, how wonderful!

I know there are a few companies opening sites for Reviewers in Europe now. But I don’t want to assume anyone is here for any specific reason. I would love it if anyone at all, new to the blog or not, would like to share where you are from and what you are interested in. Are you here to learn about Reviewing, or have an interest in inspiration, coloring, or health related topics? Anything else, good old fashioned Serendipity?

Keep calm and color onFor those of you who like to color, I just posted 15 new Kindle books for you to download and print for FREE over on my FB blog page. Here is the link, Facebook :: A Treasure Chest of Serendipity to the specific post where the books are posted in the Comments. Make sure to double check the price before you order in case the price has changed.

I also noticed that many of the eBooks that I shared last on the Coloring for Adults page are still FREE, so be sure to check those out while you are at it.

I used to dreamOn to the topic of health, I have actually missed all my appointments this week. On Tuesday there was a mix up and the person I thought I had asked to take me couldn’t manage it. So I rescheduled for today but couldn’t even get out of bed to make it in. I am just managing to get up one or two times during the day to make it into the bathroom.  I am in such a great deal of pain and the heart medication I have started seems to have drained every bit of energy. Here’s a graphic I made last month for Twitter, it is even more appropriate now! It is a little tongue-in-cheek, my life isn’t a nightmare but it isn’t what I thought it would be.

When you change the way you look at thingsBut let’s end on an inspirational note. It is better to think of the things in our lives that are good instead of focusing on the things that aren’t. One of the ladies that runs the Grandfamilies organization that I am a member of has arranged something very special for our family this weekend and my heart is full of such gratitude and thankfulness to her. I will share more about it next week, I am just too tired right now… But the world is full of wonderful people and I am blessed.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Lynn Marie


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


Inspirational Post :: Hope in a World Gone Mad

Inspirational Post :: Hope in a World Gone Mad

 


Hope

After another weekend full of violence and tragedy, my thoughts turn once again to what is happening all over the world.  Why is there so much hate in the world? 

treasures in life

Or is there so much hate in the world because we have lost hope? The world has become such a scary place and I know I am not alone in my feelings. There are so many things I can’t grasp, things I don’t understand.  I just know that no matter what, I must not give up hope. Hope for a better world, hope for my children and grandchildren.

How do you find hope? I recently read a blog post by a new friend, Rose Wolfe. Five Steps to Hope in a World Gone Mad is a wonderfully written post that I urge you to read.  I am just going to give you a short introduction to her writing and then you really do need to visit her site to read the 5 Steps that you can personally take to bring HOPE into your life.

Personal struggles explode into public arenas. Those with shredded souls seek disconnection – wanting to destroy what they don’t understand. They claim their hate is an act of love. In the aftermath, not only is flesh bleeding out, but also the hearts of those who hate the hate.

Challenges are now part of every life as we claw at the chains to live beyond the prison of madness. In an attempt to throw off the albatross of hopelessness that has been tossed around our shoulders, we can actively take steps to find hope. It will require courage.

Read more, Five Steps to Hope in a World Gone Mad

Thank you for such an inspiring blog, Rose.  You have such a beautiful way with words and I have found so many of your posts strike close to my heart.


Product Review :: Shiatsu Heated Massager #ShistuMassager

Product Review :: Shiatsu Heated Massager #ShistuMassager


Naturalico Shiatsu Massager (Heated) – Kneading Massage Therapy for Foot, Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain – Relieves Sore Muscles – Total Body Relaxation


Perfect for anyone who requires or wants massage on a regular basis

Shiatsu is a deep muscle massage, if you are used to having a nice relaxing massage you will probably be surprised at how deep and strong this type of massage is. It can actually be painful depending on your body structure. You can adjust how much pressure and “strength” that is put on your body as this massager does it’s work by the way you hold your arms in the massager sleeves. If you want a really deep massage you can rest your forearms on the inside of the sleeves and pull the massager tight against your body. If you need a less intense massage you just need to relax your arms within the sleeves a little bit more.

The first few times you use it you might find it to be a little awkward to put on correctly. Place it around your neck with the handles hanging straight over your shoulder then put your arms through the handles like you are putting a cape on. The same goes for anywhere else you want to massage, you wear the massager like a cape and just adjust where the nodes are on your body. The exception to this is that it has some handy velcro straps on it that help secure it around your waist snugly so that you can really work your lower back. The instruction booklet tells you how to do this and if you watch my video, you can see how to do it on there.

