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Sunday, August 31, 2014

French 1 Language Learning Course Review

Do you travel a lot? Need to learn a language for work or school? These language sets are just what you need! We received the Pimsleur French Level 1 Language Learning Course to review. I will be using this to teach my son French before the start of school next year when he will be required to take a foreign language course. 

Based on Dr. Pimsleur's research, the course can have you learning your first lesson in under a minute. It doesn't take long before you are not only speaking French yourself, but understanding it. I was surprised at how quickly I could repeat the words and phrases. And I knew what I was saying! It does take some patience and practice. It is suggested that you only do on lesson a day. We take our time and don't move on to the next until we are comfortable with each lesson.

Dr. Pimsleur was a linguist that not only taught at several universities, but also studied the linguistic and psychological factors of language learning. He conducted several studies independently and  the results of his studies became the Pimsleur Method that is still in use today. Major corporations, government agencies and other entities use the method for their agents and employees to learn other languages. 

It's completely audio-based on CD's so you can listen anywhere. You can even save them as MP3 files to use with an MP3 player in places you might not have access to a CD player. Perfect for at home, traveling or in leisure time, anyone that wants or needs to learn French can do it quickly and easily. 
The course is in thirty 30 minutes sessions - a total of 16 hours. 

Since the course is 100% audio based, there is no special software or driver to install, allowing you to use the disc where ever you have a CD player: at home, in the office, in the car. This is also a great way for moms that are homeschooling to teach their kids foreign languages.

You can find the Pimsleur French Level 1 Language Learning Course on Amazon.com. In addition to French they offer many other language courses. You can learn one or as many as you want!


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.

Helping Hand Phone and Tablet Holder Review

Now here's a handy helper! This is the Helping Hand Phone and Tablet Holder. I received one of these to review and it is really cool! I get excited to try out things for my gadgets! We used it for the intended use, the cell phone, and that worked great! It's very handy and keeps the phone out of your hands while driving, but keeps it in sight and from falling into the floor.
 It fits into the cup holder and kept the phone where it could be seen and handy. The sticky pad is super sticky too so the phone stayed put. We had it in the car for a couple weeks before it got enough dust and dirt on it to affect the stickiness. The Helping Hand will also stand on a flat surface such as a desk or counter. You could use this on a workbench to hold small parts so they wouldn't get lost.
It doesn't have a moveable top, but it sticks so well on the sticky pad that you can place your phone in the horizontal position and still be able to keep the Helping Hand upright in the cup holder for easy viewing of things like GPS.

As I mentioned, the sticky pad got too much dust and dirt on it after a couple of weeks of being in the car and the phone wasn't sticking too well. I brought it in and rinsed it off under running water. I patted the water off the plastic but let the sticky pad air dry. That thing was right back to being super sticky!! 
I could not help but see how it worked with my Tablet... COOO EL!!! I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 that is 10.1 inches. I usually have it in the cover but sometimes it is awkward to try to hold it, keep the cover flap out of the way and push the button to take a photo or video. 
I'll be able to use the Helping Hand to do these things! The Helping Hand holds it tight and gives me something stable to hang onto.
I set it on the counter in the vertical position and it was a tad overbalanced...enough to make me nervous. I think a 7 or 8 inch tablet would not have that issue. It works beautifully in the horizontal position.
The Helping Hand measures: 3 3/4 x 5 3/4 - rear 7 1/2 tall- front 4 5/8 tall - 3" dia.

I  haven't had my Galaxy for very long but I already use it to watch movies, listen to music, look things up on the web and of course access my site, pages and social media like Instagram. For times when I have to hold it for an extended time, my hands start to hurt. I am looking forward to using the Helping Hand to many of those tasks and giving my hands a rest! I have a feeling I will find many, many uses in around the house and outside.
The Helping Hand is handy and very useful in many ways!
You can order the Helping Hand from their website. It is available in black and white and comes with a sticky pad. Extra sticky pads are also available. 
You can also find them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter


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.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Spanish 1 Language Learning Course Review

Have you ever wanted or needed to learn another language? I received this PIMSLEUR SPANISH 1 Language Learning Course to review. I was slightly nervous about whether I would be able to learn this. I vaguely remember learning some German when I was in elementary school. I can not remember a single word of it today. Back then, it wasn't stressed to be a necessity to know other languages. It was more of an elective. 

