Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018 and Holiday Gift Guide

Hope your holiday shopping is off to a great start! :-)

Here are some gift suggestions that I hope you will find helpful, complete with links to my review of each item.

Super 6 in 1 Metal Tool Pen

One of my all time favorite pens!

 Click link above to read my full review.

 Such a handy item and a perfect stocking stuffer.

Larry Payne's Prime of Life Yoga DVD 

This is one of my all time favorite yoga DVDs (and I've tried a LOT of them, over the years).

Perfect for anyone who is just starting out with yoga or who is looking for some new ideas to add to their current routine.

This is actually a series of DVDs, providing for even more options.

Larry Payne is one of the top yoga experts in the world.

He is also a very encouraging and gentle teacher. 

You CAN do it!!!

Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders

A must-have book for any knitters on your list!

A beautiful book with great ideas for using up a yarn stash, and for all skill levels too. 

One of my favs and I have a LOT of knitting books!

Crafting With Cat Hair

Another one of my favorite crafting books. 

This one for the feline-lover/ crafters on your list!

Click link above to read the review, this one pawed by the furrrbulous Mr. Cheddar. 

Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Creme

We all need some pampering! :-)

And this creme from Burt's Bees will make your feet feel and look great.

The delish coconut fragrance is just an added plus.

With winter on the way, this is a must have treat, for home spa days!

Another great idea for stocking stuffers too. 

Suncoat Peelable Nail Polish

A perfect added on, with the Burt's Bees foot creme above.

This polish lasts and lasts and when you're ready to remove it, it peels off after soaking your feet (or hands) in soapy water. Amazing but true.

Comes in a variety of fun colors and definitely not just for kids.

Avoid a lot of the harmful chemicals that are in most regular polishes and still have great looking, colorful nails to enjoy! 

Badger Balm Damascus Rose Face Oil

More pampering, coming up!!!

This is one of my favorite facial moisturizers.

Organic ingredients, reasonably priced, lovely light and natural fragrance and it actually does something!!! What's not to love?

Joe Fresh  (online clothing and accessory site)

Not a specific item, but if you are looking for trendy, inexpensive but well made clothing items for the whole family, this is a site you will want to check out.

I have gotten so many bargains there in the past couple of years. I actually have to keep away from too much browsing there as the temptation is great.

Their customer service is excellent too, and that is just as important as the inventory, IMO. 

Christmas Miracles
Send someone you love an eBook (or book) filled with inspiring true stories for the holidays. 

Touching, memorable and inspiring. 

I was moved to tears (but in a good way) reading many of these stories. 

On my list of must-read Christmas books, every year. 


 Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays!!!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Happy Autumn and 2018 Fall Amazon eBook Promotion!

We've been having an absolutely glorious Autumn, here on Vancouver Island!

Sunny, warm days with just a hint of a breeze. 

The Mountain Ash trees(above) are looking spectacular; one of my favorite trees.

And if the forecast is right, we are expecting at least a week or two more of this weather trend.

I'm just loving it!๐Ÿ˜Š

Hard to get much indoor work done, but I have scheduled my latest Amazon eBook promotions, for October, continuing into November, for all my current eBook titles. 

The first promotion starts today, October 15th!

You can check out all the dates and details at my Author's site:

What's New Page

๐ŸŽƒ Happy Reading, Cooking and Autumn too! ๐ŸŽƒ

Monday, September 17, 2018

Class Reunions Are Murder (a cozy mystery)

IMO, it's hard to find a really good cozy mystery that "checks off ALL the boxes", but this one nailed it!

Kept my attention from the first page right up to the ending. 

Realistic and well developed characters, a believable and well paced plot and plenty of laughs;what's not to like?

I chickened out of going to my own high school reunion years ago. (DID YOU?)
Thanks to Poppy and friends, I was able to live through it vicariously. 

I will definitely be checking out more books from this author. I noted today at Amazon that there are now two more books in this excellent new cozy mystery series. 

If you like cozy mysteries as much as I do (and especially if you are over 40) this is an eBook/series you will probably enjoy very much. Let me know if you give it a try!

From the Amazon Product Page:

For forty-something Poppy McAllister, taking a stroll down memory lane in Cape May, New Jersey, isn’t just awkward—it’s deadly.

Newly widowed and stuck in a middle-aged funk, Poppy has been running on cookies, infomercials, and one-sided chats with her cat for months. There’s no way on earth she’s attending her twenty-five-year class reunion—especially after receiving a very bizarre letter from Barbie, the popular cheerleader who taunted her all through high school. At least, not until Poppy’s best friend practically drags her to the event . . . 

