Monday, October 16, 2017

My NameCheap Nightmare!!!




NameCheap, What Happened???


How does a company go downhill SO FAST??? πŸ˜ 



I have been using NameCheap as my domain provider for my two blogs, for many years. 

Up until recently, they have provided acceptable and at times, even excellent service. That unfortunately has all changed.

With my recent email switchover from MYWAY (now out of business) to GMAIL, in Sept. and Oct. I had hundreds of email updates to complete. Most of them went without a glitch and took a few minutes each to complete. 

Not so with NameCheap! 


As of today, I have been trying for over 3 weeks to complete what should have been an easy email update with them. 

They seem to have a glitch at their end, not allowing my (and probably for lots of other people) a GMAIL account to be used as my new email address with them.

Their support staff refuses to acknowledge this glitch at their end and keep telling me to go through the same useless steps, over and over and over!!!

You read that correctly, WEEKS to update an email address!!! 

And it's still not done.


You can read my complete update here and also note my rating for NameCheap which I previously had at 5 out of 5. They have now slipped to a 1 out of 5. 

Speaking of 1, I also noted that at the Better Business Bureau, their current rating is also a 1, F!!!! That I'm not surprised by either.
                                              

If you are looking for a domain provider, hosting service....BEWARE!!! 😠

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Taming Hair Bangs the Easy Way!





I like having hair bangs, but up until this week, never found a way to get them to "lay down " and stay down and not being a pain....with ends sticking this way and that, etc. 

                                                                   

If you have unruly hair, I'm sure you can relate!!


I happened to find this Youtube video that was so helpful for this hair issue. 


I simplified the process quite a bit, I don't have one of the "fancy" brushes she recommended but I do have one that looks very similar.


Andalou Naturals Sunflower & Citrus Medium Hold Styling Gel - 6.8 oz


I also only added one styling product, a bit of Andalou natural hair gel (click link to read reviewto my bangs, before I proceeded to the blow-drying method she recommends in this video.



The results are GREAT!!! 

My bangs are smooth and tamed, all day long, even when the weather is humid. And here on Vancouver Island, there is a lot of humidity!πŸ˜€

The idea of 'retraining" the roots of the bang hairs is brilliant. 

 I have tried everything I could think of in the past to keep my bangs smooth and in place, nothing worked. This quick and easy method of blow-drying is simple but different and it does work, every time!

I know this is not a regular review but I was so pleased to find this video, I thought it might be helpful to some of my readers too. πŸ‘©

I don't have access to my cameras right now, that's why I didn't share a photo too. 

Have a super weekend and week to come! 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Autumn 2017 Kindle Book Promos!

                                         

πŸ’–πŸ’–Autumn Kindle Book PromosπŸ’–πŸ’–


                                                                                                     


Stop by the "What's New" page at my new Author's Blog:



for dates and all the details!

PS: Sharing at your social media pages, blogs etc....and reviews, most appreciated! 😊

                                                                                                                  

πŸ’–Happy Autumn Reading and Cooking too!πŸ’–




Monday, September 11, 2017

Happy Autumn and Email Address Update


Happy Autumn!!

 My fav season is almost here again! 😁




Effective immediately, please use one of the following new email addresses to contact me:


For review requests and anything pertaining to My Real Life Reviews, please use:

myreallifereviews   @  gmail  .com   (spaces removed)

For emails pertaining to my own eBooks, books, etc...please use:

geraldine  h hartman   @ gmail.com  (spaces removed)


___________

***PS: If anyone knows how to delete a gmail account, could you let me know?***

 I ended up with a couple extra gmail accounts that I don't actually need and can't find a way to delete them. When I tried, Google wouldn't allow this. Go figure???

I'm working my way through the learning process there and also switching over all my accounts from myway. That email provider is unfortunately going out of business as of the first of October.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!!! 


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Super 6 in 1 Metal Tool Pen


Super 6 in 1 Metal Tool Pen


Joe recently had a birthday and I was looking for some unique ideas for gifts. I found this 6 in 1 metal tool pen at Amazon and he loves it!

        

   Joe is a "handy guy" so this seemed like something he would actually use, not just put in a drawer somewhere and forget about it. And that's what happened. He carries this tool pen around with him all the time and actually USES it! 