As I entered junior high and high school, we moved around quite a bit and I never picked up any foreign language classes. I don't want my son to miss out on that. The school he goes to now will require him to take a foreign language class starting next year, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to get him started ahead of time. He will also benefit from learning new languages because his school has many students from all over the world.
We have been taking our time since school has already started and he has homework every night, including weekends. That is what is great about this set though. We can go at our own pace. The course comes on CD's so we have been able to carry our lessons with us when we are on the go.

I haven't done this yet, but being on audio CD's also allows us to save the lessons to audio file and we could carry them with us on our MP3 players. 
There is literally no set up involved. You put in the disc and start listening and learning. It is quite easy and it doesn't take very long at all before you recognize and can repeat words and phrases in Spanish. I was quite impressed with how quickly I was able to repeat the instructor's phrase and do it correctly. These sessions are based on Dr. Pimsleur's research and scientifically proven methods. The set includes 16 CD's with 16 hours of speaking sessions. 
These sets are great for anyone that wants to learn a new language! I know several kids that are being home-schooled and I will be recommending this to them. Knowing other languages is becoming more of a necessity instead of the elective activity it used to be and this is an effective, easier way to learn in your own home and in your own time. It does take practice and patience. The Course recommends that you only listen to one lesson per day. You can go at your own pace and if you need to re-listen to a lesson, you can. We don't move on until we are comfortable with our pronunciation and understanding.  

If you'd like to get your own passport to learning, you can purchase the PIMSLEUR SPANISH 1 Language Learning Course on Amazon.com.


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 contain affiliate links.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Solar Sonic Spike Review and Giveaway

Do you have burrowing animals destroying your lawn and landscaping? I DO! They cause unsightly crazy lines across the grass where the dirt is pushed up, holes and piles where they have dug out to resurface.

We have the added problem of our dogs being able to sense them and dig holes in an effort to find them! Unfortunately, they occasionally DO find them and when they do, they think they have found a new toy and they play it to death.... literally. Bleck! It is not a pretty sight.

This is a 6" - 8" hole from the dogs trying to find a mole!

I received a Sweeney's Solar Sonic Spike to review. Not a moment too soon.. A mole or gopher went crazy in our yard! There are all kinds of lumps and bumps criss-crossing. The tunnels create soft places that collapse when you step on them and the unevenness makes it very hard to remain in a standing position! 
A burrow line that came from outside the fence to the inside.

So I got this spike out. It came with the rechargeable batteries and when I put them in, nothing happened. The directions stated I should hear it within about 30 seconds, but the spike was silent. I checked the batteries an made sure they were in correctly. Yep. Nothing. I put in some regular batteries just to see...BBZZZ!! Scared the snot out of me! So I put the rechargeables back in. Nothing. Then I thought, well it is solar rechargeable, so I propped it in a house plant near a window so I could get ready to go outside and put it in the ground... I was still wandering around doing stuff when I heard a strange noise. I looked around, but it only lasted a second. Went in search of my shoes. There was that sound again. looked around. What the heck WAS that?!? After about three times, it dawned on me the spike was doing it! :) It was short weak bursts, so it didn't register at first.
I finally made it outside and as soon as the direct, bright afternoon sun hit that solar panel, the buzzing got loud and strong!

I dug my hole right in the area that the mole has done the most damage. Other than the fact that we have not had an rain in few weeks, making the ground a little hard, the spike was very easy to put together and install. The spike has a range of about 130 feet diameter (unobstructed), so that should radiate out over the area that is being affected right now. 