Using the dreaded homecoming as an excuse to visit her eccentric Aunt Ginny, Poppy vows to leave Cape May with pride and Spanx intact. Too bad Barbie is still the queen of mean at the reunion. And worse, that her dead body is lying right in front of Poppy’s old locker. Singled out as the killer, it’s up to Poppy to confront her past and clear her name. But between protecting her aunt from disaster and tackling a gluten-free diet, can Poppy crack the case before she’s voted “Most Likely to Die” by the murderer?

About the Author:

Libby Klein dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets, and taking out the trash. She writes culinary cozy mysteries from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard.

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

Saturday, August 18, 2018

How Has Your Summer Been So Far?

Can you believe that it's already mid-August  and autumn is just around the corner?

How has your weather been? 

Here in BC it's been VERY dry, even here on Vancouver Island, which is most unusual. 

The photos above are from my files. 

It definitely isn't looking green and lush right now.๐Ÿ˜ฉ

There are forest fires all over the province, the worst in the Interior.
 A state of emergency for all of BC has been declared, as of this past week. 

Fortunately for us, the Island hasn't had any really bad fires so far but the tinder dry conditions are very scary. 

I cringe when I think about people still throwing cigarette butts around indiscriminately. I personally think public smoking should be banned when conditions are this bad. But fingers crossed that the rains come soon.

On the plus side, I ๐Ÿ’– Autumn so I won't be sad to greet the cooler temperatures soon, along with the beautiful colors and RAIN!!! I am actually craving a good storm.

     I will sign off for now with some of my seasonal/transitional photos and haiku poems (click photos to enlarge).

Speaking of haiku, my next creative project is going to be a haiku day planner, that I hope to have ready for sale on Amazon by early winter. I'll post about that when it's ready to go!

Wishing you, a wonderful week! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Memrise (Language Learning Software)

For the past year and a half, I've been working on learning French. 

Initially, I started out with some ebooks from Amazon, but those didn't appeal to me very much. Just too difficult to learn without actually hearing pronunciations, accents, etc...

I then gave the Duolingo free software a try, you can read my review about that option HERE.

Again, this option did not work out in the long run and I went back to looking for other language learning programs online.

Happily, as the saying goes, "third times the charm". 

I then found out about the Memrise language learning system, and it's been "full speed ahead" since then!  

From the Memrise site:

We’ve got you covered

Go from zero to language hero with over 200 courses full of rich content created by expert linguists.

Super smart learning tech

From local accents to conversation and grammar skills, we got you covered with 20,000 native speaker videos and our new chatbots.

Learn anywhere, anytime

A learning adventure that fits in your pocket and translates to useful, real-life language skills. Your superpowers, unlocked.


What do I like about Memrise? 

Actually, almost everything! ๐Ÿ˜

First and best of all, IMO,  it's been FUN to learn with this program, definitely NOT a chore! 

And to date, I am still using just their FREE option (paid programs are available too at very reasonable prices) that's been more than adequate for learning beginner French.

 I have learned almost 1500 words already, and considering that I only work on this about 30 minutes x 5 days a week, I think that's pretty darn good!  And when I say, LEARNED, I mean learned. Not just going over words again and again, without actually getting a good grasp of how they are used in sentences correctly, spelling, pronunciations...

I also appreciate that this program can be easily accessed on my Kindle or other tablets, phones..., not just on a PC, for on the go learning too. They have a free app. that works great if you are someone who likes to utilize "waste and waiting" times and instead, use that time to learn something new.

If you have been considering learning a language but weren't sure which program would be easy and fun to start with, I highly recommend Memrise. 

Except for a couple of minor tweaks that I have already suggested to their representatives, I have had nothing but a positive experience using their free language programs. 

I even have plans to learn another language (probably German or Spanish) when I complete my French lessons. 

Learning a language can be so rewarding, for so many reasons. 

It's great when you are travelling to actually be able to converse with the locals, without struggling to be understood or constantly referring to dictionaries, etc..

A second (or third...) language can be invaluable, if you are job hunting. Many employers are looking for bilingual employees and are willing to pay more for these skills.

It's also a great way to keep your brain and memory sharp!

 I have been pleasantly surprised how much I have been able to retain with the French I have learned to date. And with 2000 words considered a starting point for being fluent in most languages, I haven't got far to go to reach that goal next! Of course I plan to go further than that but it really has given me a sense of accomplishment already. 

