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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Naked Dog Box

The Naked Dog Box

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
At The Naked Dog, we care about what people feed the furry members of their families. The shopping experience is ultra-convenient and the most affordable in the market.…And that makes our tails wag.
Before we adopted Chase, we rescued a stray cat. He looked EXACTLY Morris from the 9 Lives commercials, so we named him Morris. He had other nicknames, like Baby Boy or My personal favorite, Mr. Cranky McSassyPants.

The one problem we had with Morris was since he was a senior cat when we brought him in, he had some digestion issues. Dry foods with artificial colors and/or dyes in them gave him very runny and stinky diarrhea. So, I set out on the waves of the internet to find a cat food without the dyes and junk. The only one I found like this without having to go to Petco or Petsmart was Whiskas.

Once we switched him to an all-Whiskas diet (including his treats, Temptations), the diarrhea cleared up and his #2s became solid, as they should be. From this, I deduced that foods with artificial colors and dyes weren't good for animals.

When we took Chase to the vet in Moravia, I asked Dr. Kerry about the dyes in pet food, and she confirmed my theory. She gave us a bag of Hill's Science Diet Small Puppy Bites, which doesn't have the dyes.

But then I wasn't buying the dog food for a while, which meant Chase was eating foods with dyes in it.

When The Naked Dog Box agreed to send me a box of their food, I was excited. It's all-natural... no artificial colors or dyes are added to the food, meat is the FIRST ingredient, and the food is LOADED with numerous vitamins and minerals.


^^What I Received^^
Turkey & Chickpea dry food, Zuke's Mini Naturals Dog Treats in Delicious Duck and Fetch Fuel Active samples

The only problem we have with this food is Chase isn't too fond of it. I don't know if it's the chickpea in the morsels or the fact that he's ate the food with dyes in it for so long, but he really doesn't care for it. This is odd to me, since he LOVES turkey. The card we got with the shipment says to feed him a scoop in the morning and a scoop at night. He has about a 1/4 to 1/2 of the morning scoop left at night. Meanwhile the Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak food we got from Influenster is gone by the middle of the afternoon.

The Zuke's Mini Naturals treats are a hit or miss with Chase. There are days he'll eat them, then there are days that he turns his snout up at them. I think it's the duck flavor, because he didn't like another food we have for review with duck in it. If this was a different flavor, he'd probably eat them quicker.

The Fetch Fuel Active vitamin supplements were the biggest hit in the box. Chase LOVED them. I wasn't entirely sure how I was supposed to give this to him, so I just squeezed some into my palm and let him lick it off my palm. He licked my palm clean and kept licking WELL after the supplement was gone.

The problem I think disabled people will have with this box is lifting and/or moving the bag of dry food. We were supposed to get a 5.25 lb bag, but we got a 14 lb bag. I was able to move it with my walker by swinging it forward and then walking up to it, but it may be hard for some disabled people to move it.

The good thing about The Naked Dog Box is, like Chewy, they deliver directly to your front door, so those that are homebound or don't drive won't have to worry about how they will get this. They also deliver every 2 weeks, so your pup will never run out of food!

This is available from The Naked Dog Box for $20.00.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Great subscription box for those that want the best for their pup... I just wish Chase liked the food more!
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Air Bar Touchscreen Add-on Bar

Air Bar Touchscreen Add-on Bar

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
Air Bar gives your non-touch Windows 10 laptop touchscreen functionalities. The sleek, lightweight device emits an invisible light field over a laptop screen that senses your finger touch. Air Bar will allow you to experience the best of Windows 10 by simply attaching it to the bottom of your laptop bezel with the magnets provided, and plugging it into the USB port.

You will be able to tap, pinch, zoom, swipe, and rotate instantly.

Air Bar for Windows 10 laptops will work out of the box not require any software or driver downloads. We call this "Plug and Touch". With Air Bar attached to your non-touch Windows 10 laptop, you will be able to swipe through music, images and video files, scroll whilst web browsing, or highlight text and paragraphs in your Word, and PDF documents. or, pinch, zoom, rotate in your maps, and photos. You can also simply select an app on your desktop or taskbar, a hyperlink or use it to intuitively access functions in Windows 10 that you would not have otherwise, such as edge-swipes.

Air Bar will make using your existing laptop fun again, and increase your productivity. Many people instinctively touch their laptop screens to select something, but realize it's not a touch screen. Well now Air Bar is your answer.

Air Bar is ONLY recommended to work with laptops running Windows 10, and ONLY for laptops sizes 13.3", 14" and 15.6" so you must choose the RIGHT SIZE for your laptop. Air Bar is NOT intended for monitors, or MacBook PRO laptops. Please read system requirements before making a purchase.
So, Mama Melissa bought this for herself, and since she doesn't write reviews, she told me I could write the review for her.

After seeing this on Unbox Therapy, She bought this to make her computers (an Acer Chromebook and an ASUS X555YA Windows 10 laptop) touchscreen capable, since she has trouble at times with a mouse.

