Friday, April 27, 2012

Last Chance to Enter this Month's Nature Clean Giveaway

Last chance to enter this month's: Earth Month, Nature Clean Giveaway !

Contest closes April 30th.

And stay tuned for next month's contest, with a Foodie-Lover's theme. 
Also, the announcement of the two winners for the Nature Clean Gift Sets.
Coming up next week.

Good luck!!! :<)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Mr. Cheddar Review: Crafting With Cat Hair by Kaori Tsutaya

Mr. Cheddar here.

Yes, I'm finally back to blogging. It's so hard to get Meowmie off this computer most days and the humans won't stretch to buying me one for my own personal use. The word "cheap" comes to mind, considering what the humans do spend money on. I think they could definitely cut down on their own oh so generous food portions. But that's a whole other story that I'll share at another time, sigh...

The "action" shot snort....above, is from a recent Sunday, during my weekly grooming session.

Of course, we all need a bit of "sprucing up" even for felines as oh so handsome as I. Meowmie ( I must admit) does a pretty darn good job of keeping me looking my best. With the help of my fav slicker brush of course.

Talk about a pleasure toy!!! ;<)

I love my slicker brush almost as much as I love my fav kibbles! 

Heaven, I'm in heaven.

Oh what a feeling, what a rush....

Anyhoo, to get to the review part of this post and past my oh so photogenic self; Meowmie wants me to share a new book with you.

My first book review, I'm just juiced about that too.

After I got through with checking out that babe on the cover  ( I'll be your puppet, anytime!!! ) Meowmie and I started to turn the pages. And wowsa, what a cool craft book this is indeedy.

Meowmie is quite a crafty human but one thing she has never used as a craft material before is feline hair/fur. That's about to change, now that she's got this book.

Kaori Tsutaya, the author of this book, makes all kinds of fun crafts, decorated with felted cat hair. The book is full of all sorts of projects including: finger puppets, coin purses, book covers, tote bags, jewelry pins...all embellished with cat-hair felting.

Stop by the Amazon page to "click inside the book" and see some of the goodies.

So you're probably wondering how cat hair can be transformed into stylish accents for all these projects? Easy peasy actually. The cat hair is applied to each project, using a felting needle. It's not as hard as it sounds. Even my Pawmie has done some felting in the past and it came out great.

Click here to read more about how needle felting is done.The only real caution it seems is to watch those paws when using the felting needle. Oueeey, if you miss and stab yourself, instead of your work!!! I don't want to even consider how that would feel. Definitely not for young kids to try.

So now Meowmie is not only giving me my weekly grooming as per usual, she is also collecting up my gorgeous "fur droppings" for later use to make some of the projects in this book.

Even my "left-overs" are gorgeous aren't they, snort!!!

Anyhoo, it's going to be a while before Meowmie actually gets to any of these catty projects. She has a gazillion projects on the go already. But I dare say, none will be finer than those craft projects embellished with my wonderful fur-droppings. Not possible!!!

So humans, when grooming time rolls around for the felines you share life with, get yourself a cookie tin or similar vessel and start filling it with the fur collected on the grooming comb/brush. And get a copy of this groovy book to get those creative juices flowing too.

Meowmie noted this book is on sale at Amazon right now so it's a good time/place to put down the $$$ and start planning your own catty craft adventures.

Here's one last pic of me and an itsy bitsy bit of Meowmie.

She didn't want too much of her thighs to show, snicker...

Sorry Meowmie, just joshin!!!

Get this book, you won't be sorry.

It's a cat-doozie!!! I definitely give it the Paws-UP!

 Chiao for now, The Chedster (groomed and looking oh so fine)

And Meowmie's final word on the subject:

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Clover Yarn Guide (knitting tool)

I recently knitted my first Fair Isle project (a cardigan) that I posted about here.  It was fun and challenging at the same time. And one of the biggest challenges of all, was trying to keep all the yarns from tangling up, when working on the colorworks section of this sweater. Not that it was a complicated design but even with two strands of yarn on the go, they did tend to tangle as I worked across the rows.

