Category Archives: Review

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!


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 :: Moscow Mule Copper Mug

Product Review :: Moscow Mule Copper Mug


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

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

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

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

copper mugAdvantages:

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

copper mug

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

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

copper mug copper mug

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


Product Review :: Sleeping and Nursing Bra

Product Review :: Sleeping and Nursing Bra


Mamaway Antibacterial Crossover Sleeping Nursing Bra – Nude – XL

Offered by Mamaway Maternity

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

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

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

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

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

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

sleep bra  sleep bra  sleep bra

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

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

sleep bra    sleep bra

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

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


Product Review :: 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 :: 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 : US Art Supply® Jewelescent® 120 Gel Pen Set

Product Review : US Art Supply® Jewelescent® 120 Gel Pen Set

Jewelescent Gel Pens USART SupplyThis is the second time I have ordered gel pens from US Art Supply. I spend most of my time in bed due to my health and so have a lot of time on my hands. I like to keep myself occupied and one of my favorite things to do is color. I find it to be very relaxing and stress-free. There is nothing hard about it except choosing what to color, what to color with, and then what specific color you will use! To some, 120 pens might seem overkill but if you color a lot, you will go through a lot of pens, colored pencils, markers, crayons, and whatever else you use.

The first set of gel pens I ordered from US Art Supply was a 48 pen set, US Art Supply Jewelescent 48 Color Gel Pen Set Professional Artist Quality Gel Ink Pens. My review is basically the same but I do have a few different points to make so they are both worth reading for more information. At least my hope is that you find them useful 🙂

These are some really nice gel pens. I would say they are for anyone who is entry level to being a fairly serious colorist. Some of the colors, especially the Glitters, would be appreciated by professionals.

Of all the sets I have ever used by any manufacturer, no two are the same.
This set is one of the better sets that I have used.



PROS:
* 120 colors to choose from, tons of options which I love! *see complete list of colors below
* You are able to naturally blend with some of the colors if you do it quickly
* You can completely color over another color, not always possible with other setsDSC00545
* Fine tips, excellent for tiny areas
* You can actually use the case to store the pens in if you are careful
* The ink dries quickly, hardly any smearing
* Minimal color bleeding to the back of the page, only dark colors
* Color-coded tips and caps that are accurate
* Non-toxic, acid-free, meets ASTM D-4236 standards
* Great for coloring, doodling, writing letters and cards, journaling, scrapbooking, or any number of other possibilities
* I was able to write on greeting cards and shiny slick paper with these which is a bonus since a lot of pens won’t do that
* Lifetime Guarantee! If you have a problem with them, contact them and they will give you your money back. A Lifetime Guarantee is something not seen a lot anymore and something that can be very nice when you run into trouble.

CONS:
* The ink itself is not consistent, more or less can come out of a pen requiring shaking during use if not enough, bleeding out of the intended area if there is too much.
* The tips are almost too fine, leaving line marks instead of flowing into the fibers
* The tips will mar the back of a thin caliper paper such as copy paper and many coloring books


COLORS:

Jewelescent Gel Pens Glitter

24 Glitter: 2 each of Purple, Dark Red, Medium Pink, Red, Dark Orange, Light Orange, Yellow, Green, Light Blue, Blue, Grey, Black

Metallics and Blacks

20 METALLICS AND BLACKS : Teal, Dark Blue, Purple, Red, Lilac, Orange, Green, Silver, Gold, Dark Grey, Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 Pastel: Lighter Blue, Pale Blue, Lilac, Pink, Bright/Light Green, Yellow, Pale Pink, Light Orange/Melon, White

18 Pastel: Lighter Blue, Pale Blue, Lilac, Pink, Bright/Light Green, Yellow, Pale Pink, Light Orange/Melon, White 6 CLASSICS: Red, Green, Blue

 

Glitter Neon

24 GLITTER NEON: GN Light Green, GN Pale Pink, GN Medium Pink, GN Medium Green, GN Purple, GN Green, GN Bright Yellow, GN Light Orange, GN Orange, GN Red, GN Pink.