     

And whenever he shows it to someone, they want one too! πŸ˜‰


I got the silver one for him and it is really a nice looking metal pen. The other colors look good too, and there are several to chose from at Amazon and  also Amazon.ca. 

The 6 functions include: a writing pen (of course!) and it writes nice and smoothly, a small carpenter's level, a stylus for using with computer/tablet screens, 2 kinds of screwdrivers and a ruler.

This pen is currently on sale for less than $8. at Amazon, so a real bargain too!

I haven't seen anything nicer in stationary stores for a reasonably- priced, specialty pen like this and at those places, I KNOW this one would cost more.

Some other nice things about this pen... It came in a slim, velvety pouch for gift-giving and was also boxed nicely on the outside. 

I also had noted that some other reviewers had mentioned receiving several pen refills with their order. When I mentioned to Amazon.ca that I hadn't received any refills with mine, they refunded the full purchase price and let me keep the pen, in lieu of not getting extra refills. Now that's my idea of great service! 😊

If you have a handy (or not so handy) guy in your life or just like unique pens, you might want to give this one a try. 

I think these pens would also make EXCELLENT stocking- stuffers at Christmas too. A gift to be enjoyed all year round and for years to come.

 If you want to stock up for gifts and/or for yourself, click through to read more and to purchase.


Overall rating for this product: Excellent. 5 out of 5


Friday, June 30, 2017

Favorite Summer/Beach Reads 2017!







Summertime....
                               
What A Great Season for Reading! πŸ˜€

When the temperature soars and my to-do list has been checked off for the day, there is nothing I find more relaxing than chilling-out with a favorite summer book.

The books featured below are some of my personal favs, when it comes to summer reads.

And please DO share a title or two of any beach/summer reads you particularly enjoy. 

I'm always on the lookout for new books to read and to review too.

Happy Reading and Happy Summer Too! 
                                       


  
The cover and title of this book got my attention right away. 

And the story itself did not disappoint, I loved this book!
  
From the Amazon product page:

The Jersey Shore has always been known for warm sand, lively boardwalks, and the promise of carefree summer days. This season the small scenic town of Ocean Point, New Jersey, is not nearly as carefree as tourists would hope. The discovery of the body of a young woman is the first in a string of seemingly random and senseless murders, murders connected only by a warning from the same boardwalk fortune-teller.

It’s a crisis that puts local detective Mitch Burns on edge, and his job in jeopardy. It’s up to him to solve the crimes and protect the livelihood of the town, a livelihood that relies almost entirely on tourists. With the help of newly hired local reporter Elise Jenkins, the two step out to discover who the killer is, before another body is found."

I read this eBook in a couple of afternoons. It kept my attention to the very last page. Suspense, romance, intrigue...and up until the last couple of chapters, I had NOT guessed who the real killer was. I like that. Nothing too predictable here.
  
Laura Bradford is an excellent writer. Her characters are realistic and easy to visualize. The story moved along at a good pace, with no filler or lag time, which has been too often the case with some other stories I've been reading recently.

A couple of  reviewers at Amazon did make negative comments about the religious undertone of this book but I disagree.

 I am not an overly religious person and I don't like being "preached" at in a story of any kind. That REALLY turns me off and in a big way. But I didn't find the religious references in Deadly Readings over the top or superfluous. They were a part of the story that fit. 

***

 Sea Glass Hearts
                                  
If you aren't familiar with this author/artist's work, she uses a process called scannography and takes seemingly ordinary objects like stones and shells and transforms them into images, books, prints and collections that are uniquely beautiful. 
                                          
Sea Glass Hearts is a collection of sea glass and stone images with some lovely poems and poetic phrases to accompany many of the photos.

If you happen to be land-locked and have never seen any sea glass, it is pieces of broken glass that have been washed up along shorelines and polished and smoothed into shapes by the waves and sand.


In this particular book by Josie Iselin, the theme is all about heart-shapes.
The special meanings of this symbol for so many people: the core of our being, the lifeforce and strength, the qualities we value and strive for...lovely and thought-provoking imagery to consider and savour, paging through this book.

 For me, it has a calming, grounding effect to browse through the pages of this book, especially when I take the time to read the text that accompanies the breath-taking photos throughout. 