I found out about the Clover Yarn Guide over at YouTube.

The guy (yes guy) in this video (and it's a hoot watching this, love his accent. He's quite the accomplished knitter too!) was showing how to use this yarn guide.
But this product looked rather small and flimsy in the video especially in terms of the adjustable ring that is worn on the index finger. I have rather slim fingers so I thought to myself; if that was the only concern it shouldn't be an issue for me personally. So I went ahead and ordered one with my last yarn order.

Well the reality is, it IS small. Really small. I can put it on but it fits quite snugly. I think I will be able to use it. But I don't know why they would make this so small. A very cheap and poor design.  For a lot of woman and of course men who knit who have large fingers;they would not even be able to get this yarn guide on, let alone use it!

The top part of this gadget has a slot with little sections in it, to place each color of yarn you are using, when doing Fair Isle knitting. Again, rather flimsy and poorly designed. If you had anything thicker than a worsted weight yarn, I don't think it would slide through these grooves easily.

It was only a couple of bucks so I am going to keep it. I will try it when I make another Fair Isle project. But it could have been designed so much better, if the company who makes these had thought about all shapes and sizes of knitters and yarns there are LOL.

I would gladly have paid a couple of extra dollars for a well-designed (in all respects) Fair Isle yarn guide/gadget. I'm sure there are lots of other potential customers that would have too! 

Overall rating for this product: Unsatisfactory. 1 out of 5.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Weider Daily Protein & Fibre Drink Mix

I've been making an effort since the beginning of the year to eat healthier and get into better shape. One of the best things for me, in terms of cutting down on calories but not nutrition, is to start the day with a protein drink/smoothie.

I recently tried Weider Daily Protein & Fibre drink mix in the Berry Blast flavour.

On the plus side, this product has a fairly good ingredient list:

"Whey Protein Isolate, Inulin, Erythritol, Stevia, Natural Flavour and Red Beet Powder"

Not bad. I checked out each ingredient and they were acceptable. Some protein mixes are packed with sugar, all kinds of additives and colors....this one isn't.

It also packed a fairly good punch when it came to protein per scoopful/serving. Mixed with water, a serving provides 14 Gr. of protein. It also provides 5 Gr. of dietary fibre. The mix also dissolved easily and completely, just in a shaker. No lumps and no blender to clean either.  Calories: 106 per serving, when mixed with water. That was all good.

What I didn't like about this product?

Well the Berry Blast flavour was a bit weird. Rather artificial, not a nice fresh berry taste. It had a lingering after-taste too.

And as far as being filling, again it wasn't acceptable in this regard. A couple of hours after drinking one of these smoothies, I was starving! I ended up eating more that morning than I usually do, without a protein drink! So that certainly defeated the purpose of having one. I've used protein powders in the past that kept me satisfied and feeling alert for HOURS afterwards. Not the case with this product.

Weider Daily Protein & Fibre drink mix is not the worst protein powder I've used but it certainly isn't the best either. I won't be buying it again. I probably would have tried another flavour IF it had been filling and satisfying, but that wasn't the case.

Overall rating for this product: Fair. 2 out of 5.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I finally got around to reading :The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, last week. It is a novel I had heard so much about and had planned to read for a long time. I'm not usually interested or drawn to books with overtly sad or violent themes but as I said already, I had heard so much about this book, I decided to give it a try anyways.

On the plus side, the author has a fairly engaging style of writing. The title alone is such an attention-grabber. I was looking forward to a good story as I settled in on the sofa for an extended reading session.

But what came to my mind almost immediately was the sheer implausibility of the plot.

A 14 year old girl Susie Salmon is walking home through a deserted cornfield after school. It is December, already dark outside. She is stopped along the way by the neighbourhood "weirdo"  Mr. Harvey.  He appears seemingly out of nowhere and begins talking to Susie.

