The Oriental Organic – Jasmine Green Tea

This Premium Jasmine Green Tea by The Oriental Organic comes in a 2.82 oz recyclable cylinder of loose leaf tea that makes upwards of forty cups, depending on your cup’s strength. I use one level teaspoon of the leaves and get a perfect cup every time. I drink mine plain, but you can easily use cream and sweetener according to your taste. This Jasmine feels wonderfully refreshing, hot or cold, so it is excellent no matter the season. I find it thoroughly delicious whether paired with something or on its own.

This tea is a Chinese origin Jasmine, grown organically in the mountains of the Yunnan province, where it is hand-picked. It is lead-free. Green tea is especially full of antioxidants which get rid of free radicals in your body for your continued good health.

The Oriental Organic offers a 60-day money back guarantee, so there is no risk.

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Should you wish to learn more about this Premium Jasmine Green Tea by The Oriental Organic, here is the Amazon product page.

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Alisten Portable Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker and LED Light Lamp Alarm Clock

This Alisten Bluetooth Speaker with Alarm Clock LED Lamp comes with the unit, an aux cable, a USB cable, and an instruction booklet. The speaker is attractive, has three levels of brightness for the LED or can be turned off entirely for use while sleeping.

There is an FM radio, and it can play from Bluetooth devices and also as an MP3 player with USB and micro TF/SD Card input. Personally, I use it a lot out on my porch while I am working on my laptop. I use it in conjunction with Spotify or iTunes or even my microSD card full of my favorite songs. I have sometimes also had occasion to sleep while it is on. I love that it can be set to turn itself off so I can fall asleep to music and yet have darkness and silence after I have fallen asleep. 

It is true the instructions are not the clearest, but the features are not that terribly hard to figure out. I enjoy this little speaker and its portability. I move it from room to room when I change places I am working.

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If you if are interested in more details about this Alisten Bluetooth Speaker with Alarm Clock LED Lamp, then here is the Amazon product page.

 

Artizen Garlic Essential Oil

The Artizen Garlic 100% Pure & Natural Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil comes in a four-ounce glass bottle. There is a UV protective coating on the container to keep out sunlight and prevent the oil from degrading. It arrives with an eyedropper that is also glass that allows you to dispense a drop or two of oil at a time, so there is no waste.

This Garlic Essential Oil is considered a treatment for too many ailments to list here. If essential oils are new to you, just know that many cultures used them extensively for their therapeutic properties. The ancient Romans did, as well as the Native Americans and the Europeans. Now we are getting around to realizing their significant health benefits.

A few of the many properties garlic essential oil is well-known for are those that help in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. It protects the heart and guards against respiratory tract infections. Garlic Essential Oil is also helpful for congestion. It has many medicinal properties.

Obviously, this oil has a pungent odor like that of fresh garlic. You will want to decide when and where you are willing to use it. I often diffuse my oils, but of course, that does not include this one! Also, it is important to note that garlic is extremely potent. You will always want to dilute it with a carrier oil.

Artizen offers a lifetime warranty and a guarantee on their oils. If you are not satisfied, they will either replace the product or give you a full refund.

Should you wish to get this oil for yourself or a loved one, here is the link to Artizen Garlic Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil.

 

 

 

A Beautiful Work In Progress – Kindle Ed. – By Mirna Valerio (Author)

I had the good fortune to read this title in advance, thanks to the Kindle First program.

A Beautiful Work In Progress: A Memoir, Kindle Edition, by Mirna Valerio is one of the most inspirational personal accounts I have ever read. It does not hurt that the book details the life of a plus-size athlete. I am a plus-sized, non-athlete, but inspiration can go a long way into shifting thoughts which become actions, so I am willing myself to put these good intentions into practice and get myself started toward better health. Her advice goes so far as to think of oneself as an athlete whether or not any external validation of that is present. Good advice, I think how shortly ago I finally decided to think of myself as a writer– if only because “I write.”

Like the author, Mirna Valerio, I have replaced the goal of becoming “skinny” (whatever that is) with becoming fit and healthy. I think that is more a desirable and realistic plan. Will I be running marathons– most certainly not, I know– no matter how impressive that would be.