Sadly, it really didn't work with either one.


^^Air Bar shown against the Asus Y555YA laptop running Linux Mint 18^^

On the ASUS, before I took it and converted it to a Linux Mint 18 Sarah environment, While Mama Melissa was trying to set up Windows 10, every time she touched a text box, the on-screen keyboard would show on the screen. This was an inconvenience, because the keyboard worked just fine. Tapping the 'X' in the corner of the keyboard, then retapping the text box just brought the on-screen keyboard up again. Lather, rinse, repeat. and because she was in the initial Windows 10 set-up process, disabling the on-screen keyboard was NOT an option.

It would not work at ALL with her Acer Chromebook, even though the box states it is compatible with Chrome OS. She tried multiple times and nothing happened when tapping on the screen.

Mama Melissa then tried it on my old Dell Inspiron 5558 Linux Mint 18 system we had as a spare system, and while it worked, it was VERY glitchy while on the screen. Pages would not scroll as it should, and would not tap on buttons she chose. I watched her try to forward an email to me, and instead of tapping 'Forward' as she had, it tapped on 'Reply.' We do realize this is not made to work with Linux systems, but this was just an experiment to see if she had received a faulty bar.

As long as it works, I really don't see disabled people having a problem with this, minus the constant opening of the On-screen Keyboard on Windows systems when touching a text box. While the on-screen keyboard CAN be disabled, this is only available from within Windows settings, and not from the initial set-up settings. But those who have trouble with using mice or touchpads, this will be good... again, as long as it works.

This is available from Amazon for $79.99.

FINAL THOUGHTS
It's an awesome concept, but I think it'd be better to just save up to get an outright touchscreen system from the start.
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: No

Friday, March 10, 2017

Chewy Blogger - July 2016

Chewy.com

ABOUT CHEWY.COM
We’re dog and cat lovers who want only the best-quality products for our pets. And we’re always on the go. That’s why we created Chewy.com: a specialty pet retailer stocking the very best brands under one roof, with fast delivery right to yours.

Consider us your neighborhood pet store, but better. We’re knowledgeable and always ready to answer your questions. But you won’t have to lug that fifty-pound bag of dog food to your car because we’ll deliver it right to your door. 
So, I'm VERY far behind, and trying to play catchup here.

It's no secret I spoil Chase. Every shopping trip, he gets either a toy or a treat.

For July 2016's Chewy.com Blogger program, we chose the Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food.

Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
From less interaction with you, to lower engagement in daily activities, there are many signs your dog may be aging. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind was created out of proprietary research that shows enhanced botanical oils provide an efficient fuel source for the brain in dogs age 7 and older – helping naturally nourish their minds to help them think more like they did when they were younger.

Key Benefits
-Made with high-quality protein, including real chicken as the first ingredient
-Natural prebiotic fiber, sourced from wheat bran, helps promote optimal digestive health
-Enhanced with botanical oils to promote alertness and mental sharpness in dogs 7+ within 30 days
-EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and glucosamine help support joint health and mobility
-Enriched with vitamin A and linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, for healthy skin and a beautiful shiny coat


The outer bag

Even though Chase was just under a year and a half when we got July's list, I figured it would help 'prep' him for those years, since I know 5 1/2 years can fly by in what seems like a blink of an eye. Plus, he LOVES chicken, so I figured he'd be more prone to eat this.


^^Closeup of the food to show texture -- NOT ACTUAL SIZE^^

Chase actually likes this, but he does leave it for later in the day. I'm not sure if this is because he likes others more or if this is his favorite, so he wants to save it for last. I grabbed his bowl for the pic above, and we HAD filled it half way that morning.

The MAIN issue I see disabled people having with these bags is because they don't seal, the food could become stale. However, The plus side to ordering from chewy.com is they deliver right to your door. For someone disabled, who maybe doesn't drive or relies on public transportation, this is completely helpful.

The Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food is available at Chewy.com, starting at $10.00 for the 5 lb. bag, but $9.50 if you enroll in their Auto-Ship program. Please click the link above to see other sizes and prices.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Greta prices and brand names... Best spot to go for pet stuff without leaving your home!
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes

**I AM A CHEWY.COM BLOGGER. As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

#BehindTheBlogger -- The Lucky One

#BehindTheBlogger -- The Lucky One

The Lucky One.

Not to toot my own horn, but I definitely consider myself to be that.

See, back in 1979, when I was born, not a lot was known about CP, and what was known made the prognosis very grim.

And all while Mommy was “pregnant” with me, Her doctor refused to run a simple pregnancy test on her. Without any proper testing, he diagnosed her as having ulcers (the reason for her constant heartburn) and early menopause (the reason for her missed/lighter periods). Mommy was a big woman to begin with, so she never really showed with me either.