Yes, she was startled by him being there. But does she hurry along, run away, scream, tell him to get lost. None of those. No, Susie Salmon is (quite easily) talked into following Mr. Harvey to his "little hiding place" in the cornfield that he wants to share with her.

When they get to the location of the underground space that Mr. Harvey has "cleverly" disguised  with a wooden cover, Susie continues to stay with him, not at all concerned about her safety. No, she is curious and wants to see more!

Mr. Harvey opens the wooden cover to reveal the space in the ground below. Without any coaxing, Susie follows him down into the ground and to the obvious disastrous events that follow, leading to her death.

Right there, I was stopped on the page. COME ON Ms. Sebold!

 A 14 year old girl, following a strange man, in a cornfield, in the dark, going down in an underground cave because she was curious! No way. Maybe if the main character had been 6-7 years old, in the daylight, with a so-called family friend calling the shots. Maybe this kind of plot would have rung true. But no, not for a teenage girl, especially in the circumstances of how this happened.

After her death, the story takes a different twist and we are transported to Susie's heaven, where she continues watching her family and friends from the other side. I couldn't be bothered reading any further after that. If I'm not engaged by a believable plot from the get-go, I can't waste my time on reading further.

As is the case with so many books that hit the best-seller lists, it seems that the hype about this book has kept up the ongoing reader interest, year after year.

I've never been swayed much by popular opinion when it comes to books, movies, websites, blogs... I enjoy or not. I'm happily not a "sheep" following the crowd LOL.  

Some of the best books I've ever read have been by relatively unknown authors with the talent to write a great story but unfortunately not the media "engine" behind them to propel their work to the top of the page, when it comes to reviews, lists and popularity.

Here's a reader's comment on the Amazon product page for The Lovely Bones. I guess not everyone loved it. There are plenty more comments from readers, similar to this:

"This book is complete and utter drivel. It is poorly written and inconsistant. I don't understand how or why it is on the best-seller list. The author uses every overly dramatic movie-of-the-week cliche in this book. My theory as to why this book is so popular is that some marketing/advertising hot-shot remembered this piece of [junk] sitting on his or her shelf when the rash of missing girls occurred and decided to capitalize on these tragedies. A huge marketing campaign took place with this book when it first came out. There were even TV commercials for it. I find the whole timing of this book's popularity very disturbing."

I really was amazed how implausible this story was. And yes, I also agree with the comment above; it is disturbing to think people would be drawn to it (if that is the case) by the violence and sinister tone of the story.

 If you've read it, I'd love to hear your opinion of this book.

Overall rating for this book: BAD. 0 out of 5.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Prize Draw at My Real Life Reviews (and March WINNER!)

It's time for another prize giveaway here at My Real Life Reviews!

For April (Earth Month) there are two prize packages to be won. 
To enter to win a Nature Clean gift set containing:
Nature Clean Pure-Sensitive Shampoo, Conditioner and a Nature Clean Calm Bath Bar (retail price approximately: $28. for the set) leave a comment for this post/contest.

That's it. That's all. Easy peasy! :<)

One entry per person. Open to readers in Canada and the U.S.

Please, no anonymous comments/entries. A comment/entry via a blog account (Blogger, WP....) is preferred to keep this as fair as possible.

The winner will be chosen at the end of the month, by a random generated system.
*** I know a lot of people aren't comfortable sharing their email addresses on sites/blogs (me included!) so I'm just going to post the winner of each draw, the first week of the following month. Check back then and if you are a prize winner you will have one month to claim your prize. If not claimed, I'll pick another winner. ***

   You can read my full product review: Nature Clean Pure-Sensitive Shampoo and Conditioner.


And the winner of the March Giveaway for a CreaClip haircutting tool was: Brian Miller.

 Congrats Brian! I hope you and your family enjoy the CreaClip as much as I do.  

Please email your mailing address to: MRLR at and I'll get your prize sent out.


Good luck to everyone this month and Happy Earth Month!
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