Ms. Iselin has created magic with her photos and her words.
This book would make a special and memorable gift for someone you love or even as a special thank you or housewarming gift, to enjoy as a small "coffee table" book, in a new home.

I like to keep my copy close at hand so that I can pick it up when I'm feeling stressed and spend a few minutes in quiet contemplation, slowly savoring the pages.


 You're in for a visual treat! 

***


The Litigators

Although I'm no longer much of a fan of John Grisham's (newer) books, this one was just terrific! 

What did I like about this book? In a nutshell: everything!

 Entertaining from the first page to the last. Characters that literally  "jump off the page" with their authenticity. A page-turner that I read in two days and that would have been even less time, if I hadn't had other things I had to do. 

I really couldn't put this one down!

So what made this one different from other John Grisham books I've enjoyed ? I found myself laughing so much as I was reading along.  
Really loud, can't stop, side-splitting laughter. πŸ˜

Not that there isn't usually some clever, witty content, in most of  earlier Grisham's books. 
But several parts of this particular book are truly hilarious in addition to the usual suspense and drama that are in keeping with Grisham's writing style.

The twists and turns of the plot continue to the very last chapter. Complete with a satisfying ending that ties up all the loose ends.

A bit about the plot....

If ever there was a stereotype for a "seedy lawyerWally Figg is one of them and in spades. Wally and his partner world-weary Oscar Finley, have been waiting (and waiting) for that "big break" for over 20 years that will free them up from the "nickle and dime" cases they've been handling at Finley & Figg for far too long. 

Wally Figg (multiple divorcee) and his new, oh-so tacky girlfriend, DeeAnna provides a big part of the LOL's in this book. If ever there was a sleazy couple, made for each other, it's these two. Some clever "accounting practises" on the part of Wally also include DeeAnna. Suffice to say, it makes for some hilarious and engaging reading, throughout the story.

By a series of events, that seem to be coincidental at the time; a young, upwardly mobile but burnt-out and disillusioned lawyer by the name of David Zinc "lands" drunk as a skunk at their office one afternoon. This sets off a series of events that will change the course of Finley & Figg forever. 

From the Amazon product page:

                                                                                                                             
     "The partners at Finley & Figg—all two of them—often refer to themselves as “a boutique law firm.” Boutique, as in chic, selective, and prosperous. They are, of course, none of these things. 
                                          
What they are is a two-bit operation always in search of their big break, ambulance chasers who’ve been in the trenches much too long making way too little. Their specialties, so to speak, are quickie divorces and DUIs, with the occasional jackpot of an actual car wreck thrown in. 
                                                 
After twenty plus years together, Oscar Finley and Wally Figg bicker like an old married couple but somehow continue to scratch out a half-decent living from their seedy bungalow offices in southwest Chicago.

And then change comes their way. More accurately, it stumbles in. David Zinc, a young but already burned-out attorney, walks away from his fast-track career at a fancy downtown firm, goes on a serious bender, and finds himself literally at the doorstep of our boutique firm. Once David sobers up and comes to grips with the fact that he’s suddenly unemployed, any job—even one with Finley & Figg—looks okay to him. "

***


On My Own at 107

We had a large "free box" at our previous local library and on many a visit, I found a good book to take home from there. Sometimes better than what I found while browsing the library shelves. ;<)
                                        
This book is one of those gems! Inspiring from start to finish.
                                         
On My Own at 107 is a small but extraordinary book. I read the complete book in one session and loved every page.
                          
This is the story of Sarah (Sweet Sadie) Delany, the surviving sister of the well-known Delany sisters who was left "on her own" at the amazing age of 107, after her beloved sister Annie Elizabeth (Bessie) died (at home) in the autumn of 1995 at the age of 104.
                                              
In this beautifully-written diary/memoir, Sadie must come to terms with the profound loss of her beloved sister's passing; sharing the heart-wrenching absence she feels on a daily basis in the house they shared together in Mount Vernon, NY since 1957, where Sadie continued to reside.
                                   