(The reason I put pregnant in quotation marks is Mommy told me many times that I wasn’t her daughter, but actually her granddaughter. I’m actually my sister’s child, but she didn’t want me, so instead of outright putting me up for adoption, HER mother and stepfather took me, put themselves as my birth parents, and raised me. This is her reasoning for why she didn’t show. I, however, have NO concrete evidence to support nor deny this claim)

There were other stories she liked to tell me about my birth. One story was during my birth, the ‘delivery doctor,’ who was more or less just some random doctor making late night rounds, was more concerned with the blood from the delivery on his lab coat than the actual delivery and getting the corn unwrapped from my neck. Another story I was told was after I was born, when Mommy returned to her PCP/GP, he told her, ‘Well, if I knew you were pregnant, I would have told you to get an abortion, based on your age alone.’ Mommy was 41 when I was born… Not out of the childbearing years, but not in the prime of them either.

These stories contradict the stories about being my sister’s daughter, so it’s easy to see why I’m confused.

Although I wasn’t officially diagnosed until 1981, it was in the era of being a relatively unknown condition. I wasn’t expected to walk or talk on my own. If I did ambulate, it’d be in a wheelchair. I was expected to need full-time 24/7 care. I’d basically be a vegetable my whole life. The best thing for me would be put in an institution.

It was bad enough by her own doctor to be ‘told’ she should have had an abortion, but then came the icing on the proverbial cake; The specialist that diagnosed me with CP looked at my parents and said, “I’ll be honest. Your daughter will be dead by age 16.”

Now, there’s a sobering thought.

So, why do I consider myself ‘The Lucky One?’

Because none of those things ever happened. My parents took me to a different doctor, who got me into physical, occupational, and speech therapies. I learned to walk, run, jump, climb stairs… even swim. I learned to talk slow and watch my words, making my speech as clear as it can be. I learned to tie laces, button buttons, type on a typewriter/keyboard and practiced my writing, so that it was legible.

When I got into my pre-teen/’Tween’ years, Mommy started teaching me how to take care of the house. I washed and dried clothes. I folded the underwear and ‘balled’ the socks. I hung the clothes when Mommy ironed them. I ran the vacuum. I swept the floors. When Mommy was working at the local nursing homes, I knew how to make myself something to eat that DIDN’T involve microwaving a can of something from Chef Boyardee or Dinty Moore. I wasn’t the best, but I could wash the dishes in a pinch. I cleaned the countertops and sinks. I even knew how to clean the toilet.

I also kept a ‘B’ average in school, graduated High School, and got a certificate/degree in Web Page Design. I’ve even published a book.

I KNOW I could be a lot worse off than I am. I could be in that wheelchair. I could be mute. I could need help with everything. Worse yet, I could be dead, as the specialist said I would be.

But, as I near 22 years of being ‘past my expiration date,’ I’m not… and that makes me the luckiest one of all.

#BehindTheBlogger Sidebar Button
Thank you for reading a story from #BehindTheBlogger Hop. Every 2 weeks a group of bloggers is given a writing prompt. These prompts are very open ended, so our bloggers can write about whatever they desire. The main rule is that their blog post directly relates to the topic of that week. The point of this hop is for our readers to get to know us on a personal level.

Please hop along and read all of the blog posts in this weeks hop. Just click the links below. If you want real and raw emotion, then you will find it here. After you read each post, please comment and share. We want to get to know you too!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Love with Food February 2017 Gluten Free box

Love with Food
February 2017 box

What is Love With Food?
Love With Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Our subscription membership starts as low as $10/month. Every month, Love With Food members will receive a curated box of unique, hard-to-find tasty snacks which varies based on seasonal themes.

For every box sold, we donate a meal to several food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength - No Kid Hungry. Join us to help end child hunger one meal at a time!

Say goodbye to boring grocery selections and start discovering your Love With Food experience!
I'm actually EARLY this month! YAHOO! I think it's because this month's box was packed FULL with yummies!

February’s theme is ‘Follow Your Heart.’ It’s just three words, but following your heart is no small thing to do! Whether it’s hunting for a new career, starting a relationship, or simply resolving to do something you’ve never done before, following your heart takes courage and strength – and, let’s face it, some seriously good snacks to keep you motivated. Consider this month’s box as fuel for following your heart wherever it may take you!

*It would be safe to assume these snacks are gluten-free only unless otherwise noted.


Since I was eager to dive right into the box, I completely forgot to take a picture! So, I did an unboxing video!