* 18 Pastel: Lighter Blue, Pale Blue, Lilac, Pink, Bright/Light Green, Yellow, Pale Pink, Light Orange/Melon, White * 12 Fluorescent Neon: Neon Purple, Neon Pink, Neon Medium Green, Neon Yellow, Neon Orange, Neon Pink

18 PASTELS: Lighter Blue, Pale Blue, Lilac, Pink, Bright/Light Green, Yellow, Pale Pink, Light Orange/Melon, White 12 FLORESCENT NEON: Neon Purple, Neon Pink, Neon Medium Green, Neon Yellow, Neon Orange, Neon Pink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Jewelescent Gel Pens

These are a really good set of pens that I do recommend. The Glitters are by far my favorite group, with the Metallics coming in a close second. I have really enjoyed using them and have found them to be fun to work with. Out of 120 pens, I have only had one that broke after shaking it when it wasn’t writing very well.

One improvement I might recommend would be to add some kind of comfort grip. Whatever your favorite artistic hobby is, though, I think that you will really enjoy these gel pens. In my first set, I had a problem with the silver metal tips not being screwed on all of the pens correctly. I did not have that problem with this set.


In the spirit of full disclosure, I ordered this US Art Supply® Jewelescent® 120 Gel Pen Set – Professional Artist Quality Gel Ink Pens in Vibrant Colors – Classic, Glitter, Metallic, Neon, Pastel & Swirl Colors – 100% Satisfaction Guarantee 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.

Keyword Searches, Wishlisting, and Seller Requests + Special Valentine’s Day Treat

Keyword Searches, Wishlisting, and Seller Requests + Special Valentine’s Day Treat


As a product reviewer, what do you need to know about Keyword Searches, Wishlisting, and other Seller Requests?

Where does all of this fit into Amazon’s TOS (Terms of Service)?  

Even if you have been following this discussion in any of  my usual hangouts, I hope you take a few minutes to read my new article Keyword Searches, Wishlisting, and other Seller Requests.
TOS Blue
I have a few more additional thoughts on the subject, imagine that! As always, feedback is welcome, both positive and constructive.

For those of you who have wondered if it is okay to do this, I hope I have given you enough information so that you can make your own decision.  Of course, I hope you agree with my thoughts on this but there are those who still disagree.  I am always willing to discuss this further. If you have questions or comments, please leave them on the page in a Reply. Thanks!



valentines day scroll heart

I have a special treat for all of you as a thank you for following my blog and other social media accounts. I appreciate your comments and questions, keep them coming! Most of all I appreciate those of you who have encouraged and inspired me in my endeavors.  Be sure to check back on Valentines Day for all of the information, it involves 3 GIVEAWAYS that have something to do with (though not exactly) the image below. I also have compiled a great list of free downloadables and printables that would be perfect to go with one of these great prizes that are being sponsored by the lovely ladies of CulaLuva!
color my life

 

flowers gels pens forest gel pens trees blue sky flower gel pesn mandala gel pens

 

As always, thanks for coming by!  I hope you take something away with you from the article this week so that you can make your own informed decision regarding Seller Requests that are required for you to complete as part of your bad luck Amazon statistician analyst buttonreview process.  I wish I had all of the answers for you, but hopefully, this will bring you one step closer to the goal of keeping your Review Account TOS Compliant, safe from the data warehouse algorithms and out of the spotlight of the seemingly arbitrary Amazon “analyst.”

Keyword Searches, Wishlisting, and other Seller Requests

 



Life is about the path that we follow and the treasures we find along with way. 



What was your biggest rookie mistake?

What was your biggest rookie mistake?



What was your biggest rookie mistake?

Your rookie mistake doesn’t have to deal with writing product reviews, it can be about anything new you have tried that you would like to share.  Parenting, blogging, purchasing a home, making new friends, dieting; whatever you have done and realized the mistakes you made after the fact.  Hindsight is 20/20!  For me, I know my biggest rookie mistake this year was not getting organized BEFORE I started doing product reviews.  I had no idea that things would progress as quickly as they did.  Soon I was buried in products and the holidays were here.  I thought I had a handle on it, but soon realized I was getting swamped and not enjoying it like I should be.  If your hobby is not fun anymore, you need to examine what you are doing wrong and reevaluate your decision to do it.  I love reviewing products so I needed to find a way to get organized, and fast. There are so many things you can do to prepare yourself for this, and it is never too late to start.

OrganizationOne of my next articles is about being prepared to review products.  ∼ What do you need to do before you even start requesting products. ∼ Amazon Profile ∼ Email Set Up and Folders ∼ Organization on your computer ∼ Workspace ∼ Schedule ∼ Networking ∼ What are some of the ways to keep track of your orders ∼ What else do you need to do so you can you can be ready for the actual products once they start arriving!!! There are so many ways you can make this easier so that you can enjoy it more. These organizational tips aren’t just for beginners, experienced reviewers may find some gems in them also.  