I marked the spike so whoever is on the mower or weed eating will see it

The Solar Sonic Spike Pro utilizes the principle of centrifugal force to create sound and vibration by motor. The Hyperpulse Technology is the most effective, humane, and environmentally friendly way to keep your yard and garden free of burrowing animals such as moles, shrews, voles, pocket mice and gophers. In addition to stopping the mole damage, I am hoping to see a reduction in the number of mice we see! I love that this doesn't harm our pets and we don't have to resort to dangerous chemicals that would be harmful to them. The burrowing critters however, will find the 30 second intervals of vibrating irritating and want to leave for some place quieter!
The batteries should last 4-6 months so I should potentially only have to replace the batteries twice, maybe three times a year. It is very rugged aluminum construction to withstand being in the ground and around water. In the case of bad weather, a full charge allows the spike to continue working for four days for uninterrupted protection. I am so far very pleased with this! It is user friendly, uncomplicated and safe. 

Could you use a Sweeney's Solar Spike? They have graciously allowed one of my readers to win one!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosures and Terms: 
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.

Giveaway ends Sept 16th at 11:59 PM EST. Open to Legal Residents (18 years of age or older) of the US only. Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. Entries will be verified. Winner will be selected by Random.org and be notified by email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note that The Happy Clown With A Frown is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. I have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. I will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you in obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you. The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone. I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

Free Amazon Books Round Up

Here's another round up of free books from Amazon! You can choose to have them sent to your cloud reader or to your device. If you don't have a Kindle, download the Kindle App or Kindle for PC and you'll be able to move your books to your device or your laptop. Amazon is known for changing prices frequently and without notice so be sure to check that the price is still zero before you click to download.
* Lots of writing styles here. Some are adult in nature.

Murder and mayhem on the Dutch Bulb Fields 

Tour manager Fiona Mason’s first assignment turns into a nightmare. As if coping with difficult passengers were not enough, one of them disappears in mysterious circumstances. Suddenly a full-scale investigation is in swing headed by the autocratic Peter Montgomery-Jones who doesn’t make Fiona’s job any easier. The reason quickly becomes clear. The missing man was undercover on the trail of diamond smugglers. When his body turns up Fiona must face the fact that she has a murder in her party. 
The body count quickly mounts up when they move on to Amsterdam and Fiona needs to work out which of her passengers is the killer before she becomes his next victim. 

The first in the series. A cozy whodunnit with plenty of edge.


Impulsive, YES. Irresponsible, SURE. Necessary, PROBABLY. Going to end badly, most likely. Does any of that matter to me, no. I decided that I can't please everyone so this week my only goal is to please me. I’m a selfish cow but I can’t seem to help it. I’m Clara Lord. I own Bloodline’s Tattoo Parlor, have a filthy mouth, no filter and a really strong objection to bossy idiots, pet names and wealthy men. 

You will hate me, love me or love to hate me but either way it doesn’t matter. Everything I touch turns to crap and it’s all my fault. See, I lived through hell. Then I escaped hell and carefully spent the next eight years crafting a perfect little life until Domini Napoli screwed it all up. Now nothings right. Everything’s wrong and all my secrets are coming out.....

Spencer Marshall was done moping. After catching her boyfriend cheating with his secretary, she decides to have a girl's weekend in Vegas with her best friend, Ryan. Lady Luck must be looking out for Spencer, because the hottie that has caught her eye at her new gym is on the same flight to Vegas. 
Spencer is old-fashioned in the sense that she feels the guy should make the first move, but this hottie hasn’t approached her…until they have one hot dance in Vegas that leaves her questioning his motives. 

Will her hottie finally speak to her, or will he continue playing a game of flirtation that may lead to nowhere? And will situations from their past keep them from taking the next step? 

Despite what people say, not everything stays in Vegas, especially when you work out every day at the same time and at the same gym.

Seventeen year old Alexis finds herself on the eve of her eighteenth birthday. What generally means a step into adulthood instead opens its way to a terrifying truth about not only her family, but herself. She comes from a long line of vampire hunters, and her real dad wants her to carry on the family quest. At the same time, she is falling for a new boy at school who has his own secret. He is a vampire. Alexis is forced to make a decision from which there is no turning back. - Will she deny this newly discovered heritage, or embrace it.

