Monday, March 13, 2017

A "Crafty Mojo" Post !

I have always loved creating handmade items. 😊

Crafting in a variety of mediums has been a part of my life since I was in the single digits, age-wise LOL.

Knitting, painting, jewelry, sewing, embroidery,  eco-crafts....the list goes on and on.

My dear mom, Helen was a very talented seamstress and painter and I think a lot of my creative abilities and interest are thanks to her.
We spent many a long day together, creating beautiful things over the years, especially when I was writing a weekly craft column for over 5 years, in one of Canada's major newspapers, The Regina Leader Post. Such good memories that still bring a smile to my face, thinking about those precious hours spent together, creating something unique and beautiful.
With crafts and hobbies on my mind, I thought you might enjoy checking out a few of the craft and hobby books/products/ sites that I have shared here, over the years at My Real Life Reviews. 
Hopefully, one or more of these will inspire you to create something new and special, in the days ahead. We all need a boost at times to get our "crafty mojo" back. I know I do!
Right now, I am happily working on my new haiku book but also hope to get back to another knit project, before the end of this week.

What are you working on right now? 

What is your favorite craft(s)?

I have so many fav crafts and hobbies, I wouldn't know how to begin to answer that question!😊

Here goes:

Crafting with Cat Hair (a fun craft book and lots of Mr. Cheddar photos too!)

Homemade (a unique and extensive craft book, filled with all kinds of beautiful ideas)

One Yard Wonders (a fun book and sew kit, with all kinds of 1 yard or less, sewing ideas)

Knitting Warehouse (my fav online shop for knit and many other types of craft needs)

Lion Brand Recycled Cotton Yarn (one of my fav summer cotton yarns)

Down & Dirty (gardening is apparently, the most popular hobby in the world!

Happy Crafting and Creating!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

If You Love Sauerkraut (or Not!) Check Out This Review/Recipe Post


I got to thinking about this previous post and review, while shopping for groceries yesterday. 

I am a big fan of sauerkraut and decided to make this yummy main dish recipe again today, that features sauerkraut, is made in the slow cooker (my fav small kitchen appliance) and is oh so easy to prepare. 

And Bubbies is the BEST sauerkraut I have enjoyed to date. It is definitely worth looking for this brand. 

If you   sauerkraut (like I do) or even if you don't (yet!!) if you have a slow cooker and are looking for some new ideas for main dish entrees, you might enjoy giving this recipe a try. 

I know from comments and feedback I've received about this German Sauerkraut Feast, that this IS a recipe that can change peoples' minds about all things sauerkraut, even if they hated this "cabbage wonder" previously!  :-)

Have a Great Week and Happy Cooking!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

An Exciting Screenshot to Share! :-)


❤ This page, at (this morning) really made me smile!! 


That is one of my eBooks: Haiku Reflections I, in the Number 1 spot for Japanese Poetry and Haiku, on the paid list!

I have had several of my eBooks show up on Top 100 lists over the years, but NEVER in the number one spot, on any paid list.

 I am honored and encouraged by this.

 I've actually been thinking about writing another haiku eBook (I have two in this series to date) and this has given me a gentle push to get started on that book project.

Haiku is one of my favorite poetry forms. I love the simplicity but at the same time, complexity that is part of creating a memorable haiku poem. 

If you are not familiar with this poetry form, you can read more about it at one of most popular  and respected haiku sites :

Haiku Journal


And, if you'd like to check out my Haiku Reflection series, you can find the two eBooks (with seasonal photos) at these links:


I probably won't stay at the top of that list for long (these lists change every hour) but I'm sure glad I happened to check out that particular book today, at the right time! 😁

Have a super week!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Rescue Remedy (pastilles and also, pet formula)

Rescue Remedy Pastilles

I am amazed how well Rescue Remedy products work!

I have used the liquid Rescue Remedy many times in the past, but these "candies" are much more convenient.

The best test I've given them to date: facing several mornings in the dentist chair. It still wasn't fun or painless but I was a LOT calmer than usual. 😄 

For me, the best time to take these is about an hour before expecting to need them. The effect lasts about 5-6 hours usually. A nice calm, relaxed feeling that is hard to describe but unmistakably there. Not like taking drugs, ie: Valium or similar relaxants, and a lot safer too as they are completely natural and drug-free.

