~ Starbucks ~ Easley, SC ~

On a cold and rainy night in Easley, SC, my daughter and I decided to stop into Starbucks for a hot coffee beverage.

I have been to Starbucks half a dozen times in my life. My main take away was that the drinks were either too bitter or sweet for my taste.

The decor is great at this location. It feels like you’re in the place to be. We had a lot of drinks to choose from but chose pretty readily. I ordered a hot butterscotch latte. The barista asked about my taste. From my reply, she said she would use one shot of syrup instead of two in my drink. It was tasty and the right amount of sweetness for my palate. My daughter loved her caramel macchiato, as well. Great job with the drinks.

The place had a fairly steady stream of customers, but it was not overcrowded or uncomfortable. Speaking of comfortable, we took the two comfy chairs at the front.

The two of us were enjoying our drinks, talking to each other, and I was leisurely writing on my laptop. I was feeling pretty inspired, which I think was mostly to do with the change of environment. We were appreciating this visit tremendously.

Before long, a woman sat beside me and started talking to us. We started talking about the coffee and the location. We talked about a variety of subjects. Before we knew it, it was about closing time and we’d conversed for hours!

Before we parted ways, we exchanged phone numbers, so that we could keep in touch and go for coffee again sometime. How many places do you think you will get a hot beverage and come away with the bonus of friendship.

I cannot wait to go again.

 

 

 

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Sleep Number Pillow ~ Smiley 360 Mission

2016-03-14 00.55.24editI received my Pillow compliments of Sleep Number via Smiley360.

I am about to try it! Very excited!

I will update later. ūüôā

#Sleep Number #Smiley360

 

This pillow has exceeded my expectations. It is much heavier than I expected. It has some heft to it. It feels as soft as a cloud, however. It is a pleasure to sleep on.

For years, I have slept with multiple pillows underneath my head to avoid reflux sickness. That was a nuisance because they might shift during the night. The quality of my sleep was often affected. Many times a week I woke with pain as a result.

Now, I do not need to stack anymore. This one pillow works perfectly. It is neither too thin nor too thick. I highly recommend one of these or any which fit your particular sleep style.

ÔĽŅExpower Tri-Fold Lighted Travel Makeup Mirror

UNBOXING:

– Tri-fold lighted travel makeup mirror
РCR2032 batteries (2) 

This box and packaging are gift-worthy if you are looking for a holiday present. The product is well-protected inside, so it should arrive intact.

The makeup mirror looks lovely in rose gold. The size is the height of an iPhone 7 Plus. Add two inches more than that of the phone for the width. It is equal to the palm width of my hand when my fingers are extended.

The bottom right corner of the mirror has the company logo in white. The back of the device has the battery compartment. Before the first use, you need to remove the plastic tab over the batteries, so the connection is made, and the light is operational. The unit takes two CR2032 batteries (included). The stand below allows the mirror to angle anywhere between 45-90 degrees.

At the top is the power button for the lights. There is no automatic shut-off feature.

The mirror opens like an old-fashioned wardrobe. Once open, you notice the larger surface in the center taking up 50% of the space and smaller ones on either side having 25% each of the total real estate. The mirror in the center has eight bright round led lights that glow through the shape of decorative white hearts; four on each side. There is no magnification on this mirror, so WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get). 

SUMMARY:

This makeup aid works perfectly for face or hair touch-ups. The size is small enough to fit in nearly any bag. Whether you are traveling a long distance or just local errands, it is there for you when you need it. It is far superior to car mirrors to check yourself before that interview or that important meeting. Recharging capabilities would be a plus, but I have the CR2032 batteries on hand for other devices, anyway.

 

If you are interested in learning more or purchasing one for yourself or others, here is the link.

Ibagbar Canvas Messenger Bag

 

The Ibagbar Canvas Laptop Bag is gorgeous! I ordered the dark gray one. The color is far from drab, but more of an eggplant-gray fusion. Exquisite! 

The styling is a traditional messenger. Nine pockets of varying sizes make it roomy. Most often, I transport a tablet, cell phone, small binder, and writing utensils. 

The strap is sturdy. You can sling it over a shoulder or wear it cross-body style. The magnetic snaps are perfect‚ÄĒneither too weak nor too strong. They have worked each time with precision. The stitching¬†looks first-rate throughout.

Expect compliments!

If you want one for yourself or for a thoughtful and fashionable gift, here is the Amazon product page.

 

 

 

iGOKU Bluetooth Speaker

This flowerpot intrigued me. It is perfect for small plants. I have been using it with one of the¬†popular succulents. An artificial flower could work well, too‚ÄĒand it needs no¬†upkeep!

This planter is full of unexpected surprises. With settings for either a 12- or 24-hour clock, having the time on the front display is handy. Beyond that, it has an alarm.

My essential oil diffuser has these same seven colors, so I feature the same static color. This ambient effect creates a striking theme and ties the room together.

The speaker is the¬†best¬†part. Pairing with a phone or tablet is easy.¬† Start Bluetooth on both devices, then select the choice that pops up on the list‚ÄĒdelightful simplicity! The sound is comparable to other players. Impressive, considering they do not have extra features.

The “magical” touch piano songs should delight young children. The volume is loud while starting. I connect to my playlist right¬†away to cut short the¬†sequence.

I charge it overnight, and that is enough. After I wake, the outdoor bistro set supports my flowerpot and morning java. The plant and I enjoy the fresh air, along with an audiobook or tunes. This coffee klatch starts the day off on a sweet note.

If you are interested in this versatile item by iGOKU, then here is the Amazon product page to check it out further for yourself.

HOLD THE PRESSES!!!

Just for having read my blog, I have a special 20% off code for you! Type KGGS3WBI in at checkout to take advantage of this exclusive promotion, courtesy of iGOKU. The code is good from 10/15 Р10/31.

Feel free to share with friends and family. It would make a lovely and thoughtful holiday gift!

Enjoy the savings! ūüôā

 

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.

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.” ūüôā

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¬ģ Gorsun Foldable, Adjustable Lightweight Headphones (Orange)

These ONTA¬ģ 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¬ģ 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.