She makes it unmistakably clear within the pages of the book and in the speech she gave in September of 2016 (reprinted in the appendix) that we have our preferences. We are not cookie-cutter people in shape, size, nor about personal tastes. My preferred physical activities center around basketball, dance and swimming. I have tried to keep dancing, but the instances of basketball and swimming have indeed become fewer and farther-between. These favorite activities are ones I wish to resurrect in earnest.

Her accounts of some of her marathons were quite harrowing. She is unquestionably a dedicated, determined, and exemplary athlete. In my opinion, the author is a role model and heroine, though she writes her story as though she is neither. Her prose is approachable, readable, and relatable. Reading her account is almost like hearing it from her lips, as her style is easygoing, matter-of-fact, and unassuming. I have gotten to know her more than most other authors, I believe.

The accounts of her many races and her training measures are here, but there is much more in this book. Mirna Valerio is a multi-faceted person. Her intellect shines through as clearly as her athleticism and prowess in her marathon runs. She is a voracious reader, she has taught music and Spanish and traveled a good deal. It is all pretty fascinating.

I am usually one to think “I am not worthy!” when reading such an account of an accomplished person, but I know that she would not want that so I will put that energy instead into making my story come true. After all, this is not the end. I am chronologically further into my story than Mirna Valerio, but this last act could prove greater than the others if I put my all into it and “do not leave anything on the trail” so to speak.

So here am I, despite appearances, a burgeoning athlete. Thank you, Mirna Valerio. I have subscribed to your Facebook and Twitter because I see that your posts are as inspirational as this book, and I will need the encouragement. In return, consider me another “work in progress” and one of your many “enablers.” 🙂

If you are interested in this lively account of a marathoner, then here is the Amazon product page link to A Beautiful Work In Progress: A Memoir.

 

 

 

 

 

ONTA® Gorsun Foldable, Adjustable Lightweight Headphones (Orange)

These ONTA® Gorsun Foldable, Adjustable Lightweight Headphones are surprisingly good for the price and for being touted as children’s headphones. The headphones fit me comfortably. I consider I have a medium-sized adult head size. The fit was perfect for me, oddly enough– not too tight, nor too loose. I had no issues with them even after wearing them a long time. My daughter uses them while playing a PS4 game. She has said that after MANY hours they become a bit uncomfortable. These are not the only headphones available to her, either, so she chooses them, nevertheless. I am thinking they are suitable for about age nine and up, depending on head size.

I checked out the ONTA® pair for sound. Quite honestly I did not expect much. Instead, I was pretty impressed. The sound is crisp and full, unlike many headphones costing more than these.

Now the vibrant orange color and the plastic build and feel clues you in that these are for children. Happily, the sound does not. Unlike some similar products I have tested, these headphones fulfill their purpose well. Some things sold for children are low quality. Why? I imagine that children are not the consumers buying them and that manufacturers do not think the buying adults will truly test them out.

I would have no qualms giving these headphones to any young person.

If you want to buy these earphones, here is the Amazon product page link.

Mrs. Saint and the Defectives: A Novel – By Julie Lawson Timmer

~ GENERAL TAKE [MILD SPOILERS] ~

I read Mrs. Saint and the Defectives in July when it was available as one of the selections for Amazon Prime’s Kindle First program. Every month, Amazon Prime members can pick out one title from the handful offered and download it for free thirty days before it debuts publicly. It is one of my particular favorite perks of the Prime program.

I chose this title, as it seemed one right up my alley. It sounded fun, light, and quirky enough to de-stress me and set me up for a positive month. I was not wrong.

The titular character, Mrs. Saint, is a powerhouse of a woman with firm opinions on things like being neighborly, families eating together, and teenage boys and dogs. You know– controversial stuff. I could not help but love her immediately. But then, I loved every one of the characters in this book. The author, Julie Lawson Timmer, does a fantastic job of breathing life into them all. Besides mere life, she bestows each with a charm, grace, and personality. I know people such as these.

Markie, a recent divorcée, and her teenage son Jesse become next door neighbors to the irascible elderly woman and a rag-tag bunch she calls “defectives.” The dance that ensues between the overstepping neighbor and the reticent, retreating Markie is something to behold.