These pastilles come in several flavors, the Black Current is my favorite.

The ingredient list is good but they do contain sorbitol as a sweetener. It would be nice to see an even better choice for sweetener (fruit juice?) but not a big concern for me, in this small amount. 

Mr. Cheddar also uses Rescue Remedy in liquid form, a type that is specifically formulated for pets. 

And that to me is another real "test" of the efficiency of these products. 

Mr. Cheddar is MUCH calmer, when travelling etc, after a few drops of Rescue Remedy, which I put on some treats and he happily gobbles up. 

We were really concerned about how he would fare on planes, ferries etc, with our recent travels, but he did great. I am so grateful to have had RR to help. He does tend to be quite a "nervous Nelly" when it comes to loud noises, etc...and as we all know, airports. large ferries and planes are certainly all in that category!!

I don't know how homeopathic remedies work but based on my experience with Rescue Remedy products, I'm a believer! 😀 

You can read a lot more about all types of Rescue Remedy including more testimonials, at the Rescue Remedy site. Their customer service staff were most helpful when I had questions about using RR for Mr. Cheddar, I appreciate that too. 

Overall rating for these products: Very Good. 4 out of 5

Monday, January 30, 2017

duoLingo (free language software)

I have wanted to get back to learning French for a long time and recently decided to actually do something about it. ;-)

I started by checking out a few kindle books that promised a lot but did not actually deliver much, after browsing carefully through these books. I also knew it would be a LOT easier if I could actually hear the pronunciations of words as I progressed, not just to focus on writing the language, which is a rather limited way to learn any language, including French.

Then I started looking at language software available online and found:

And after less than 10 days of using this language software, I can happily share that it's been a great experience to date! And according to the duoLingo site my progress as of yesterday has been that I am already 18% fluent in French. :-) I think that's stretching it a bit, but it still is encouraging.  

Except for a smattering of French that I remember from high school and some  lessons with my first mother-in-law who was oh, so French (born in Quebec), I don't know much about the language at all. But determined I am, to learn how to speak and write French at a fairly good level, by the time I complete my studies. 

So, what do I like about duoLingo? 

Well, first of all there's the price, it is totally FREE!!! 

I haven't found any other language software that offers what they do, without a price tag attached.

And there are no add-ons, pop-ups or annoying emails day after day, with this service either. You CAN sign up for a reminder email each day or week, but it's not mandatory. They let you decide.

The lessons progress in an easy to follow way. Starting with some basic words and phrases and building on each module as you progress. There are also some mini reviews to help you retain what you've just learned, if you decide to use them after a particular lesson of the day.

I've been averaging a couple of lessons each day along with a review and it seems like the right amount of material to cover, without totally forgetting it all, before the next time I study! No point if the retention isn't there, right??

This site also offers many other languages, and again all for free. Spanish has the most number of students right now, with French being second. I noted German, Esperanto, Russian, Portuguese and many more. There are also quite a few languages that are being considered for addition to their site.

About the only thing I don't like about the course is that it is not always able to hear the pronunciations of the words, at a slower rate. They only have that feature on limited numbers of pages in each lesson. For me, it is SO helpful to be able to hear the pronunciation of each word, slowly and in a more pronounced way, to begin with. That is something I would like to see changed. 

But overall, I am just loving this new learning experience. I am already looking forward to trying another language, when I complete the French course, I'm thinking Spanish or German next! ;-)

If you've been considering learning a new language, are heading to foreign country for a trip soon, or just need a refresher on a language you already know, give duoLingo a try. I think you'll be glad you did!

Overall rating for this product: Very Good. 4 out of 5

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Down & Dirty by Ellen Zachos (a gardening book!)

Down and Dirty by Ellen Zachos

With gardening season just around the corner, this wonderful book by talented author and gardener: Ellen Zachos, came to mind today. 

I am definitely a novice gardener, but I   the idea of being a lot more skilled at this oh so popular hobby.

Yes, I've had my patches of potatoes, the occasional perfect tomato, some pretty flower beds... over the years.  But as for a true "green thumb" mine definitely ain't!! 