Both of these amazing women led long, healthy and inspiring lives.
                                        
Bessie (Annie Elizabeth) graduated from Columbia University's School of Dental and Oral Surgery in 1923 and was the second black woman licensed to practise dentistry in New York. For many years, she had a thriving dental practise in Harlem and was known as Dr. Bessie to her patients and throughout the black community.
                                           
Sadie (Sarah) attended the Pratt Institute and later Columbia University and earned a bachelor and masters degree. Sadie was the first black woman to teach domestic science at a high school level, in New York city.
                                                          
They faced many challenges along the way as single,  black career women in a time when discrimination and segregation were still the norm, rather than the exception.
                                    
 Neither of the sisters ever married, although they both enjoyed the company and friendship of many suitors throughout the years. 
                                              
But most of all, it was their bonds of sisterhood and family that saw them through the storms and also the good times in life.
                                                 
On My Own at 107 is a touching, unique, at times humorous and unforgettable story to read. And the only book I have ever noted at Amazon with all 5 star reviews!
                                                                          
For me, it was also a book filled with wisdom and inspiration as Sadie reminisced about the 104  years she shared with her sister Bessie. The good times, the lean years, the triumphs...all lovingly recalled and shared.
                                                   
Not only does it share an amazing story, it also has a lovely presentation, with floral illustrations by Brian M. Kotsy featured throughout the pages. The beautiful flowers depicted in these illustrations were to showcase those grown by Bessie year after year, in her lovingly-tended garden that she cared for on her own, until her 98th year!
                                                                              
I did some checking and found this Wiki page for Sadie (Sarah) Delany. She lived two more years after Bessie's passing, to the age of 109! A life, very well lived. That of course goes for Bessie too. 

And it's so nice to picture them together again now! πŸ˜€

 ***

Every summer, I re-read the following two books.  


Two of my all-time favorite books and both make perfect choices for relaxing summer reading.



       
      

Beachcombing at Miramar by Richard Bode

I bought this book several years ago and after reading it once, proceeded to immediately buy numerous copies to give away as gifts. I was that impressed.

One close friend carried this book around in her purse for weeks. When she needed a ’stress break’ she would pull it out to enjoy a peaceful page or two. 

Another friend stayed up all night, not able to put the book down until the last page was enjoyed. I can relate, it really is that good.

For me, this was a life-changing book and one that touched me deeply.  

The story of Richard Bode’s journey from the rat race to a peaceful and contemplative life on a California beach at Miramar. A dream that for most people remains just that. 

But Bode went for it. Gave up his high-paying, high-pressure job and left behind the life he had always known (including a marriage that wasn’t working any more) to find himself. To live out his dream of a life filled with meaningful and one- of- a -kind “memory” days.
Beautifully written, this is a book you will never forget. A rare glimpse and chance to share an extraordinary life transition along with the author. 

I highly recommend this book to add to your summer reading list, if you haven’t read it already.


***
                            


Summer’s Lease by John Mortimer

If lighter reading with plenty of laughs is what you are looking for; perhaps this next one will be more your cup/glass of iced tea. ;-)

This is the travel journal of an English family embarking on a trip to the Tuscany region of Italy. 

Mother Molly: plump, disillusioned with her marriage and the demands of motherhood, decides to respond to a rather cryptic newspaper ad for a Italian vacation rental. She takes a rather bold step (for her) and rents a “villa” in Tuscany for the summer and so begins the tale.

As one reviewer on Amazon so aptly put it:
 ” A delicious Italian dish; sun-drenched and garlic-scented novel” .

If you are looking for a fun, entertaining and well-written summer novel with a touch of suspense, mystery, romance and even strange water-shortages abounding….. you may want to give this one a try. 

***

Monday, June 12, 2017

My New Author's Website AND Summer Book Promos!



Well, I FINALLY have an author's website! 

You can check out my new website here. 



Make sure to check out the "What's New" Page, which includes all the upcoming Amazon eBook promos I am having, starting on June 15th and continuing throughout June. 

Just in time for summer reading in the backyard or at the beach! πŸ˜‰


I hope you enjoy my new author's site!

 I also welcome your feedback and suggestions for things I could add there and also what you like, don't like, etc... it was a lot of work but it's also still, a work in progress!

And please do spread the word about these upcoming book promos if you can. 

There is something for everyone, I have upcoming promos for 8 of my eBooks, in a variety of genres: haiku, slow cooker recipes, romance, successful aging....




Mr. Cheddar's Chillin' Too!!! 

Happy Summer and Summer Reading! 😊


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Your Email Service Suggestions Please!