Going in order of the unboxing...
CINN-CREDIBLE CINNAMON PACKETS
All this is, is just ground cinnamon. Mama Melissa and I put it in our coffee. If you’ve had cinnamon before, you’ll know what this tastes like.
The one thing I did like about this was that it did not stay in my cup, like other cinnamon powders. When I finished my coffee, there was no ‘grit’ left.
Visit http://www.cinnamonpackets.com/lovewithfood.html for you chance to win a box of 100 Cinn-Credible Cinnamon Packets!
TASTE: 10/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

YUMMYEARTH LOLLIPOPS
I got 5 different flavors;
STRAWBERRY SMASH
WET-FACE WATERMELON
POMEGRANATE PUCKER
TOOBERRY BLUEBERRY
GOOGLY GRAPE

I’m not really one for lollipops anymore, so I have not tried these… I’m thinking about dropping them in my purse, so I can suck on them when I’m doing errands and my mouth gets dry. Once I try these, I’ll come back and edit this
TASTE: UNKNOWN AT THIS TIME
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

HOMEFREE LEMON BURST MINI COOKIES
Almost like a lemony shortbread. Very heavy on the lemon flavor, but not to the overpowering stage. Easy on the teeth. I really liked these.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/HomefreeTreats/ for a chance to win FREE cookies!
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

FREEYUMM HONEY APPLE OAT BAR
Going by the amount of things it was free from, I was honestly expecting something that tasted like cardboard. But I was surprised. I really couldn’t taste the apple flavor in this… it was more of a subdued apple flavor. Reminded me a LOT of Apple & Cinnamon instant oatmeal. Very chewy.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Wheat Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Sulphates Free, Sesame Free

BLUE DIAMOND ALMONDS MINI NUT-THINS
I received 2 different flavors of these as well;
CHEDDAR CHEESE
These kind of reminded me of a more saltier Cheddar Cheese Goldfish cracker. I REALLY couldn’t taste the almond in these. I took one of these for tasting purposes, then gave the rest to Mama Melissa, because they worked well with her pre-diabetic diet.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

HINT OF SEA SALT
Very… plain. I didn’t detect much of a salty flavor on these. There’s actually a cereal out on the market that has the same flavor, but I seriously cannot remember the name of it. I prefer the Cheddar Cheese flavor more.
TASTE: 6/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

HAGENSBORG CHOCOLATES TRUFFLE PIGS
These are so cute. They actually are shaped like pigs! I received 2 different flavors of these as well;
DARK PEPPERMINT
This was really good… and I hate Dark Chocolate! Reminded me of a York Peppermint Patty or a Keebler Grasshopper cookie.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

MILK CARAMEL
Had an odd taste to the chocolate… almost like ‘fake’ or ‘cheap’ chocolate. The caramel tasted like regular caramel.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

WORLD PEAS ROASTED CHICKPEAS
Again, I received 2 different flavors of these as well;
TEXAS BARBEQUE
For something that is supposed to taste like Texas Barbeque, this is… well… bland. I didn’t really taste much barbecue flavor of these. I think Pringles BBQ chips have more of a barbecue taste to them. While these would have played nicely with Mama Melissa’s diet, she hates barbecue flavored foods, so these were mine. I don’t think I’d buy these on my own.
TASTE: 5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

SANTA BARBARA RANCH
Not as heavy on the Ranch flavor as I would have thought. Tasted like a plain chickpea was a very light coating of dry Ranch dressing mix. I took a couple of these for tasting purposes, then gave the rest to Mama Melissa, because they also worked well with her pre-diabetic diet.
TASTE: 6/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

IWON NUTRITION PROTEIN CHIPS
FROM THE BAG: the feeling you get after an awesome workout. the happiness you experience when you accomplish something great. the passion you have for the things you love. the unmistakable felling of winning. in sport. in fitness. in life.
we totally understand. it’s these passions that we put into making all natural, healthy food products for active people.
i won! nutrition all started when our founder realized that most on-the-go meals were unhealthy, unnatural and didn’t taste that good, so he went on a mission to create exactly what he wanted using the best non-gmo and organic ingredients.
we hope you enjoy these chips as much as we do.
bringing all natural to the game
mark samuel, founder and ceo

After filming the video, I realized these were sriracha flavor. I’m not sure WHAT went wrong here, but these actually made me nauseous. It wasn’t the hotness, since I actually love sriracha flavored foods. I finished the one bag, because I didn’t want to waste them, but I did NOT like them.
They are VERY hard on teeth… almost like stale Doritos. I wouldn’t buy these on my own.
TASTE: 2/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Organic

ANNIE CHUN’S SEAWEED CRISPS in ORIGINAL
FROM THE BAG: Fall in love at first bite with Annie Chun’s irresistibly crunchy Seaweed Crisps.
We’ve taken our best-selling, Roasted Seaweed Snacks and layered them over hearty and crispy brown rice chips for a savory snack like no other.
Every bite-size crisp is over-baked, never fried, and contains 80 calories per serving.
Not to mention, they’re vegan, free of gluten, 0g trans fat per serving and a cholesterol free food.
What are you waiting for?
They’re delicious right out of the bag and perfect for on-the-go snacking, so go ahead and stock up your pantry, office or car to enjoy anytime.

