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Welcome! I invite you to join me on this journey we call Life. It's crazy, fun, silly, sad, happy, loony, dull, exciting and everything in between

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Free Kindle Books!

Here are some FREE Kindle books you can snag from Amazon! Grab them quick, because Amazon changes prices without warning! 

If you don't have a Kindle, you can still get them by downloading Free Reading Apps


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1. Falling for Rain by Meadow Taylor

2.Murder in the Winter (Book 2 Dekker Cozy Mystery Series)

3.Innocent in Las Vegas: A Humorous Tiffany Black Mystery (Tiffany Black Mysteries Book 1)

4. Forever Ours (Shattered Hearts Book 1)

5. Give Me Love

6.Blood and Justice: A Private Investigator Mystery Series (A Jake & Annie Lincoln Thriller Book 1)

7.Children's Books: LULU LILY GETS SMART (Very Funny Bedtime Story/Picture Book about Learning from Mistakes, for Beginner Readers with 40 Delightful Illustrations, Ages 2-8)

8. Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic (Dowser Series Book 1)

9. The Memory Box

10. Lifehacks: 144 More or Less Obvious Things That Will Make Your Life Easier

11. Silly Monsters ABC

12. The Cast Iron Cookbook: 30 Delicious Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Recipes

13. The Office Workout: 75 Exercises to do at Your Desk

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Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

Propresser Garlic Press Review



I was finally able to try out the Propresser Stainless Steel Garlic Press I received to review. I have good news! This is a great little kitchen tool! 

I have not used fresh garlic much and have only just started to try my hand at using fresh, natural seasonings in some of my dishes, so I was more than a little worried about trying it. 

I can say without reservation that this is a great and handy tool to have in the kitchen. Or where ever you press garlic! I was surprised by the weight. It is solid with some heft to it. The matte finish handles give you something to hold onto and their size make it very easy to hold. 

It operates very smoothly, too. The parts glide together when opening and closing with no catching or sticking. I was stunned again by how easily it did the job. With virtually no effort on my part, the garlic was pressed before I even realized it. I had to look to see if maybe I needed to squeeze it again or something, but the garlic was completely pressed. It was pressed and I was totally impressed! I was left with some perfectly minced fresh garlic, ready to use. 

The basket can hold even large pieces and press them without any trouble.

Clean up incredibly easy too! I only needed to rinse the #garlicpress off under running water. 

The Propresser Garlic Press is made of 100% stainless steel so you can be sure it is not flimsy tool that will break after just a few uses. It is very heavy duty. It also won't rust, rendering it useless to use around food. This one will last for a very, very long time! 

The classic, sleek design will look great in your kitchen and will compliment any decor.




You can get your own Propresser Stainless Steel Garlic Press on Amazon.com

You can also visit the Orblue website for more about the company and their products!

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Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. This post contains affiliate links.

PetGroomer Cat Deshedding Tool Review




I needed a good grooming tool for our #cats and this one is great! I received a Pet Groomer De-Shedding Tool to review and I love it! Yeti is our indoor kitten that has been getting regular baths and grooming so his hair was pretty soft, but I used this tool on him, and not only did it get extra hair off that the regular brush didn't, it made his hair even softer! He feels like he's made of silk now! Spot is our outdoor cat that comes inside sometimes to eat and his hair usually feel a little coarse, but after I used this tool on him, his hair too was super soft and silky! This tool got deep down into the hair and got out the stuff that usually causes cats to throw up hairballs.


We also have two large inside bunnies and their hair/fur can be a huge problem! One of them is a Lionshead and she has thick, fairly fluffy fur. The other one is a brown bunny with sleek, but thick hair. They groom themselves and are always so soft, but there is always that loose hair! I very carefully used this tool on them and the difference was absolutely amazing! Their fur now feels like the best quality silk on the planet! It got off tons of loose fur that would have ended up on my floor or sticking to their abode. A few minutes of brushing our pets with this tool is going to seriously cut down on the amount of pet hair I have to sweep and chase across the floors as well as nasty hairballs. 


The handle is a nice size for holding and has a no-slip grip. The tool's weight makes it easy to just brush through the hair without having to exert any pressure or pull on your pet's hair. It is super comfortable to use! It even has a nifty but to eject the hair off the teeth. Over the years I have tried numerous types of brushes for our pets, but this one is by far superior. It does what it says it will do and then some!

If you have pet, the Pet Grooming Deshedding Tool is a great asset to have for the care of your fluffy loves! Be sure to check it out on Amazon. They have one for short hair and done for long hair to fit you needs.

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Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Internet Makes it Easy To Steal, But It's Still Not Right

We have access to SO much thanks to the internet. The world is opened up to us with just a click! Art, books, information, entertainment, news, games, recipes and much, much more. What a lot of people don't realize is the age old rules about stealing have not changed and there are laws against using someone else's material. I was witness to one such person last night and into today. She had apparently just created a recipe sharing page on Facebook. She didn't have many likes yet. However it quickly came to the attention of others that most all her posts consisted of photos and recipes directly lifted from people's blogs. In many of the photos the owner's watermarks were still present. They called her on it and told her it was stealing. Instead of trying to find out if she was in fact in the wrong, she got very defensive, immediately began calling those people "haters", greedy, comparing them to Nazis and using foul language. She mentioned that she had spoke to her boyfriend and a good friend and they agreed that what she was doing was fine and to ignore the "haters". She then began posting threats of legal ramifications. Right before she took down her page, she made a threat of filing restraining orders against people. Unfortunately, the advice she is being given is not only incorrect, it could lead to her getting into serious trouble.