Hope You're Having a Wonderful Week!!



I have been using MYWAY as my free email provider for years, with no major issues. 

Unfortunately, they are calling it quits, as of this fall. 😞


So now I am stuck with the big task, make that pain in the a...., of having to notify all the people and companies I have email addresses (I have several accounts and hundreds of contacts!!!) with, saving my many emails on file, forwarding future emails from myway to a new address AND finding a new email provider.

If you have any suggestions for a free email service provider that you have personally used and like, let me know. I don't want anything that sends a bunch of spam along with their service etc, and also something that is relatively easy to sign up and is secure.

Thanks in advance for your assistance, it is appreciated! 😊

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Haiku Reflections III (now available) ! 😊





Is now completed and available at all the Amazon sites! 😊

And yes, I DID change the cover photo AGAIN!!! 

The print copy is already available and the Kindle version is available for pre-orders, which will be delivered automatically to tablet,kindle...., on June 1st. 

I decided to go with a pre-order arrangement for the Kindle version this time, while preparing some marketing plans and finishing up my new author website. 

I am so happy with how this book turned out. 

A labour of love, as always. 

How I love all things haiku!!!😁


Here are four sample (spring) poems from Haiku Reflections III (120 poems in total) and one of the interior photos:


Steamer trunk, lavender.
Rereading old love letters.
Break from spring cleaning.

*** 

“Pussy-willows, cattails...”
Humming an old Lightfoot tune.
Tiny silverfish.

*** 

Warm winds and fresh scents.
Sensing the earth awakening.
Planning the garden.

*** 
Bulbs bursting through.
A feast for the senses.
Awaiting jonquils.

*** 

You can read more about the Haiku Reflection series and all my other eBooks/books here.

Wishing You a Wonderful Day and Happy (Haiku) Reading! πŸ˜Š



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Taking a Short Blogging Break and Happy Mother's Day :-)





I am working on a number of projects right now, so have decided to take a short break from blogging and reviewing. 

And yes, I am trying to spend more time outside too! The weather here on Vancouver Island has been so nice lately, hovering around 15C which IMO is just right for long walks. Not too cool but not hot either. Love it!!

One of my priorities right now is to set up an author's website, to share my numerous books, reviews etc...all in one place. That has turned out being harder than expected as I am trying to do it myself. I thought it would be easy but to date, have not found a website builder that checks all my requirements: easy to set up, attractive templates, free domain, good reviews about their service...But I know I'll get there! 😊

I'm also on the last stages of finishing Haiku Reflections III for print and kindle versions. The print version is already finished, now to get the kindle one completed and on Amazon sites. Hopefully this week. I'll be posting about that when it's all complete!

In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful week and

πŸ˜€ Happy Mother's Day too! πŸ’“

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Haiku and French Lesson Update :-)



As you may remember from this previous post about the latest book/eBook I am currently working on, I was trying to decide what color and photo to go with for Haiku Reflections III. 

                                                                                         
The pink cover above is what I ended up choosing instead of this one:




What do you think?
                                                                           

The print book is now in review at CreateSpace and I am also working on the Kindle version, which will also have additional interior photos, for each season. 

I'll post a link when available at Amazon! 


It has been such fun creating a new book and I look forward to completing this project in the next few days. 😊




Onto another topic, you might also remember this post about my wish to learn French and my experience to date with Duolingo software.

I'm still motivated to continue with my French language pursuits but not with Duolingo.  It ended falling well short of my expectations, after working with this software for several weeks. Too many errors in translations, silly sentences that didn't make a lot of sense and certainly didn't help with learning....and several other issues. 

But free is free so I won't complain too much. Suffice to say, it was time to move on and find other methods to continue with my French studies.

I'm working through a couple of French learning books right now which I'm quite impressed with so far (see below).



       
The Everything French Grammar Book: All the Rules You Need to Master FranΓ§ais (Everything®) by [Lawless, Laura K]


I am also checking out Benny Lewis' language site.

His own record of being able to speak over 10 languages fluently and with thousands of happy fans/students worldwide is impressive. 

We shall see! Best of all, my desire to learn French hasn't waned through all this and I think that's the most important thing when it comes to learning anything new.

Hope you have a lovely weekend and week! 😊
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