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.


Backyard Bug Control: Does Cutter Cut It?

Cutter's backyard bug control lantern came with 4 AA Ray-o-vac batteries, and snaps together easily enough. The frosted plastic panes allow the L.E.D. lights to cast a cool glow, while a small fan quietly runs inside, above the insect repellent cartridge. The cartridge is a sort of small plastic tub containing a cotton core saturated with repellent, and a fragrance that is not unpleasant. The cartridge snaps into place in the bottom,and it is possible for the core to fall out.

At first, I had a lot of trouble getting the tub to lock in place so it kept dropping out of the lantern. Installing it is a bit tricky because you can't turn it upside down to see where it's going, and when you tip it to watch what you're doing, the core slides out. Because the tub is made with super thin plastic, it is easily squished out of shape. You don't want to get the repellent (which is oily) on your hands as it seems to dry them out immediately and just can't be good for you. We used it at our picnic spot--at dusk by the water--and didn't have any issues at all with any bugs flying around us while we leisurely ate our meal and had conversation. The light in the lanterns lets you know the fan is running. My unit seemed to have trouble staying on.

 The on/off switch for the lantern is a bit bulky and awkward, but the effectiveness of the bug repellent was excellent. The lantern is nice looking and has to be set upon a flat surface. It might be nice if the lid covering the batteries fit a little tighter. I personally think the addition of a loop that also allowed it to be hung would be a good idea. This is something I'd consider taking camping if the tub holding the repellent was in anyway resealable. It's like having an open can of Sterno which makes me uncomfortable but may not be an issue with other buyers.

I've only used it a few times, but the box says it can last up to 3 months. I may revise my review if I find out how long it lasted us and what the usage was. I thought it worked very well.


EPA-DHA Works For Me

What I noticed after taking Jarrow Formulas EPA-DHA for two weeks is the clarity of thought I have, even early in the morning when I am usually foggy (not a morning person).

 My dreams are colorful, active and vivid (I don't mind that as a creative person) I find myself firing on all cylinders at my job. It's like drinking coffee only I haven't. There's no crash afterward. I like the effect of having my brain running like a well oiled machine. I work with young men half my age and enjoy the banter. When it's crunch time at work, I feel good, happy even.

 There is no fish odor, and no after taste with this product. It contains 120 softgels which are easy to swallow and a 4 month supply for one person. I like that it is also a pharmaceutical grade quality product, and feel that it's a good value.

No Soft Soaping; Clean is Hard Core Help

How far would you go to save a loved one's life? 

Author of Clean, David Sheff, exposes the deeper issues of the complex illness called addiction. The definition of addict in his book, goes so far as to include alcohol, street drugs and prescription drugs, marijuana, opiates and cocaine. He spotlights the problems with current day rehab clinics.

 I found Clean thought provoking, educational and extremely insightful. Written with great compassion, as one who lost a son to addiction, Sheff's book is a must-have if you are in any kind of relationship with an addict. Clean offers real answers for the questions that plague the loved ones of an addict. Sheff takes great pains to explain what he's learned though interviews with addicts and counselors and personal experience. Also author of Beautiful Boy which I have not yet read but will look into.

Reading this book was like having Sheff put his arm around my shoulder, share a game plan that is workable, that told me when to take action. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, do not hesitate to grab hold of this book. No matter what stage of abuse or addiction, this book can help. It may even save a life. This book was given to me by the Amazon Vine program in exchange for my honest opinion.


The Measure of a Good Cup Set

The OXO measuring cups arrived and I couldn't wait to try them! They are wonderful! My last set was a little inexpensive set that matched all the kitchen utensils. I was happy enough until the measurement stamps on them started to wear off. I don't keep my cups in a set, but separated in case I need to other things with them or leave them in, say, coffee. These are on a ring, but with the handle design it lets you pull them off easily and also put them back on the ring with no fuss.

These are thick stainless steel and can be used to warm small amounts of things like butter, or dissolve Monk fruit granules in vinegar for sushi on the stove. I like the super grip handles. The toughest thing my set will ever have to scoop will be rice. The handles didn't bend at all. I can see where they could, but I don't see the point in torturing a good set of measuring cups. (They aren't really scoops, after all. That's a different design altogether.)

I love them! If they sit on the counter, they don't fall over until they are filled. They stay put. I am placing these on my list of top things to have in a kitchen. I'm going to brag about them and make sure that if any brides-to-be don't have a set of these, they will get them! These get five stars from me.

Earphones With Her in Mind

Subjekt HPM-21BL HerPhones Petite Earphones with Microphone Designed for Small Ears I couldn't wait to get these ear buds. For quite a few years, I couldn't get earbuds to fit well in my ears. They would press in easy enough, but after a while, my ears began to throb. It never occurred to me, until I saw these, that they made ANYTHING smaller. I am so happy about Subjekt HPM-21BL HerPhones! The normal casing on the bud itself is approximately 9mm, while these are 8mm and the speaker is the same.

It sounded like my music was closer and had better quality. Best of all, no aching ears! After running through a couple dozen pairs of buds over the past 4 years, I've finally found the ones I love. I give these five stars. Thank you Subjekt! P.S. These might also be appropriate for kids, given the size of the ear gels.