I do not pretend to be any kind of expert and I am certainly not a lawyer, but over the course of my life I have learned a few things. One being if it isn't yours, don't touch it. This particular girl claimed to have a "very educated brain" and knowing how to use it. If that were true she would know that you don't copy anyone else's work word-for-word. Ever. Basic school lessons. 

She is under the mistaken idea that because she wasn't selling the material or making money off it, that it was okay. The reality is that using anyone's material without permission is illegal and you are liable. Photos and writings are protected the same way an artist's painting's, an author's books or a songwriter's songs are protected. To be fair, she was doing recipes, but there are specific rules and protections there as well. The ingredient list is not protected but the directions/instructions, notes and of course the photos are. 

That poor girl in all her defiance and ignorance, does not realize the trouble she could get into even now that she has pulled her page down. If even one of the owners of that material decides to pursue it and has grabbed a screenshot of a post, they can still file against her and chances are good she would be required to pay the owner. Ignorance of the law, does not absolve one from obeying it. And just because you see others doing it or someone tells you it's okay, doesn't make it right or true. 

With all the wonder of the internet, the ease of sharing things, and sites like Facebook and Pinterest make it seem like it is okay to just share or copy and paste, but when you do, you are the one assuming the risks, whether you are aware of it or not, because you agreed to the Terms of Service on these sites when you joined. Buried in there are words and phrases that state by posting, you agree that you are the owner and creator of the material with legal right to post it. Yikes! Makes me want to re-think using Pinterest!

Many people like our poor, unfortunate "very educated" brainiac, think that if it is found on the internet it is theirs for the taking. She even made comments to the effect that if you wanted to protect you material, it shouldn't be on the internet. I was going to send her a link that explains much of this and serves as a terrific example of what can happen when you steal other people's material. 

Author/blogger Roni Loren experienced this very situation in 2012 and afterward wrote a terrific post about what happened and the lessons she learned from the experience. I encourage you to read Roni's post. It is as relevant today as it was the day she wrote it. Perhaps even more so with new young people joining internet life every day. (And in case you are wondering, Yes, I asked Roni for permission to link her post for you to read! :)
 
The moral is: look, enjoy, appreciate even share whole links, but do not steal someone else's material. If you're not sure whether material is copyrighted, don't use it without getting permission first. The court costs aren't worth it!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Dazzling Darkness Book Review




The Dazzling Darkness is a story that opens all nice and cozy and just when you settle in for a comfortable read, it grabs you by the throat and yells that you're going for one heck of a ride! I received the Kindle edition of this book for review. It winds it's way through various twists and turns, exposing a little more of each character and just when you think you know what is going to happen or you know where it is headed, you turn the page and find that you've spun around and are going in a completely different direction. The emotions each paragraph evokes are at once intriguing, yet heart-stopping. An event that could happen in reality to most anyone is twined artfully with supernatural forces. 
Paula Cappa has conjured characters you care about and as they face each obstacle thrown into their paths you alternately hold your breath, sigh in relief, feel their pain, or rejoice in their triumphs. 
The pace quickens, along with your heartbeat, as the mystery deepens and the secrets bubble to the surface. Reality merges with the spirit world as the Brooke family first tries to "follow the rules" and then realizes they must go against the grain and trust their instincts in the effort to reunite their family. In their determination, they come to find they are forced to face powerful forces and beliefs that are contrary to what they have known all their lives. They are also forced to make decisions that will forever alter their lives. 
#TheDazzlingDarkness is a good read that kept me up long after I should have gone to sleep! I enjoyed the range of emotions and adventure that kept me turning another page. Check out The Dazzling Darkness on Amazon. It is available in both paperback and Kindle editions.



DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

AKVIS Oil Paint Software Review


AKVIS OilPaint is a really cool program that turns your photographs into works of art! I received this program to use and review and it is so fun and easy to play with! These are my own photos. I applied AKVIS effects to them to create oil paint prints.

You can create works of art that if done with real oils and canvas would take months of work and drying time. With AKVIS you choose from different settings such as style of painting, type of brush strokes and more to create your own unique style.
You can go all the way from your photos looking like an oil painting of the photo with lots of detail to an abstract and everything in between. You don't have to be a professional painter to create masterpieces! There are a number of presets that let you experiment and get familiar with the program. 
I have had fun playing with this program! I love trying out the different settings and watching my photo transform into a new creation. And if you don't care for the result, it is super easy to just apply another effect and keep playing until you love it. 
And if you decide you love a certain style you have created, you can use the Batch Processing support to create a series of photos with the same settings. 
You can add a personal message, greeting or signature to your painting. I am watching for opportunities to photograph things for my family so I can use this program to create some unique prints for Christmas gifts! Photograph it, apply the effects, print it and frame it. It'll be my creation from start to finish!
Here is the same photo with different effects applied:

AKVIS is very easy to use, but if you need help there is an online tutorial to guide you. 
AKVIS OilPaint can be downloaded on MAC or PC. This program can stand alone or as a Photoshop plugin. You can find out more about the technical specs and download a Free 10 day trial and play with all the functions and features, then choose the license type you'd like to purchase. You can also connect with AKVIS on FacebookTwitter and Youtube.
If you are artistic, love taking photos or love to create something unique, or even if you have never created anything before, you'll love what you can do with #AKVIS software. Snap or scan some photos and download the free trial today!
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Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.