The Real Deal

Have You Ever Wondered... Is that certain book really good? Does that product really work? So have I. From Indie authors and musicians to local products or nationally advertised, I can't tell you the countless products I've bought as seen on TV only to find out that they don't work at my house, the book was really a bunch of hype, the music was not what I had hoped for or a movie was a yawn. If you want an honest opinion, you will find it here. Although I do lots of book reviews, I also check out lots of other products and let you know if they really live up to their ads or their hype. Stay tuned, and check in often. You never know what I'm going to talk about next.


Dead on Arrival

Unfortunately, my Primula Tempo Coffee Press arrived from the Amazon Vine Program broken. Furthermore, it is my observation that it was intentionally packaged broken in the original box, as the glass carafe was intact, as were the package box and shipping box. My husband called the number on the box to see if it could be exchanged.
They recommended that it be exchanged where it was purchased. When he explained it had been shipped from Amazon, he was shuffled to others until he was told the head of the department would call. (Online buyers beware!) It's been less than a day, so maybe they will. I will revise to let you know if they did.
We were very disappointed since we were so looking forward to sharing this pot of coffee with several people during the holidays for a well rounded review. Shame, too, because we dearly love coffee. But so far, I am sincerely concerned about the PLASTIC LID on this press which was in shards, interestingly, and not the glass. Unless we are able to obtain another, I can't recommend this to anyone.
Is Epoca intentionally shipping broken products? As a point of reference, Amazon cannot reship this Primula French Press, as they are out and we have heard positively from Epoca and await their response to the email explaining our position.
So far, both Amazon and Epoca have been very quick to respond to email. (Buyer, this is good news!) But I should add that while I have been given credit for this review, Amazon has pulled it from their site. Hopefully, Epoca will entertain ideas of a review. Keeping you posted.


Goal Zero 90401 Rockout Speaker Crystal Clarity

My husband and I love camping. I am somewhat addicted to my music as several super close friends will attest, and never go anywhere without it. My desire to share music while traveling has become a bit of a challenge ever since the epic road trip West last summer. It isn’t always feasible to share my tunes, so I’ve tried using some of the smaller portable speakers.
I could live with some of the options out there, but I could live without them just as well. The last thing wanted is a speaker that needs electric after just a few hours. Nor did I want speakers that required electric to run. I found a cheap speaker set that folded into a ball. The trouble was, the music coming out of it sounded a little too tinny.
I ordered GOAL ZERO 90401 Rockout Speaker from the Amazon Vine program and couldn’t wait for it to arrive. Ever since trying out the Goal Zero 19010 Guide 10 Plus Small Adventure Kit, I have fallen totally in love with solar products. The solar panels from earlier this year also charge this unit.
We plugged in our mp3 player and hoped to be surprised. The sound coming out of them was excellent. My husband noted they really didn’t have much bass, but so surprised were we by the clarity of the midrange sound, I stopped everything to write this review. Even with an mp3 player turned up full volume, we experienced absolutely no distortion.
I have become fond of Goal Zero products. They are built for use, rugged and durable. It’s equipped with shock cords to that you can hang the unit, wear it from a belt, loop it on a bike stem all while enjoying amazing sound quality. It zips open to hold your player, and comes with an adapter to recharge from a USB port. Even better, the speakers will last up to 25 hours (some reports say 40 hours) on a single charge and a much closer match to the battery life of my player.
If you love music as much as I do, and like to share it with others, I can’t say enough about this unit. It is worth the price for the quality.


Have You Checked Your Pulse?

Are you FULLY ALIVE? I had to admit I’d stalled a little. I had just survived one of the most brutal years of my life. I had reached the other side of it, happier but exhausted. My low physical activity job left me psychologically tired at the end of each and every day. I had even gained weight.
KEN DAVIS’ book, FULLY ALIVE caught my attention “A Journey that Will Change Your Life.”  I’d heard Ken Davis on Christian radio stations off and on for years. He offered short snippets of encouragement each day. I wanted some of that.
Ken talks about his life and reaching a goal he didn't want: being overweight, often battling depression and out of breath.  His journey involved setting new goals and breaking those goals into hard but obtainable steps forward. He reminded me that anything worth having is worth going for. It was how I had ended up on the other side of such a tough year. I had realized that my life was nose-diving and I needed to make a change. I had changed, but I still wasn't the best version of myself.
Change is exhilarating, disconcerting and sometimes exhausting. What I needed now, was encouragement and new goals. FULLY ALIVE is packed with tales  and vignettes from the life of Ken, his friends and acquaintances that motivated me. He covers something that I have known for a while but his book was the proof I needed. I hit a major milestone in my life a few years ago. On that day, I said I wanted the next same number of decades to be more exciting than the first. So far, it has been. But with this book as a reminder, I not only believe it will continue to be, but I hope to exceed my wildest imagination.
 If you're someone who needs a jump-start, who feels like there’s more out there to experience, that if there’s one more drop of life to be had don’t want to miss out, I recommend this book.

I am a member of the Amazon Vine program. I received no monetary compensation for my opinions. A copy of the book was provided for me to read, in exchange for my honest opinions of the book.


South Beach to the Rescue!

South Beach Fiber Bar
A lot of mornings I get about midway before I start feeling like a little “noshie” and start hunting for  a snack. South Beach Fiber Bar to the rescue! Amazon Vine sent me a box of Dark Chocolate Chewy Granola Bars.  Each box contains 5 which is the right fit for my work week. Each individually wrapped bar is 120 calories of delicious, chocolatey yumminess. With 9 grams of fiber  per bar, that’s over three times the average slice of bread! Add to that, the chewy granola sits on a dark chocolate bar bed. I love these! I couldn’t eat an entire chocolate bar with no guilt, but these allow me my guilty pleasure at only –did I already say this?--120 calories! For some reason, I didn’t get a headache from these the way I do with other chocolate products, even though they do contain a bit of sugar(6 gm) which I normally shy away from.
They are packable in a coat pocket, a lunch bag, purse, brief case or your desk drawer. They are well balanced and satisfying, in that they don’t leave me craving more. I would recommend these if you tolerate sugar, wheat and nuts well.