Nope. Not happening in the SLIGHTEST.
Now, I will admit, they had a decent smell when I opened the bag… reminded me of sizzling bacon. So, I actually had high hopes for this snack.
Eating it was a whole different story. All I tasted was seaweed and musk. In my opinion, Annie should have just stopped at the brown rice chips. The seaweed ruined the entire thing.
TASTE: 1/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Vegan, Cholesterol Free, Non-GMO

PRETZEL PERFECTION RASPBERRY TRUFFLE COATED PRETZELS
FROM THE BAG: At Pretzel Perfection, we don’t think you should sacrifice flavor or quality when you choose a gluten-free product. That’s why all of out products are made with only the freshest ingredients and are always free of artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Our unique sweet and savory snacks offer delicious flavor combinations and always come with a safe, gluten-free promise.

Usually, I don’t really care for raspberry flavored foods, unless it’s raspberry sherbert or blue raspberry, which is a different flavor altogether.
But these were actually really good. The coating really didn’t taste like white chocolate at all; rather, more like a vanilla yogurt. The smell is quite strong, but it’s a pleasant smell. This was one of my favorites of the box.
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

The biggest problem I see disabled folks having with these products are opening them. A LOT of the packages, I had to take scissors to, so if scissors aren't your strong point, you may have a problem opening these packages.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Still loving the variety in this month's box. I like how I got lots of snacks, all that are good for me.
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

#BehindTheBlogger -- Find Your Love

#BehindTheBlogger -- Find Your Love

Find your love.

Now, that can mean a whole SLEW of things. That can mean finding a partner. That can mean adopting a pet. That can mean learning to love yourself.

But today, I’m going to focus on an old quote that’s been said a lot… Find something you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life.

Growing up, I always envisioned myself as a teacher. One of my fondest memories is standing in front of my chalkboard easel, ‘teaching’ my dolls and stuffed animals. I guess I had always envisioned myself as an Elementary grade teacher, since when I played Teacher, I was always ‘teaching’ multiple subjects.

While I had dabbled with writing in 7th grade, I still intended to be a teacher. I’d say I had that dream up until late 1993 or early 1994. I was on the ACTA (Yearbook Journalism) staff and started actually devoting time to it, instead of goofing off. That’s when I totally realized I loved writing, and when my intended major flipped from Education/Teaching to Print Journalism.

Since then, my ‘career choices’ have flipped four times; from Journalism to Medical Transcription, then from Medical Transcription to Web Design, then from Web Design to Wedding Planning, and then from Wedding Planning to Self-Taught Graphic Design.

But I always had the love of writing… so even while I studied Medical Transcription, then Web Design, then Wedding Planning, I still wrote WWE fanfic, branching into other fandoms. Then I got addicted to Graphic Design on Livejournal and the fanfic got shelved… for a very long time.

In 2013, I decided to take a good long look at my life… What did I love to do?

The Graphic Design ‘business’ was dying a slow death on LJ, with too much drama surrounding it. Between users complaining that other users used the same color choices (Yes, this was a thing!), thievery running rampant among actual graphics (or graphic pieces, like blinkie boxes) and then paid pixel sites, which were all the rage in 2011-2012, deciding makers couldn’t use their pixels on LJ, Being a graphic designer became more hassle than it was worth.

Besides that, everything I know about Graphics was self-taught, so I couldn’t really get a job anywhere without some sort of certificate, much less an actual degree.

And then my GOOD Graphic Design system, that I scrimped and saved for, died 8 days after the Windows XPocolypse, so that’s when I really ‘saw the writing on the wall’ about graphics.

I actually never finished my Medical Transcription degree, so I couldn’t fall back on that.

While I COULD have fallen back on Web Design, at that point it had been a good 10 years since getting my degree/certificate, so things may have changed within the HTML coding world and my location is not ‘prime real estate’ for a decent home business based on that. Sure, I could do a strictly Online business, but I really didn’t see a market for Freelance Webmasters at the time.

The Wedding Planning course was another one that I never finished, for purely financial reasons. But just like the Web Design degree, my location is not ‘prime real estate’ for a decent home business based on that.. especially at this time. Mama Melissa’s dad would flip out when my clients would show up here for the consultations. So, even if I had finished that course, It would have done me absolutely no good.

So, what did that leave me? Writing. Something I could do from home, without a fancy degree or certificate, and I wouldn’t need to have people come here or me leave the house. All I need is a working computer and a way to access some sort of word processor, even if it’s no more than Google Docs.

So, in May of 2013, I decided to start a blog. I was already writing reviews on eBay and Amazon, so why not start putting those reviews on a blog for myself?

So, I did.

And this is my favorite ‘career choice.’ Whether it’s doing a review, or one of these ‘Behind the Blogger’ prompts, or I’m writing a book, I get to see my words come alive. I get to see my hard work pay off when someone shares my tweet or buys a book.

I’ve finally found my love… and every day, it makes me happy doing what I love.