 This particular gardening book appealed to me so much. Not just because it is so visually beautiful but mainly due to it giving the "gardening challenged" like me, the hope of actually creating a beautiful and unique garden. All of the numerous garden theme projects in this book provide a welcome creative challenge; but most of all, look like lots of fun too.

You can read my full book review here that I wrote a few years ago. 

No matter what kind of gardener you are, novice, expert or somewhere in between, I think you will   this book!!! 

PS: I noted this collage in my photo archives when I was putting together this post. One that I created a few years ago. Thought it went well with the theme of this post too.

Spring flowers can't be too far away,  now that we are on Vancouver Island.  The spring season comes even earlier here, compared to other parts of BC. ;-)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Happy New Year! 2017

It's almost here!!!

Another year has flown by and for me, it is hard to believe that the New Year will ring in 2017. I remember when the year 2000 was so, so far away. 

Something to do with the clocks speeding up, after we hit 40 I think! ;-)

 I hope to get back to more posting and visiting my many favorite blogs, in the New Year. It's been hard to keep up with my blogging, with all the travelling we've been doing. But hopefully, will have more time for all my online pursuits soon. 

I wish all my readers and blog pals the best year ever. 

May 2017 be filled with new adventures, opportunities, wonder, magic and all the good things. A time to look ahead with optimism and renewed hope. In a world that often seems crazy and without any goodness left, it is so easy to forget about all the good things and people that are out there too.

Happy, Healthy 2017!!! 

And Many Hugs Too. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Christmas Miracles

Christmas Miracles

There are some amazing and memorable stories in this eBook/book Christmas collection.

Inspiring, touching and heart-warming and not just for Christmas-time reading either. 

These are the kinds of stories/experiences that will uplift and inspire readers all year long, particularly those who may be struggling with a serious illness or family issues.

I was moved to tears at times, reading these stories. Many others brought a smile to my face and a feeling of gratitude for having been able to share them.

The only thing that would have added to this collection, would have been color photos to begin each chapter, instead of the rather bland black and white snow scene that was used throughout this eBook. That would have added to the presentation overall. As far as the stories though, first rate!

In a time when the world often seems to have gone mad (I've been watching the news a bit more lately :-( ) I think it is so important to remind ourselves that the world IS still filled with good people and wonders of all kinds, including true miracles. 

I have personally witnessed Christmas miracles (big and small), over the years. 

What about you? 

This is the season that should bring out the best in all of us, including extending a helping hand, not just to those we know, but to strangers too.

We can build a better world with optimism and hope through our actions and words. Sometimes even a smile can make such a big difference in someone's day. 

I wish you all, a season of happiness, hope, new beginnings and miracles too.

 And if you need a little inspiration to get started, give this eBook/book a try. ☺ 

❤  Happy Holidays! ❤

Overall rating for this eBook: Very Good. 4 out of 5

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Elvis Presley: CIA Assassin

Elvis Presley: CIA Assassin

This is one of the funniest eBooks I've ever read! :-)

If you are/were a fan of Elvis Presley and don't mind some crude language (there's quite a bit in here) give this one a go. 

I usually don't read books with much vulgar language in them. But in this case, it did fit with the story and didn't detract from the overall enjoyment of reading this book. Kind of hard to explain this aspect, but true.

I laughed til I cried in many sections of this book, especially when Elvis was out on his CIA assignments with faithful sidekick Bo. What a couple of wild and wacky guys.

The only thing that I thought could have been improved slightly was the ending, it was a bit boring compared to the rest of the book. But overall, this one is oh so funny!!!

Do let me know if you give this one a try!

And some additional information from the Amazon product page: 

"I can guarantee you. Read this book and you'll never look at Elvis the same way again!" -- Douglas Brode, author of Elvis Cinema and Popular Culture.

In 1970, singer Elvis Presley secretly met with President Richard Nixon. This new comedic novel imagines that Presley became a Central Intelligence Agency operative, eventually moving up through the ranks to become a skilled assassin.

Presented in an oral history fashion, the book tells us about Presley's secret transformation by the people who knew him best.

