Monday, December 7, 2020

So Long 2020 and Happy 2021 to You!

 


I hope 2021 is a MUCH better year, for all of us.


Stop by at my cooking and craft blog, to read my full holiday and year- end post here. 


PS: Mr. Cheddar and I are both fine and have weathered 2020 so far, with no big issues. 


He sends his best "Meooooowwws" to you too. ๐Ÿ˜€

Monday, January 20, 2020

Blogging Update 2020!


I hope your New Year is off to a great start!

I’ve decided to take a hiatus from all blogging, for the foreseeable future.

May be back, may not. I’ve learned from past experience, never say never, especially when it comes to blogging.

Just too much to do and every day seems to go faster than the one before it. Trips to plan, including another big move, still working on unpacking and sorting here, numerous projects, writing, crafting….the list goes on and on.I

 

**Contact information at all my blogs/site (including for review requests) WILL remain active.**


I wish all of my blog friends, past and present, the best year ever! ๐Ÿ˜Š


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Blogger Update and Back to WordPress!


Hope you are having a wonderful summer so far. 

Here on Vancouver Island we've been having picture perfect weather, day after day. ๐Ÿ˜Š Hopefully, we will be spared the heat wave that is now moving West.

The unpacking goes on and on....but we can now see an end in sight. 

Have already given away over 50 boxes of clothes, household goods, books....and at least another 50 more to come. It's hard to part with some stuff but at the same time, so liberating!๐Ÿ˜‰

I've made some blogging decisions too. 

I'm putting, My Real Life Reviews,

on hiatus.

I will still be posting reviews on a regular basis at Amazon Canada, where I am a Top 500 reviewer and Vine Voice member and at Amazon.com, but that is all for now, in terms of reviews.

If you are stopping by to request a review, check out the information for review requests first, see top of this page for more information. I am still accepting review requests for consideration, but only if your book or product is currently available at Amazon sites.

I will continue to post periodically at my author's site re: upcoming Amazon promotions, personal updates, projects in progress...

Geraldine Helen Hartman

๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒผ

I've also decided to " resurrect " my two WordPress blogs in the near future:




and




I have missed posting recipes, craft projects, Mr. Cheddar updates, poetry....so this seemed like the right move for my blogging pursuits. will be trying for weekly posting over there.

I also have a lot more followers at those blogs and many WP blogs that I follow too, so it feels like a good move. Never say never, especially when it comes to blogs and blogging!๐Ÿ˜‰ 

I still love blogging but it's time for a change. Hope you'll stop by over at my other blogs, sometime soon. 

So, it's Goodbye (for now) My Real Life Reviews

and

  Hello (again)WordPress!๐Ÿ˜


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Early Summer Greetings!


Hope your spring days have been happy ones so far, and now summer is just around the corner. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I can't believe how fast the time has gone since my last post, pre- move.

As expected, moving was tiring and stressful but so glad to be getting settled in our new home. We are still living on Vancouver Island, just moved down the Island a bit.๐Ÿ˜‚

The "big unpack" continues. We had a lot of stuff in storage for years that we are finally unpacking. Some treasures, some trash. Have already given away a lot of stuff with more to come. 

It feels SO good to downsize and to hopefully help someone else in need, with these donations. Don't have the time or inclination to bother with garage sales.

We have a BIG move planned within a couple of years. This purge will certainly make that one a lot easier, when it happens.

I've really scaled back on my online time but look forward to visiting my favorite blogs soon.

๐ŸŒธHappy Summer to All!๐Ÿ‘’


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

On the Move !!




We are moving at the end of this month (but not by bike, I just like that photo!!)๐Ÿ˜ Also looking forward to a long overdue holiday. 

Lots of stuff still to do so I won't be blogging until things settle down again.

In the meantime, I wish you all a beautiful, early spring and I look forward to visiting my favorite blogs, as time permits.

I'm also looking forward to getting back to my writing, after this move is over. It's been a trying time, this past couple of years and a lot of the things I really enjoy have been put on hold. Looking forward to happier, more creative days ahead and soon!
Here's to a Happy, Sunny Spring!!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Spring Fever Has Hit (Early!!!)




Happy (Almost) Spring!
    
How's your weather been?

Here on Vancouver Island, it's been mild but lots of rainy, dark days. 

I am so ready for spring, even though it's not even February yet. 

How about you? Has spring fever hit???

Hope you have a wonderful week. ๐Ÿ˜€

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Happy 2019!


Me and Mr. Cheddar wish you a year of health, happiness and prosperity!

The photo above is one of my favorites from the "Cheddar archives". ๐Ÿฑ

He had just won this nice, big gift basket from a local pet store, when I took this photo. 

I think the expression on his face is priceless!!๐Ÿ˜Š

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)

and

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!! 


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