#BehindTheBlogger Sidebar Button 
Thank you for reading a story from #BehindTheBlogger Hop. Every 2 weeks a group of bloggers is given a writing prompt. These prompts are very open ended, so our bloggers can write about whatever they desire. The main rule is that their blog post directly relates to the topic of that week. The point of this hop is for our readers to get to know us on a personal level.  Please hop along and read all of the blog posts in this weeks hop. Just click the links below. If you want real and raw emotion, then you will find it here. After you read each post, please comment and share. We want to get to know you too!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Voortman Pumpkin Spice Wafers

Voortman Pumpkin Spice Wafers

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
Delicious wafers with the distinct seasonal flavor of pumpkin spice! Available for a limited time only!
I am a Pumpkin Spice junkie... which it completely surprising, since as a child I wouldn't TOUCH pumpkin pie. Mommy tried NUMEROUS times, but it was not happening.

Sometime in my teenage years, I finally caved and tried a pumpkin pie from McDonald's, and I was sold. Since then, I get stoked when September hits, because I know that everything Pumpkin Spice will soon be hitting the shelves.

Grandma knows this, so when she saw these at our local Tops Markets, she picked up a package for me.


^^the package Grandma bought me^^

These taste a lot like actual pumpkin pie stuffed into a cake-style ice cream cone. They seem to be very heavy on the cinnamon, which for me is not a bad thing, because I LOVE anything cinnamon flavored.

There are two downfalls to these cookies...
1. They are VERY crumbly. Anytime I ate these I had crumbs all over me and the desk.
2. Some wafer cookies have a heavy taste of salt, while others don't. This gives it a strange salty-sweet taste. It's not a BAD taste, but when the cookies before have all had a sweet taste to them, it can throw you for a loop.

The biggest problem disabled people will have with this is opening the outer wrapping. The cookies turn to mush quite easily with a few chews.

Being this is a seasonal item, it may be hard to find this in stores. (Grandma could still find them in our local Tops Market as of last week) I cannot even find these on eBay, so you MAY have to wait until September again to find these.

FINAL THOUGHTS
If you like pumpkin pie, you'll LOVE these!
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love With Food January 2017 Gluten Free Box

Love with Food
January 2017 box

What is Love With Food?
Love With Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Our subscription membership starts as low as $10/month. Every month, Love With Food members will receive a curated box of unique, hard-to-find tasty snacks which varies based on seasonal themes.

For every box sold, we donate a meal to several food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength - No Kid Hungry. Join us to help end child hunger one meal at a time!

Say goodbye to boring grocery selections and start discovering your Love With Food experience!
February's box is on it's way, so it's time for the monthly post!

January’s theme was ‘Seize The Day.’ This time of year, everyone’s thinking about making changes in their lives, and at Love With Food we’re no different. While it’s easy to get back into that everyday routine you’re used to, we want to encourage all our super snackers to mix things up a little. Book that international trip you’re always wanted. Run that marathon. Or just try some new all-natural snacks! Hey nothing wrong with baby steps!

*It would be safe to assume these snacks are gluten-free only unless otherwise noted.


Since I was eager to dive right into the box, I completely forgot to take a picture! So, I did an unboxing video!

VITAL PROTEINS COLLAGEN PEPTIDES
FROM THE CARD: We believe that whole-food-based nutrition containing collagen is essential for overall health, fitness and wellbeing. However, our bodies require an abundant amount of collagen and modern food processing has removed this natural healthy nutrient from our diets. Supplementing our body with collagen helps promote better digestion, youthful skin, healthier hair, stronger nails, bone & joint health, and overall wellness.

I received the unflavored package, and I don’t know what I did wrong, but these would NOT dissolve completely for me. I tried half into a glass of milk, and thinking even though it says it will dissolve into cold foods and/or drinks the milk was too cold, I tried the second half into a very hot cup of coffee. Both times, the bottom of the cup looked like there was a grainy syrup in it.
I will admit, I could not taste a difference in my drinks, minus the grainy feel to it. I think I’d opt for another way of getting collagen into my diet.
TASTE: 3/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Paleo Friendly

DAVE’S SWEET TOOTH TOFFEE in PEANUT BUTTER CRUNCH and MILK CHOCOLATE CRUNCH
The Milk Chocolate flavor reminded me a LOT of a Skor bar, which I went through a phase of loving as a teenager. However, unlike Skor bars or even the Dark Chocolate flavor I reviewed in last January’s box, This was soft on my teeth.
The Peanut Butter flavor was a bit harder on my teeth, crunch wise. However, it was my favorite flavor of the two. I could really taste the peanut butter in this flavor.
Save 15% on your order at davessweettooth.com with the code ‘FIRST15’ (one time use per customer - discount cannot be combined with any other offer)
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free

SKINNY POP POPCORN in WHITE CHEDDAR
FROM THE BAG: We believe in snacking without compromise. To us, that means using the fewest, cleanest and simplest ingredients possible to bring you the best tasting popcorn. - That’s the Skinny!