Did he fake his death in 1977? Was Presley involved with the Watergate scandal? The Iran hostage crisis? Communicating with aliens?

Read this book to find out the answers to these and many more questions.

Overall rating for this eBook: Very Good. 4 out of 5

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Soups On! An Upcoming eBook Promo :-)

With the arrival of autumn, I'm back into "soup mode" in a big way. :-)

I love soups of all kinds, all year round. But autumn/winter is the time when I enjoy and make them, almost every day.

To celebrate the change in season, I'm having an eBook promo at Amazon, for my newest vegetarian soup collection:

starting on October 20 and ending on October 27th.

This 151 page eBook will be available during that time at for only .99 cents (regular price is $3.99).

Click here for a sample recipe from this collection for you to enjoy now (pictured above): Summer's Bounty Herb and Veggie Soup

This recipe is a great way to use up the last of summer's bounty from the garden or farmer's markets.

And here's some additional info. about this eBook, from the Amazon product page:

Featuring a tantalizing selection of luscious, flavorful, body and soul warming soups.

A variety of interchangeable side dishes are also included to "round-out" a meal when you are truly ravenous and crave a bit more than just soup, to make dinner (or lunch) complete.

In: The Groovy Green Kitchen (Volume II) Simply, Super, Supper Soups, you will find many of award-winning cookbook author: Geraldine Helen Hartman's, perennially-popular soup recipes.

Some of these classic soup favorites have been tweaked a bit over the years of tasting, testing and updating, with a dash of this, a spoonful of that…resulting in the tastiest results possible. And just as important, with healthier eating and cooking-method choices, kept in mind.

You will also find an array of all-new "go to" recipes that will surely become family favorites, including:

-French Green Lentil and Coconut Soup
-Cream of Cauliflower and Tarragon Soup

-Minty Fresh Green Pea Soup

-NOT Your Grandma's "Chicken" Noodle Soup

-Southern Nights Slow Cooker Veggie and Sausage Gumbo

And for side dishes, a variety of easy-to-prepare choices ranging from veggie-brimming salads to hearty specialty breads including:

-Colorburst Bean, Rice and Veggie Salad
-Easy Cheesy Soup Loaf (with variations)

-Green Goddess Dressing with Veggie Wraps

-Bran Buds and Honey Bread Machine Loaf

and many more crowd-pleasing soups and sides.

All of the recipes in this new Groovy Green Kitchen collection are vegetarian and/or vegan-friendly but they are definitely NOT just for vegetarians.
These flavorful, stick-to-your-ribs soups and side dishes will satisfy and appeal to the meat-eaters at your table too. Even the kids (always the most discerning/picky taste-testers) will give these yummy recipes the "spoons-up" and ask for more!

So dig out your favorite soup pot, biggest ladle and prettiest serving bowls and let's get started!


Thursday, September 8, 2016

An Early Autumn Update

Hello again and hope everyone had a great summer! 

I'm not back to blogging or reviewing much yet, still doing some travelling at this point and making some final decisions about our upcoming move.

Right now, enjoying beautiful Vancouver Island, pictured above. 
And yes, I am taking photos too but haven't had time to get them downloaded to my PC yet.The fall sure looks like it's going to be a lovely one, here on the Island. 

Joe and I (and Mr. Cheddar too!) are enjoying some much needed 'chill time' after all the hectic hustle and bustle with packing etc...over the past couple of months.

Look forward to getting back to blogging and visiting all my fav blogs again, as soon as things are a bit more settled.

 I've also recently been asked to join the new (soon to be launched) Amazon Canada Vine program, so I'm looking forward to sharing many new products from that opportunity too. I love Amazon and I'm thrilled to be asked to join this new Canadian program!

In the meantime, Wishing You a Happy Autumn and Happy Trails Too!!! 

PS: Check out this week's featured post (left top sidebar) if you are in need of some really comfy walking sandals. 

I'm wearing mine a LOT right now.  :-)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Gone Fishin' !! ;-)

Well....not actually fishing! LOL

But I am going to take some time off from blogging and a lot of my other online pursuits. 

It's definitely time to get outside more, get some sun on my face, reconnect with nature, lots of outdoor walks/hikes, chilling at the beach.... etc. 