And in Canada, French is one of our official languages so it is definitely a good choice for starting my "second language journey" here. ๐Ÿ˜

Let me know if you give Memrise a try.

 I'd love to hear your thoughts on this language software. 

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

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Summer 2018 Kindle eBook Promotions

๐ŸŒด Summer 2018 Amazon eBook Promotions ๐ŸŒด

Stop by my author/book site for a list of all the eBook promotion dates/links and additional information. 

๐Ÿ‰While you're there, check out the recipe page too! ๐Ÿ…

๐ŸŒด ๐ŸŒด ๐ŸŒด

Happy Summer, Cooking and Reading!!!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Dawg's Loudmouth Flip Flop Sandals

I love these flop flops! 

Exactly as pictured above. Beautiful print design, vibrant colors. Good materials.

And they feel AMAZING. So comfortable. 

Light on feet but still providing plenty of support, unlike the cheap, basic flip flops I usually wear, that really provide NO support. 

These are just a bit wider than I needed (I have fairly narrow feet) but not sloppy. 

True to size, based on the pair I got. Size 40 is exactly a Size 9.

I like the small overall massaging "beads" on insoles. Not too much, just right.

I recently wore them (first time)  for a day at the beach; walked a lot that day and my feet felt great!

Excellent price at Amazon Canada (I paid $35. shipping included) compared to similar products from other brands I looked at. 

They are also available in a variety of fun prints at Amazon.com. Price varies a bit, depending on what size you need. All less than $50 as of today! 

These are my first pair of Dawg's but they won't be my last. So glad I gave these a try. ๐Ÿ˜€


Some Additional Info. From the Dawg's Website

The DAWGS Women's Loudmouth Flip Flop is super lightweight with a non-marking outsole.

 The signature Loudmouth๏พฎ patterns are fun and funky. 

These women's flip flops have a comfortable extra-thick sole, a massaging footbed, and arch support. 

These women's shoes are easy to clean and maintain.

Ultra soft, Super lightweight, Non-marking,Ultra thick sole, Massaging footbed, Easy to clean,
Arch support, Super comfort toe piece.

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

PS: Last word on my domain issues, I promise!!

I have now switched back to:

geraldinehelenhartman.blogspot.com  (for my author's site)


myreallifereviews.blogspot.com (for my review blog)

Still changing all the review links in my sidebar, at sites, in my Kindle books etc...that's going to take a while. 

But I'm so glad to finally be free from all the domain hassles I've encountered in the past few months, especially due to NameCheap, a company that I've already blogged about extensively here. 

If you are looking for a domain provider, avoid NameCheap at all costs!! 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Favorite Floral Collage and the Domain Dilemma Continues!

This is one of my favorite collages. 
(click to enlarge)

A collection of just a few of the flower photos I've taken over the years.

That part of this post makes me smile.๐Ÿ˜‚


Unfortunately, the second part doesn't.

And my apologies for yet another domain name related rant here. 

I am SO tired of this ongoing issue that I thought was finally getting settled this month. That hasn't happened.๐Ÿ˜ฃ

When I checked for the 


domain name that I wanted to go back to this month, turns out some domain company has bought it up in the meantime. Now, it won't be available again for ANOTHER year!! 

To say I was surprised and mad when I found out about this is putting it mildly. 

So now I'm debating what to do. 
I really don't want to revert back to a blogspot  domain but I can't waste anymore time with all this. 

As it is, I will have lots of work changing links in my eBooks, sites, this blog...but I wouldn't have to put up with lousy domain providers like Namecheap anymore. The company that caused all these problems to begin with.

So, for now, 


will work, but if and when I transition back to NO custom domain, I will be blogging at,


What I've learned from this experience and the advice I can pass on.... choose a domain provider VERY carefully (read lots of recent reviews at several different sites)and check their BBB rating. 

And most of all, stay away from 


The domain provider that has caused me all these problems and wasted HOURS and hours of my time. 

Buyer beware!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A Spring Haiku and Happy Easter!

I think robins ARE feathered talismans! 

๐ŸŒž Such lovely, lucky birds.๐ŸŒž

I hope you and your family have a beautiful, sunny Easter weekend.๐Ÿ˜‚


PS: I will be transitioning back to a .com domain here at My Real Life Reviews, sometime before the end of April. 

The new .xyz extension I've been using recently hasn't worked out very well. In April, the .com extension will be available again for sale, so I'm planning to go back to my original myreallifereviews.com address as soon as it's possible to do so. 