I tasted nearly NO cheddar flavor on this. Maybe one handful out of the whole bag. The popcorn itself tasted fine. I just wish there was more of a cheddar flavor to the kernels.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Non-GMO, Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Preservative Free

DOOR COUNTRY KETTLE CHIPS ORIGINAL FLAVOR
FROM THE BAG: Our original kettle chips are in a class by themselves – the perfect combination of crunchy and salty goodness made from three simple ingredients.
Door County Potato Chips are handmade in small batches to ensure the highest quality. We use only the finest natural ingredients to bring out the real flavor and texture of this delightful snack.
These crunchy snacks have no preservatives and zero grams trans fat. Our chips are fresh and simple, just like Door County itself!
From our family to yours, Enjoy the goodness of Door County Potato Chips!

The taste is just like any other plain Kettle chip, but these were REALLY hard on my teeth.
If Door County were to make normal potato chips, I’d eat them, but due to my gum issues, I wouldn’t get these again.
Buy one bag, get one bag at DoorCountyPotatoChips.com with the code ‘LovewithFood’ (one time use per customer - discount cannot be combined with any other offer)
TASTE: 7/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free

FREE FROM VEGAN GRANOLA
Looking at the ‘Perfect for these diets’ list, I was actually thinking this was going to be the next thing to eating sawdust. But I was actually VERY pleasantly surprised.
It tastes just like a granola bar, but in a 'free' form. The sweetness level actually surprised me. It's not overly sweet, but there is a good amount of sweetness it it, which comes from organic applesauce, vegan cane sugar, dried cranberries (which I thought were raisins, to be honest), maple syrup, nutmeg & cinnamon. This was hands down my favorite item in the box!
Save $5.00 on your order over $25.00 at redplatefoods.com with the code ‘FREEFROM’ (one time use per customer - discount cannot be combined with any other offer)
TASTE: 10/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Peanut Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Sesame Free, Vegan

ALOHA DAILY GOOD GREEN DRINK MIX in CHOCOLATE
Nope. Another one that wasn’t happening, after learning my lesson with the Garden of Life Protein Mix, I wasn’t even going to try this. I was NOT going to subject myself to nausea again.
Save $10.00 on your order over $50.00 at aloha.com with the code ‘LWFSAVE10’ (one time use per customer - discount cannot be combined with any other offer)
TASTE: UNKNOWN
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Non-GMO, Vegan

TASTY ORGANIC FRUIT SNACKS
These reminded me heavily of Cherry Gummy Life Savers. Very soft on the teeth. However, they liked to get stuck in my teeth as well. One of my favorites of January’s box.
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free

TRUVIA NECTAR SWEETENER
I tried this in a cup of tea I received for Christmas, Vanilla and Cinnamon Black Tea, since I wasn’t sure how a sweetener with honey would taste in coffee.
It was okay, but it seemed to leave a very strange aftertaste in my mouth. I believe it was the brand and not the fact that it’s ‘supposedly’ diabetic sweetener, since I can use Splenda without this aftertaste.
TASTE: 6/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free

HONEY STINGER ORGANIC FRUIT CHEWS in FRUIT SMOOTHIE
These have a STRONG honey taste to them. Otherwise, these are very similar to the Tasty Fruit snacks from above. I didn’t feel any jitters or nervousness after eating these, so I’m guessing the energy comes from the honey and other sweeteners used in these.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free

EMMY’S ORGANICS ORGANIC COCONUT COOKIE in DARK CACAO
I reviewed the Lemon Ginger flavor of these cookies last July and HATED them.
The Dark Cacao cookie tasted infinitely better, but they are still not a cookie I’d specifically go out and buy… which it PAINS me to say, because Emmy’s Organics is a ‘local’ company to me, based out of Ithaca, NY. I feel like I’m hurting the local economy by speaking ill of them.
The taste is reminiscent of an Almond Joy bar, minus the almond.
Save 20% on your order at emmysorganics.com with the code ‘LWF20’ (one time use per customer - discount cannot be combined with any other offer)
TASTE: 7/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Non-GMO, Vegan, Organic, Kosher

TRUVIA SWEETENER CRYSTALS
I tried two packets of this in a morning cup of coffee and it just didn’t taste as sweet as I’m accustomed to. Just like with the Truvia Nectar sweetener above, it left a very strange aftertaste in my mouth.
I ended up passing the remaining packets to other adoptive family members.
TASTE: 2/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free

REVIVE ALL NATURAL ENERGY SHOT
Okay, so… like I said in the video above, I was leery of trying this, since I know energy drinks/shots aren’t supposed to be the greatest for you.
But after reading the ingredients list and see that it was basically just juice concentrates. I decided to try it… it’s just concentrated juices of superfruits. How bad could it be?
Really bad.
I got two sips in and I couldn’t drink any more of it. I’m not sure if it was the flavor I received (Watermelon Berry) or not, But it tasted outright repulsing and my stomach started churning. I ended up tossing the rest of it in the trash.
If you do drink energy shots and want to try this, Save on your next order at drinkre.com with the code ‘LovemyRE’ (one time use per customer - discount cannot be combined with any other offer)
TASTE: 1/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free