I also have a big move pending before the end of summer, so I'm busy preparing for that too.

In the meantime, I wish you all, a fabulous and memorable summer. Make the most of it my friends. 

Lots of Hugs and Happy Trails, G 

PS: In case you're wondering, the photo above was taken in my home province of Saskatchewan, many years ago, in beautiful Wascana Park. My favorite place to run when I lived there (around the 2.5 mile man-made lake actually)!

The haiku is one of mine too. ;-)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Some Upcoming Summer eBook Promos! :-)

I have Amazon promotions coming up soon for 3 of my Kindle ebooks.

Hope you'll check them out and also share these promos with friends, family, blog pals...too. 

Amazon reviews are always appreciated, if you do enjoy my work. :-)

Laughing AT the Grim Reaper! 

Will be available for the discount price of .99 from July 1st-4th at

Haiku Reflections II

Will be available for FREE from July 2nd-3rd at all Amazon sites. 

Mr. Cheddar's Meowsings! 

Will be available for the discount price of .99 from July 8-11 at >^^<

Happy Reading and Happy July 1st and 4th! :-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

RV Living: The Naked Hippies Way

RV LIVING: The Naked Hippies Way

Live Your Dreams. Don't wait for "Someday"

The sub-title of this book, SUCH good advice. 

But all too often, it's so easy to put our dreams on hold for "someday". 
And that day might never come. 

Although I have no interest in become a full-time RVer, I just LOVED THIS BOOK!

RV Living by Trisha Barnes is so much more than just a guide to living the RV lifestyle. 

The author's story (actually her and her hubby's) and their advice may be helpful to anyone who is contemplating a lifelong dream, perhaps sitting on the fence about a decision to change their own lifestyle in a big way, starting over, second chances, shifting gears...the list goes on and on.

Interesting, funny, practical advice and most of all, oh so inspiring!

I was so impressed by this book that I plan to follow up (and SOON) with their mentoring program, offered at the end of the book. And offered in a friendly, non-pushy way! I appreciated that as there is nothing that turns me off more than resource books that are just one big ad for the author's other products/books. You definitely(and thankfully!) won't find that here.

From the Amazon product page:

Living in an RV is not everyone’s dream …but everyone has a dream. 

This is not an RV living for beginners "how-to" guide…it is written as a motivational "why to" live YOUR dreams NOW, no matter what your dream is. 
Whether you dream of full time RV living or your dream is far removed from the RV living lifestyle, the story of how we began living the RV dream will be one that will give you hope, encouragement and belief that anything is possible and your dream can come true, just as it did for us. 
RV Living: The Naked Hippies Way will show you that: 
No dream is too big or off limits. 
The stories shared about our how our dream of RV living full time came true are meant to inspire and motivate you to live your dreams, all of them, no matter what your dreams are. There is no dream that is deemed off limits. The life you want also wants you. 

Waiting for “someday” is betting against time. 

Far too many people put off living their dreams thinking there’s still time, later on, to do what they love … that someday they will do what their heart continually tugs at them to be and do in life. We learned from personal experience that waiting for “someday” is not an option. The only time is NOW to begin to live your dreams. 

Miracles happen when your desire to live your dream is unshakable. 
Whatever is holding you back from living your dreams now, our experiences shared in this book will help you begin to put into motion the creation and manifestation of your dream right now. You’ll begin to see that anything is possible, that unexpected miracles and synchronicities will come your way ... and that whatever you think right now is your reason to wait ... that will change and dissolve as you move in the direction of your dream. 

You can start from where you are, with what you have. 
The starting point for living your dreams is first the desire, then the decision, which is exactly how our dream became real. We didn’t know how or when it would happen; we didn’t even have the means to purchase an RV. We just never gave up on the dream and continually believed in it happening … and it did. 

And for the RVers and RV Dreamers: 
Because we do live, travel and work full time in our RV on the never-ending road trip, included in the chapters are some of our RV living secrets that have helped us live and travel simply, cheaply and safely which will definitely help anyone who is thinking about or already living the RV dream. You'll discover there are always solutions and opportunities to live your dream now instead of waiting for “someday.” 

Well done Naked Hippies ;-) you are my kind of people!

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