So, if you don't find me at .xyz, the .com should be "kicking in" instead. And hopefully I'll get my traffic back to where it was and put this whole blog domain journey behind me. It's been one big hassle I could have done without.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Happy Spring and Still Working on My Blog Address Transition

Happy Spring!

Don't you just love gorgeous, fluffy clouds? I sure do. ๐Ÿ˜Š

This blog address transition to .xyz extension (previously .com) turned out being a bigger task than I expected. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

All of the links I have in the sidebar here have to be changed (one at a time) to my new .xyz extension! I didn't expect that, but I am slowly getting them updated and my blog traffic is starting to go up again too.

๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒทSpeaking of sidebar links, if anyone has any idea how to get them to work on Blogger now (I haven't been able to add new sidebar links for years) please let me know. ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒท

I really miss being able to actually add links to new reviews, and not just the product name listed instead, on my blog sidebar here.

I hope your early spring days have been happy ones so far.

It's been mild here on Vancouver Island but we did get one small blast of snow. I liked it but I don't miss the annual snow I grew up with, most of the time.๐Ÿ˜Š

I'm working on a couple of new reviews too, I will get those posted as soon as this blog address change is completely finished, hopefully by the end of this week.

For now....Hugs and Happy Week! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Spring Fever and Two Upcoming Blogger Address Changes

No, this tulip photo doesn't have anything to do with my upcoming Blogger address changes.  

But I'm "itchin" for spring already (earlier than most years for my annual case of "spring fever").  I thought it would be nice to share a tulip photo, until the real ones appear again. ๐Ÿ˜€

 Here on Vancouver Island, that happens fairly early!


As for the address/changes, they apply to both of my Blogger sites:

My Real Life Reviews

will have the web address:



Geraldine Helen Hartman

will have the web address:



I am switching domain service providers after my recent issues with NameCheap that were never rectified. 

NameCheap is still a company I would definitely avoid, if you are looking for a website or domain provider. They caused me a lot of extra work and hassle in the past year. 

You can read more here re: my Namecheap experience.


The easiest way to find me online at my Blogger sites is just to type in: 

My Real Life Reviews


Geraldine Helen Hartman

and my sites will come up, without any domain extension required for search. 

But just to make it official, LOL, the new domains I am transitioning to shortly will both end in extension .xyz

Thanks for your continued support and readership at all my sites, it is appreciated!๐Ÿ˜€

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses, Heavenly Night Cream

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses, Heavenly Night Cream

This is one of the top 5 night creams that I've EVER used!

With winter's arrival (albeit a mild one, here on Vancouver Island) I am back to using night cream, on a nightly basis. This one from Andalou Naturals, I am sold on!

So rich and creamy and it actually does something! My facial skin looks smooth, firm and with a lot less pores visible, after only a couple of weeks use.

A little goes a long way so you don't need to apply much before smoothing into skin.

The rose scent is SO nice but I did do a skin patch test on my arm for 48 hours before using on my face, to insure I wouldn't have a reaction.No problems in this regard but it has a definite scent. You can't get much better than a beautiful, natural- smelling rose scent and this is what this cream delivers!

I usually buy non-scented products but this rose line from Andalou has me hooked!!! I also use their 1000 Roses Body Lotion as a hand cream and it is wonderful too. 

The current price at Amazon for this night cream is very good at less than $18. for a 1.7 ounce jar. Similar products with this quality of ingredients often sell for a lot more.

Here's some additional information from the Amazon product page:


Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Purified Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Glyceryl Stearate, Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Plant Stem Cells (Alpine Rose, Malus Domestica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Stearyl Alcohol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Soothing Complex: [Sodium Hyaluronate, Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract, Boswellia Serrata (Boswellin) Extract], Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*†, Bisabolol, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil*, Panthenol, Tocopherol, Allantoin, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Distillate*, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Juice*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract*†, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Extract*†, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Rose Isolates, Vanilla Isolates, Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Flower Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil* 

*Certified Organic Ingredients

 †Fair Trade Ingredients


If you've been looking for a night cream with more natural ingredients, a reasonable price and one that actually DOES something, give this one a try. 

Especially nice for rose lovers!!! ๐Ÿ˜Š

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

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Holiday Cookbook Sale 2017 :-)

I am having a holiday cookbook sale for my first (print) cookbook,


for the rest of November and the month of December.

You can read all the details here.


Happy Cooking and Happy Holidays!!!

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