DELALLO GLUTEN FREE LASAGNA
As I said in the video, I passed these on to my grandma, since she does the cooking here. I’m sure she’ll be making lasagna in March for Mama Melissa’s birthday, so when she does, I will come back and edit this.
TASTE: UNKNOWN as of this posting.
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free

The biggest problem I see disabled folks having with these products are opening them. A LOT of the packages, I had to take scissors to, so if scissors aren't your strong point, you may have a problem opening these packages.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Still loving the variety in this month's box. I like how I got lots of snacks and part of a meal, all that are good for me.
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

Friday, February 10, 2017

aLLreLi X100 7200 DPI Laser Gaming Mouse

aLLreLi X100 7200 DPI Laser Gaming Mouse

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
Isn't it a pain having to take the time to adjust to a new gaming mouse? You might have thought about upgrading to a high tech laser mouse to enhance game play, but the thoughts of having to adapt might be a big turn off.

But it doesn't have to be that way!

We designed the aLLreLi X100 Programmable Wired USB Laser Gaming Mouse to adapt to you, not the other way around, giving you the gaming experience you want and deserve.

When we say that the aLLreLi X100 Programmable Wired USB Laser Gaming Mouse is a programmable gaming mouse, we really mean it. Our wired mouse can be adjusted in many different ways, giving you a gaming mouse that seems as if it were built to your exact specifications.

AS SENSITIVE AS YOU NEED With six DPI resolution settings (800-1200-2000-3200-5000-7200) this wired mouse will give you the sensitivity level you need for top performance in any game
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY Our gaming mouse is equipped with an AVAGO3310 laser engine that is able to detect your movements with ease
COLOR-CODED LIGHTING The programmable gaming mouse includes six lights that match the DPI settings, making setting the sensitivity simple. You can choose which light matches which and adjust other aspects of the light performance
FULLY PROGRAMMABLE GAMING MOUSE With the included profile and macro editor software, you can map the buttons included in the design to work with your favorite games for faster responses in all types of scenarios
TOP PERFORMANCE Our wired mouse has a 1000Hz Report Rate and a tracking speed: 60 inch/sec, 20G acceleration with full speed transmission when connecting with a USB 2.0/3.0 port
So, this is the 3rd mouse from aLLreLi I’ve reviewed, and I HATE to say this, but it’s my LEAST favorite.


^^What I received^^

It’s a larger mouse, which is common for gaming mice. The buttons are coated with a ‘rubbery’ texture, but it also has chrome accents on it, which gathers fingerprints and ‘sweat dirt’ quite easily… and it makes it nearly impossible to keep clean. (Right now, I have a spot on it that refuses to come off, no matter HOW many times I wipe it)


^^Chrome details on the mouse^^

There are 6 different DPI settings:
RED – 800 DPI – Seems to be fine in a word processor, but seems to ‘drag’ in a browser.
YELLOW – 1200 DPI – My personal ‘sweet spot.’ In person, it’s NOT yellow. It’s more of a lemon-lime or 'Chartreuse’ (or for any WWE fans, DX green)
GREEN – 2000 DPI – Now this is what I consider TRUE green. It’s more along the lines of fluorescent green, but brighter. It’s okay, and I find myself bumped to this one a lot if I’m not careful.
BLUE – 3200 DPI – Usable with concentration, but not one I like to use if I can help it.
CYAN – 5000 DPI – Too sensitive for me. BARELY usable.
PURPLE – 7200 DPI – Pretty color, but impossible for me to use.

This came with a mini CD, which have specific gaming drivers and software to set up game-specific macros, but since I use alternative OSes (Chromebooks and/or Linux Mint), I found no use for the mini CD. Otherwise, this is another Plug-n-Play mouse.


^^Replacement feet/pads^^

One good thing about this mouse is the inclusion of replacement feet/pads. I like this, because if the feet/pads become too scratched or scuffed, this can impact use during game play. I’m not sure if you can buy these replacement pads separately or not.

The main reason I did not like this mouse is the side buttons did not work. I rely on this buttons heavily during use, especially while reading blogs or news websites. Nothing happens when I hit these buttons. I at first thought it was a Chromebook thing, but the buttons still do not work while using Linux Mint. I wouldn’t think I would need the drivers from the CD for this function, since these buttons work just fine on the other two aLLreLi mice I’ve reviewed.

The only problem I see disabled people having with this mouse is the DPI. Some of the settings will be nearly impossible for anyone with a hand/arm disability to use, and the DPI button is NOT recessed. So, quick or spastic movements may change the DPI setting by accident.

This is available from Amazon for $26.99.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Overall, I like the aLLreLi brand of mice… This particular one just fell flat for me.
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes/No

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**