The so-called “defectives” are an awkward bunch of lovely people like ourselves and probably everyone we know. No one escapes pain and woundedness in this life. Some merely hide it better than others, if you ask me. Brokenness does not mean one is “defective”– just human in an imperfect world.

The author has an impressive command of language and narrative. I read the book through nearly in one sitting. Ms. Timmer obviously knows people. With a few deft sentences, she made me feel I understood even the lesser characters well. I had a stake in them and their growth and struggles.

If she were to write a sequel, I would buy it and read it with anticipation. The ending was a mixed bag to me. Ultimately, I like what occurred for most of the characters. There was a development, a revelation, that I felt was not necessary to the story, but others may well disagree.

 

~ MORE PERSONAL TAKE – [MEDIUM SPOILERS] ~

 

Mainly, I enjoyed at least the first 90% of the book very much. I smiled often and even laughed aloud. Other times, I found myself “coaching” the characters as though they would hear me and fall into line. [Why do I do that– ever?]

Knowing her neighbor had lots of wisdom, why did Markie not keep her stubborn attitude in check? Why did Mrs. Saint deliver her “advice” in the same matter-of-fact way? Did she not realize that “people do not care how much you know unless they know how much you care.” Had she not heard that you “catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” sometime in her life?

So, I would have preferred if a few certain characters might have been less reactive and stubborn. It became a bit frustrating– though true-to-life to some degree– as we can “miss” each other even with the best of intentions.

I have read many lighthearted books lately in which the last chapters took on a vastly more profound and somber subject or tone. There was some warning [of a sort] when I looked back over the stories in detail. However, they felt disjointed and out of step with the rest of the narrative.

Much to my chagrin, Mrs. Saint and the Defectives wound up this way. My thought on the semi-surprise “Cause” ending is that the book, though seemingly lighthearted in tone, is quite serious in its way. The plight of these people is enough– more than enough to my way of thinking– to give it importance, relevance and whatever other weighty “ance” word you can imagine. This tale is about the human condition.

There is no end of books written about the subject that is broached in the last pages about a certain character’s back story. I would not discourage significant themes. I find them when others may not, in fact. This tale of a pushy but well-meaning neighbor with a houseful of eccentrics under her roof and their dealings with the near agoraphobic single mom and her angsty son is ENOUGH.

The ending seems a reach in a few ways. The explanation feels like a betrayal of the personality and traits of the title character. It does not go with what came before. Also, it seems like a reach — like that of an overachiever holding a pen, who always pushes for more and is rarely satisfied– and never believes that others without that ultra-critical eye, simply marvel at the beauty that was inherent in their words already.

I wish I could have assured the author that just as these quirky, beautiful people she lovingly detailed in these pages have intrinsic worth and are not “defective,” so too would this book be worthy enough without the ultra-serious turn. If it is not broken, it does not need fixing.

What Julie Lawson Timmer has done with her work has touched me greatly, without a doubt, and I am grateful for it. I just would have liked to have maintained the same particular sentiment and tone from the start through to the story’s conclusion. As this is art, though, it is the beholder’s eye that matters. Your perspective may differ.

Here is the link to download the Kindle version of Mrs. Saint and the Defectives on Amazon.

 

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Ledgle Essential Oil Diffuser 400ml Wood Grain Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser

 

 

This Ledgle Essential Oil Diffuser can diffuse the air. It releases healthful negative ions in the air to prevent germs and odors. I use mine with essential oils that help with health concerns. However, you can also use it with just water like a humidifier.

The operation of this air purifier is simple. With one button, you can set it to mist for one, three, six hours, or in fact, continually. It can work for about seven hours on the continuous setting. 

This diffuser has ambient colored lights (red, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, purple, and white). With the other button, you can set any of the singular lights or cycle them, or turn off the light completely. I program one of the steady lights in the evening for mood lighting and to reduce glare from electronic devices.

The Ledgle Essential Oil Diffuser is perfect for your spaces, whether in your home or office or a spa. I have mine prominently in my living room, as it is a large room, and this is the diffuser that has the greatest capacity. I do not have to refill it all the time, which is excellent.