You are supposed to be able to use this pretty much anywhere on your body except for your head and arms. I find it much too strong to use on my calfs and feet. That could be a sensitivity issue, though.

After you have it plugged in and it is on your body you just push the power button, which is the center button. The heat automatically comes on at this point. To turn the heat off simply press the top button. You can turn it back on by pressing the same button. The bottom button changes the direction of the message heads.

There are 4 massage nodes, which are the hard black ball like structures, two on each side of the massage unit. The second 2 round things on the massager provide heat as well as some muscle massage. The instruction booklet identifies these as massage heads, not nodes. The booklet also doesn’t mention anywhere 4 different patterns to the massager and I haven’t found any way to change the pattern it goes in. It goes forward and backward, with the backward pattern being the reverse of the forward pattern. I am not sure what people are referring to when they say they like a certain pattern out of the 4. Maybe they are confusing the word node with mode and since the massage heads are constantly moving before they stop and reverse, people might think it is actually changing the pattern, or node/mode. I am going to have to talk to the seller about this to verify it. Perhaps my unit is broken?

Notable advantages of this massager:
* Comes with an AC adapter to plug it into a wall outlet and also an adapter to use in the car
* Once you put it on a few times it is very easy to take on and off and move it around
* Heats up quickly and doesn’t get so hot that you will get burned
* Multi-Directional massage functionality
* Auto shutoff off the heat after 20 minutes
* The material on this is very soft, the product description says that this is leather but I am not sure about that.

Disadvantages:
* The cord on the massager often disconnects from the power adapter. It is no big deal but you can obviously tell that the connection is not tight.
* After falling in love with this, I decided to read the whole instruction booklet and found out that you should not use this where oxygen is being administered. You would think that this would be safe enough that it isn’t going to let off sparks or anything. Since you can’t use this around oxygen, I am ruled out since I am on oxygen 24/7. I suppose this is going to make a very nice present for someone.

Something to consider:
* The nodes are very hard so you can’t lean back against anything that would push against massage unit as you are using it

I think this is something extremely nice to have and would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a way to be able to have a massage whenever they would like to and it is much less expensive than regular massages. Skipping one massage given by a masseuse pays for this unit. I am just extremely disappointed for myself but I do know that other people will benefit from this.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this 4 Naturalico Shiatsu Massager (Heated) – Kneading Massage Therapy for Foot, Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain – Relieves Sore Muscles – Total Body Relaxation 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.

#ShistuMassager


Product Review :: Copper LED Lantern #mitakijapan

Product Review :: Copper LED Lantern #mitakijapan


Mitaki ELANT12 Classic 12-bulb Lantern

Offered by SKIVU


Gorgeous and functional!

copper lanterns 12 LED lightsThis is the perfect replica of the old oil lanterns I remember from my childhood, except for one thing, it won’t burn you! With the source of light being 12 LED Lights that run on 4AA batteries, you don’t have to worry about it running out of fuel or injuring anyone. The copper finish on it is gorgeous, copper is what I use as my kitchen accent color. So guess what this little lantern is going to be? It is actually going to be a camping light! And a decorative element!

Of course, I will use it more for a decorative piece than anything, though. I have ordered some of the copper wire lights to place inside of it (with a remote) so that I can place this on top of my cabinets with my other copper pieces. As soon as they come in, I will update this with a picture, I am sure it is going to look like it was meant for that spot.  I think the same copper wire lights inside of it would look nice at a campsite too.

This would also be a great piece to decorate your RV with if you have any little shelves. What would be better than a camping themed element that would work in an emergency as an extra light source?

The lantern is well constructed and I haven’t had any problems. I like that the knob for the lights is dimmable, it can be very dim or super bright.  Other things I like are that the globe is glass, not plastic.  It has a good weight to it, it doesn’t feel like it is flimsily made. The copper color is a finish, as stated in the product review but it looks very accurate. You wouldn’t want a real copper lantern for a camp lantern anyway, it would tarnish too quickly.  It has a handy hook at the top if you want to hang it and it also has a nice long handle to carry it with if you need to.

I don’t see any disadvantages to this. I highly recommend it whether you are looking at this as a decorative piece or a functional piece,

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.