Leave a Reply below and share what your biggest rookie mistake was and tell us what is the most useful thing you do to stay on top of being organized as you do reviews.  I love to hear from people and I think it is important to be able to share our mistakes and success. I want this blog to be a place where you can feel welcome to come and not only hopefully learn something, but share your own experiences or find a sounding board for your questions from not only me but the other wonderful people who are following this blog. 

I would also love to read about what you all use to stay grounded and organized in LIFE!

 



Remember, life is about the map you follow and the treasures that you find along the way ~ Lynn Marie



 

 

Questions about AMZ Review Trader 2.0???

Questions about AMZ Review Trader 2.0???


I have been reading posts in numerous FB groups all week and have seen that many people have questions, concerns, and even downright anger about AMZ Review Trader’s new 2.0 release. The changes and incorporation of  Tiers & Limits along with Word Count Grades has certainly generated a lot of buzz. I have been corresponding with AMZ RT about these issues this week and think you will find this helpful.

For the full article, please click here: AMZ RT 2.0 Tiers, Levels, and Word Counts



5 New Sources for Great Discounted and Free Items for Product Reviews

5 New Sources for Great Discounted and Free Items for Product Reviews


 

new chrome blue
I have added 5 new sources for you where you can find some wonderful products to do reviews on
.

 

I now have a total of 15 opportunities listed, one of them is closing to membership soon.  The new ones include 2 email groups, which I love! They are similar to many of the FB groups I am in, but their products are better and have many unique things that I haven’t seen available in FB groups.  As an added bonus, no drama!  I then have 2 new websites I am using and one limited time opportunity.

 

Click on the following link for full details:  Finding Products
Thanks, and Happy Reviewing!

Do you have a great site or group that you would like to recommend?
Please leave a Comment and let me know.


 

How I am getting $297 worth of fantastic merchandise for only $34?

How I am getting $297 worth of fantastic merchandise for only $34?


I have been lucky enough to be picked for some great opportunities the last two days.  I am receiving these products for free or at a promotional discount in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I was approved to review a handmade glass tea set, Christmas presents for my husband, 3D Virtual Reality goggles, a 50 foot hose and a few more items.  I saved 89% by doing this, only having to spend around $34.00 for approximately $297.00 worth of fantastic merchandise!

wrist
Oh, I almost forgot, I am also getting this wonderful brace for my arm.  I have spent so much time on the computer lately I think I have developed carpel tunnel syndrome!!!

A huge THANK YOU to all my new followers, I almost have 200 new blog followers and 200 more Twitter followers in less than a week.  I’ve also gained connects on Instagram, FB and Google+.  Thank you for all the new connections, I will be busy following you all back!



A Treasure Chest of Serendipity

A Treasure Chest of Serendipity


Serendipity 2

Serendipity… the effect by which one accidentally stumbles upon something truly wonderful, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated.

 



As I have jumped into the Reviewing community feet first, it has felt so good to connect with people again. That is something I have really missed in the years since I have no longer been able to work.  As it became more and more necessary to spend most of my time in bed, I cut myself off from the friends and colleagues I did have, trying to deal with the grief I still continue to feel over losing my independence and developing some really complicated health problems.

That is something I have really missed in the years since I have no longer been able to work.  As it became more and more necessary to spend most of my time in bed, I cut myself off from the friends and colleagues I did have, trying to deal with the grief I still continue to feel over losing my independence and developing some really complicated health problems.

I hope as a reader of this blog you are able to experience Serendipity and not only discovered wonderful things about shared interests, but also things about yourself, that you didn’t even know you were looking for.



At first, I thought I would only share about my reviews with you and show how you can do reviews yourself.  But then it occurred to me that just reviews can be very boring at times.  I like to get to know other people and so I hope you do too.  In the coming weeks, I will be sharing more about what is going on in my life right now and my current health, but more importantly, sharing the jewels of inspiration I have been finding as I rediscover my life.

Please keep checking back, I never expected to have so many new friends and followers and am looking forward to sharing this journey called life.  



Topics I would like to share include:  Inspiration, Family Dynamics, Aspergers Syndrome, Adoption, Grandfamilies, Friendship, Essential Oils, Recipes, DIY,
Health (Dysautonomia, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Hypoxia, CFS/ME)
and of course, more about my favorite new activity Product Reviews!