The unit has an auto shut-off that powers it down when the water level is low. That way, there is no worry about using it at night or when you are not in the room. This diffuser is the easiest one I own to keep up. I use it the most of them all. I highly recommend this Ledgle Essential Oil Diffuser, especially in large rooms.

Here is the link to the Amazon product page to get one for you or a loved one.

Here is my original Amazon review. I hope you find it helpful.  🙂

 

 

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ULAKY “Wine A Bit, You’ll Feel Better” – Vinyl Wall Decal

This “Wine A Bit, You’ll Feel Better” Vinyl Wall Decal by ULAKY was perfectly packaged (wrapped in plastic and rolled over a styrofoam tube) so that it arrived unwrinkled and in pristine condition. It came with a helpful instruction sheet, so there are no worries that you will mess it up.

The decal has individual pre-cut elements that you can peel and apply to your wall or another predetermined area. The surface needs only be clean and smooth for successful application. Importantly, this sticker is removable and repositionable. It should not leave behind any sticky residue, either. That means when it outlasts its charm, you can just peel it off. It should not harm paint. The decal is environmentally friendly and non-toxic.

I would not hesitate to buy again from this company.

If you would like to have this ULAKY humorous wall decoration for yourself or as a gag gift for a loved one, here is the Amazon product page link.

If you would like to see my original review on Amazon, here is the link.

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I’m A Nut – California Raw Almonds 1 Lb -Whole,Unsalted, Shelled, Nonpareil Supreme Variety Resealable Bag

Eat these nuts right from the handy resealable one pound bag. Alternatively, maybe you are a more delicate flower (like myself) and select an elegant bowl. If you are the baking type, then these nuts will shine in home creations such as cookies or nut bread. 

Of course, nuts are a healthy snack in moderation, and these I’m A Nut whole, unsalted, shelled California raw almonds are no exception. The nuts have properties that lower both blood pressure and sugar, and cholesterol levels. Nuts are healthy fats, which are the best kinds to eat. Our bodies need high-quality fats, despite having been maligned. I’m A Nut is a snack that is high in lean protein, as well. I find a small handful will keep me from eating something unhealthy and tide me over until my next meal.

These nuts would be perfect for road trips and those on the go, as well as those who work at home and want to keep away from the kitchen. A dish on my desk keeps me from trouble. These would make an ideal addition to a Care package sent to a service person or a beloved student away at college.

I’m A Nut has some great nut products. My family has tried several of their varieties, and we have not been disappointed once; not when it comes to one of their packages or even on down to a single nut. They are particularly delicious and fresh tasting. Outstanding!

If you are interested in stocking this treat in your pantry, here is the Amazon product page link.

If you want to read my original review, then here is that link.

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Fidget Force – LED Cosmic Hand Spinner

This Cosmic model is my first light-up spinner. I was not sure how I would like it. Would it just be too gimmicky? Would the lights increase my enjoyment of the focus spinner? Since my primary goal is better concentration when I am writing, would it improve that for me?

Surprisingly, the lights enhanced my experience. Especially in subdued lighting, the light show in your hands is cool. The lights going on when the spinner is idle are only so-so, but when it is spinning, the pattern is intriguing.

The spinner is black with white circles that let the LEDs show through when slight impact to them turns them on. Each end has three lights (blue, green, and red).

This Fidget Force Cosmic Hand Spinner is one of the lightest ones I own. The spins are among the smoothest, as well. The lights flicker for roughly twenty seconds after you tap them on with a finger or hand. The turns last longer than that, but this is not a spinner for the person who craves long spins. Especially in this instance, I do not mind because the added dimension the LEDs bring to the table.

The other side of the spinner has three peace sign stickers. There are also nine space-related stickers included in the package should you wish to change them out or the current ones wear out.

Although this is a pretty consistent spinner and the spins are smooth as butter, I do believe this is nevertheless one of the least durable should there be a fall from a height or heavy impacts. The most that will happen to this one is that it might fall on the rug, so that is a non-issue. If your child rough houses a lot, then you might want to look for a more durable specimen.

If you would like to buy a Fidget Force Cosmic Spinner, then here is the Amazon product page.

Here is my original Amazon product review. I hope you enjoy it.  🙂