#mitakijapan


Product Review :: WindowPix Decorative Window Film #windowpix

Product Review :: WindowPix Decorative Window Film #windowpix

WindowPix Decorative Static Cling Window Film
Spring Sunset on the Dutch Canals
Printed on Clear for Window Glass Panels, UV Protection, Energy Savings

Offered by ArtToFrames


Easily Add Beauty to Any Room

windowpix window filmThis makes a great addition to our home. I chose this specific one, Spring Sunset on the Dutch Canals (24 x 36), out of the 14 designs available because I liked the thought of walking along the canals and looking at all of the different architecture. That is something I would really love to do someday. The details are really incredible on this. It is also very interesting to watch the play of light against the window and watch how different parts of the image are the focus as the intensity of the light changes. We also have a large tree right outside of the window behind this and the tree really causes some interesting effects on the image.

Advantages:
* Crisp, detailed print
* Easy to apply
* So many different sizes and images to choose from
* Easy to trim yourself if needed
* Changes the complete feel of the room
* I can open the curtains and not have to worry about the room getting as hot as it normally would
* Not just for windows. I have a great craft idea in mind for one of these and an old mirror……
* Made in the USA!

Disadvantages:
None, I can’t wait to order more of these. I would love it if this company  came out with some designs with a stained glass theme.

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 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.

#windowpix


Product Review :: Vintage White 4 Piece Bathroom Accessories Set

Product Review :: Vintage White 4 Piece Bathroom Accessories Set

Vintage White Bathroom Accessories 4 Piece Set
by Whizzhome

This Vintage White Bathroom Accessories Set is just what I needed to give my bathroom counter a little touch of class.These are kind of a shabby-chic look, more on the chic side. I have a Victorian style home so these fit right in with the theme of my home and the theme of the decor that I have chosen to go along with the house. These are classy and elegant without being over the top. They look like they have always belonged there.

Attractive and elegant; but also practical and durable

Overall, I am more than happy with how these look and function. I love that they are made of fairly thick resin and not glass, I have had too many bad experiences with glass vanity pieces breaking with the slightest pressure. These are DSC00704nice sturdy pieces that will last a while, probably longer than the next time I want to redecorate. The raised designs on each item is a silver color making them not the shiny, glossy white the product description says, but I am perfectly happy with that. I prefer this much more. The design is not a true French Fleur-De-Lis Motif, but it is very elegant and in that style. The rest of the product description is accurate so I won’t repeat all of that information for you but just describe what I do and don’t like about each piece.

Soap Dish: Perfect size to hold a larger bar or several small specialty soaps. The inside of the dish is nice and smooth, making it easy to keep clean.

Soap Dispenser: This is a VERY large soap dispenser, much larger than I expected. I have tried it with regular liquid soap and with a thicker gel soap and they both worked. The actual pump is very sturdy, much more so than what you find in disposable bottles to hold up to long use. I love that this bottle is so big and that it will require refilling less often.

Toothbrush Holder: This is a nice holder.with a thick bar down the middle to keep the sides separated I suppose. It will hold even the larger specialty brushes. You could easily put two brushes on one side and a tube of toothpaste on the other or if you have a family bathroom you could put 4-6 brushes in here depending on the size. If you keep your toothbrushes in your drawer, you could easily use this to hold two or three brushes and some essential favorite tubes of makeup,

Cup: We use disposable cups in the bathroom so I am using this for a new set of make-up brushes I just got. This cup is so large, it will hold a lot of things! You could use this for so many different things like cotton swabs and Q-tips, flowers, bath salts, potpourri, or even your razor. It is always nice to have options.

I can’t get over how practical and durable these are, they look so elegant and expensive that I expect them to break at any time but I have knocked them against each other, the counter, and numerous other things with no chips at all. I also like that the bottom of the pieces aren’t slick. They are the same color but the finish is not as smooth so that they will stay where they are placed and any water on the counter isn’t going to have these sliding around. I think this is a great set that will fit into the decor of many people’s homes, not just Victorians like mine. The cool white color with the hint of gray will be nice just about anywhere. These would be a nice addition to your own bathroom or as a gift. They come in a very nice black box that would make them very nice for gift giving in fact.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this Vintage White Bathroom Accessories, 4 Piece Bathroom Accessories Set, Bathroom Set Features French Fleur-De-Lis Motifs, Soap Dispenser, Toothbrush Holder, Tumbler & Soap Dish – White Glossy – Bath Gift Set from 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.