When renown psychologist and best selling author Elizabeth Stewart first noticed Joshua Miller standing at the back of her audience she thought the tall, muscular man dressed like a lumberjack was in the wrong room. Little did she know, Joshua would defy everything she ever wrote about relationships. Little did she know, he was also the key to her survival.

Elizabeth spent her entire adult life avoiding a serious relationship. As the leading written authority on relationships she couldn't afford a failed relationship so she kept her liaisons casual and short term.

When she hired Joshua to build her mountain home deep in the Utah mountains she found herself attracted to the muscular, rugged construction magnet. Used to dating CEO's and even Heads of State, Josh was unlike anyone she'd met before....


Anna’s life is great and going according to planned. She has a great job in New York and a wonderful home that she loves. That is, until one day all of the things she has grown to love is ripped from her. She moves back to her small town to pick up the pieces of her life. While there Anna meets a local rancher named James and they form an instant connection. Follow Anna’s journey as she must decide if her feelings for her new found cowboy are real or if her heart really belongs in the city.

Families are murder … do you trust yours? 

Money and a handsome fiancĂ© from a good family. What more could a girl want? 

Jamie McKay appears to have the perfect life but things suddenly start to go horribly wrong. A sudden death and a run in with a would-be killer leave her alone, afraid and a long way from home. 

Kat McKay, long estranged from her family, returns to the small town she hasn’t been back to since she walked away as a teenager. Determined to find out what happened to her niece she must face the demons from her past, and enlist the help of the man she left behind. 

Can the McKay’s survive the explosive results?


A story of lies, secrets and deadly mind games

Brilliant American psychology student Madison Faber is in police custody - a potential murder suspect. Two hours ago she found her roommate lying in a pool of blood.

Special Agent Ingrid Skyberg is assigned to investigate the case on behalf of the US embassy. Tasked with supporting a terrified Madison Faber and uncovering the truth behind her friend's death, Ingrid quickly discovers a sinister extremist group operating out of Faber's London college.

Up against the obstructive attitude of the Metropolitan Police and defying the wishes of the embassy, Ingrid must navigate through a minefield of fear and mistrust to discover the killer's true identity. But in order to ensure justice is served, she is forced to operate so far beyond the law that she may never get back again.

A couture wedding dress designer to the rich and famous, Lexi LaCroix’s image means everything. Raised on the wrong side of the tracks, her years of polish and hard work are finally about to pay off. But crossing paths with a sexier-than-sin, bad-boy biker who makes her realize how much living she’s sacrificed for her success, one touch is all it takes to threaten her carefully choreographed life. 

Jax Chamberlin has been screwed over by gorgeous gold-diggers one too many times. Though he runs his own stunt company, all of America knows his Hollywood face even years after he’s given up acting. Finding a woman who doesn’t plan to use him as a stepping stone to success is virtually impossible, so when the charming and mysterious Lexi offers him a chance at a totally anonymous hook-up during an out of town trip, Jax accepts. Only Lexi is more sextacular than charming, and Jax wants more. Lots more. 

But Lexi’s got a major hang-up over his renegade lifestyle. And if she finds out his connections could catapult her to the top of her career, he’s afraid the fantasy woman he’s falling for might just end up like all the rest

Boston attorney Malachim Jerrod doesn’t trust anyone. His father and his ex-fiancĂ© taught him that hard lesson. So when a beautiful stranger arrives on his doorstep his first reaction is to back away—far away. Danielle Warren wants a job, but his law business is falling apart, and her credentials are bare-bones at best. Still, there’s something about her that, try as he might, he’s unable to resist. The vulnerability in her soft voice? The way she flinches when he gets too close? The yearning he sees mirrored in her eyes when she looks at him?

She’s the last thing he needs…

In case you missed my previous Free Books post, most if not all of them are still free as well!

Happy Reading!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.