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


Product Review :: Circuit Maze Board Game

Product Review :: Circuit Maze Board Game


STEM Learning with electric currents, what budding scientist wouldn’t love this?

CircuMaze-1008-LoResSpillThere could not have been a game more perfect than Circuit Maze Board Game ever invented for my son! He loves science but has challenges due to his Autism. This game will actually keep him occupied, entertained, and learning for a long time. STEM activities have always been great with him so this really is his niche. The object of the game is to arrange the token pieces to create a real circuit that lights up the different colored Beacons.


PROS:

* STEM activity
* Teaches about electric currents
* Builds logic skills, sequential thinking, and problem-solving
* Challenges range Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert
* Easy to add your own spin to it by adding a timer or varying the rules as in making it a multiplayer game or play in teams
* All of the pieces seem to be very sturdy
* The cards have the answers on them in case you get stumped 🙂
* Includes: 21 Game Tokens (1 Two-Part Power Source, 3 LED Beacons, 2 Straights, 2 Bridges, 2 Double Corners, 2 T-Shapes, 5 Corners, 1 Switch and 3 Blockers)

DSC00668CONS:
* None at this time. I would think it was great though if they could come up with some additional sets of challenge cards and/or circuit pieces to expand the game even more. You really have the possibility of having this become a real challenge to collect and beat all different kinds of sets that perhaps accomplish different things when it comes to electrical engineering and science.

DSC00669My son is loving this game, and we are both learning a lot. I love that it gives him the opportunity that to do something he likes and I have the chance to reinforce needed social skills. Right now we are really doing it together but I can see him taking off on his own anytime soon. He is very bright but I want him to become aware of the rules of games in general and not just jump in there and do things the way that he thinks they should be done, which is his tendency.

 

 

DSC00670 In the spirit of full disclosure, I received this Circuit Maze Board Game directly from ThinkFun 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 :: Vorfreude® 10 Pack Cable Clips & Cord Management Drops

Product Review :: Vorfreude® 10 Pack Cable Clips & Cord Management Drops


Vorfreude® 10 Pack Cable Clips & Cord Management Drops 3M Self Adhesive Stick On Organizer for Car, Ethernet, PC, USB, iPhone, HDMI, or Desk (Large Triple) Assorted Multicolor (Office Product)

What a simple but effective way to help you get your cords organized! There seem to be more cords around than ever before. Everything has a cord, plus a back-up, and maybe even an alternative power supply. It is hard enough remembering which is which much less looking neat and orderly. I really hate the jumble of cords under my husband’s computer desk and the tangle under our nightstands.

DSC00656These make organizing everything so much easier. The best way I have used them so far is to clean up underneath my vanity. I like it now that all of the cords are able to be tucked away and out of sight. These are especially nice because you can place three different cords in one clip. The wall plug is high enough up the wall that the vanity back covers most of it. All that I had to do was take some additional 3M tape and mount my surge protector to the underside of the vanity and then use these on the back of the vanity to hold up the cords from my lamp, diffuser, CPap, and clock. I then also was able to straighten up the surge protector cord by looping it through one of the extra places in the 2 clips I had already mounted.

I can’t believe 2 little clips cleaned up that much mess! At less than $1.00 a clip at the time this set was ordered, they are well worth it. These come 10 in a pack so I should read the other reviews to see how everyone else is using them too! 🙂 I can see them coming in handy not only in the bedroom and office but in the bathroom and kitchen also. Anywhere you have a cord mess, you need some of these. They are so easy to put up and all of them have stayed in place so far.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this Vorfreude® 10 Pack Cable Clips & Cord Management Drops 3M Self Adhesive Stick On Organizer for Car, Ethernet, PC, USB, iPhone, HDMI, or Desk (Large Triple) Assorted Multicolor 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 :: US Art Supply Stretched Canvas 6-Pack

Product Review :: US Art Supply Stretched Canvas 6-Pack


Freedom Series US Art Supply Professional Quality Acid-Free Stretched Canvas 6 Pack
Offered by TCP Global Corp #usartsupply

As a lifetime hobbyist, having a brand new set of 6 blank canvases has put my mind into overdrive. There are so many incredible projects that I can do with these. I hope you find the quick video I did helpful, it was totally on the fly after I read about so many people having problems with them sticking together and being damaged. I wanted to show you that the company obviously cares about your input and their product because it looks like they have changed the whole way they are packed and shipped. I apologize, I did make a mistake in the video saying they were 16×18, they are actually 16×20.

 

 

DSC00676PROS:
* Great for different kinds of painting including but not limited to acrylics and oils
* Can be used for countless other crafts besides painting
* Great price point at under $6.00 per canvas at the time mine were ordered
* You can tell care has been taking in the assembly of these. The construction and stretch look better than other quality paintings I have purchased.
* 3/4″ thick, 16 x 20
* 100% white cotton canvas that has been tripled primed with acid-free acrylic gesso
* Hand stretched on kiln dried stretcher bars
* The corners are folded neatly and tight
* Plenty of staples placed approximately 1″ apart
* Lightweight: Unprimed 7oz, Primed 12 oz.
* Each canvas is individually shrink-wrapped then wrapped again as one set
* They lay level when placed flat

CONS:
* None

I am very impressed with these. I think they are probably great for the beginning to intermediate painter and perfect for anyone who just needs a stretched canvas for another craft project. My only problem is trying to decide on what to do since there are so many great things you can do with them!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this US Art Supply 16 X 20 Inch Professional Quality Acid-Free Stretched Canvas 6-Pack – 3/4 Profile 12 Ounce Primed Gesso – (1 Full Case of 6 Single Canvases) 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: What a Wonderful World!

Product Review: What a Wonderful World!


TCP Global 8: Blue Ocean Desktop World Globe with Black Base

I have loved globes since I was a little girl so I thought this would be a great gift for my son!

DSC00642PROS:
* Can be used as an educational toy or as a decoration
* The educational opportunities are endless
* The continents are shown realistically, the globe seems to be in proportion
* Each continent is shown as a different color than it’s neighbor, except for the US
* Great size at 8″, easy for any child ages 4 and up to play with and learn from
* The base and stand come off, making it easy to hang from the ceiling
* The Latitude/Longitude, Timezones, Equinox, Ocean/Wind Currents, International Date Line, and Time Zones
* Made of materials that will last
* Seems accurate

CONS:
* There is almost too much information on it, making it hard to read
* Even though it is a nice size, I wish I would have gone a little bit larger so that it would be easier to read
* There is a grouping of very small dings along with a shallow dent of about 3/4″ where it looks like someone might have dropped it.
* Each state in the US is shown as a different color which might be confusing to some people

It seems that the problem some reviewers have had with the states and capitals has been resolved. They are on my globe, but since there are other cities that they have included, it can be confusing.

DSC00641Would I buy this again or recommend to a friend? YES!!! I love it not only for the nostalgic memories it brings back, but for the educational opportunities that it will give my son. That is well worth the price point of less than $20.00 at the time I ordered it.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this TCP Global 8″ (20cm) Blue Ocean Desktop World Globe Black Base 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.

#tcpglobal


Product Review :: ROHEGO Comfort Mat for Standing

Product Review :: ROHEGO Comfort Mat for Standing


by ROHEGO

ROHEGOMy husband says this is the best thing that I have got him in a long time. My poor guy has had 5 back surgeries so you can just imagine the pain he is in still, from something as simple as standing up for any length of time. Right now we are using this in front of our kitchen sink so that he gets some relief as he is doing the dishes. We have hardwood floors in our kitchen and he says that having the mat eases the pressure on his back considerably. Due to my health conditions he has to do all of the housework as well as working full time so anything that makes his life easier, I am all for it!

The product description is accurate so I don’t want to repeat all of that, just talk about what we like best about this.

ROHEGO 1PROS:
* The amount of pain/stress relief he receives by using the mat it considerable, on the high end of a rating scale of 10
* Textured backing so it stays in place
* Beveled edge makes it easy for me to push my wheelchair over it
* Eco-friendly and non-toxic
* Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied! What do you have to loose?

CONS:
* None, this is a fantastic product! I wish we would have got one sooner.

If you have any type of physical impairment that makes it painful or difficult to stand, you need one of these. If you have to stand for a long time at your job, you need one of these. It is that plain and simple. My husband doesn’t put up with gimmicks and things that don’t benefit his back. I think it is great too, it does feel considerably softer, but at the same time supportive when I do try and stand on it for short periods of time.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this ROHEGO Premium Anti-Fatigue Standing Desk and Kitchen Mat – 20″ x 39″ x 3/4″ – Reduce Fatigue and Increase Comfort and Productivity at Home, Office, Studio with this High Quality Comfort Mat – Black 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.

#ROHEGO


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