Monday, August 27, 2018

Please Support Lego Ideas Manatee

My Husband and Sons are constantly working on new creative projects whether it be shooting video blogs, wall art, writing stories or building original Lego creations--it's always neat to see where their creations end up and whether or not they ever want to share their final products or just "shelve" them, literally or digitally. When my sons came to me with their Lego manatee build, I was beyond excited! Their Dad and I encouraged them to enter it into Lego Ideas and I honestly felt like it would be fairly easy to garner support from both Lego fans and Manatee Conservation fans.  But Lego requires tangible votes and I didn't fully comprehend the gigantic challenge in converting the excitement and support into actual votes that Lego would take seriously. It's a constant campaign...and it's a long journey.
Please vote!
Meaningful toys are difficult to find. Today's influencers focus on taking selfies in various positions and making news by who they're dating.  But conservation? That's a bit on the dull side, apparently.  That's why I love this Lego Ideas concept of a Manatee Build. Kids enjoy Lego in general so that works just on its own.  But building something with a clear message--in this case, the awareness and conservation plight of the Manatee--is delicious icing on the cake.  Lego plans on moving ahead with plant-based sustainable bricks and I believe this build would be a perfect meld.
Please Vote!
In order to vote for this Lego Idea, you have to have an account.  It's pretty easy to set up (just the same as setting up any online account).  It's free to vote and sharing the link would expose it to more potential supporters.  Take a look at the build closely, and decide if supporting it is something you'd like to do. And if you are so inclined please,  Vote! Vote! Vote!

Adventures of Lego Manatee:
Giving Aquaman a ride....
Always hungry!

Lego Manatee even went on a So You Think You Can Dance audition! He's really working it, so please vote for him!

Support the Brothers with Lego Manatee and Vote!!

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

When Books Just Feel Like a Hug

I periodically review--but mostly recommend--books that I enjoy and I make an effort to come up with interesting titles for the blog.  Thankfully, there are memes that inspire me. For this entry, this one stood out. 
Yes, sometimes, reading a great book does feel like a hug! Big shout-out to whoever came up with this gem! Here are my current recommendations:

Without You (Changing Hearts Series Book 1) by [Vargas, Yesenia]
Without You by Yesenia Vargas

This story begins at the tale end of high school when Ariana and Lucas first meet.  They are seniors and will be moving on to college upon graduation.  They fall in love and have to deal with all those crazy & scary feelings, but then must decide if the relationship is strong enough to withstand the distance post high school. It’s all about choices & as a reader I was rooting for them to make the right ones. The characters are of Latin descent & I loved how the author incorporates some language and culture while telling a very relatable story.  The main heroine, Ariana is strong and is a great role model for girls.  And Lucas is all kinds of sweet & kind. It’s not hard imagining falling in love with him.  I really enjoyed this beautiful story of young love.

Rock Her by Inglath Cooper  

The chapters alternate to tell the story in the perspectives of the characters: married couple Lizzy & Ty, their daughter Kylie, and rock star musician Ren.  I enjoyed “hearing” their voices because it shows how the same situation can be seen from so many points-of-view and not just a right or wrong, or bad person versus good person.  It’s also a look at how a marriage can pretty much implode on itself and how quickly the blame is attached to one particular person.  But every marriage takes two, and choices, even in small ways are made every day. Relationships are so complicated—between a man & a woman, and between parents & kids.  It’s all seen in this really entertaining story.

Escape in You by Rachel Schurig   

Zoe and Taylor are from different sides of the track, but surprisingly similar in their life struggles. Zoe feels trapped in her home life, having to take care of a mentally unstable mother.  Taylor is also trapped taking care of a mother who doesn’t hide her disdain of him and blames him for the loss of her son, Taylor’s beloved older brother.  They find solace in each other & develop intense feelings that could be love.  But they’re both afraid to trust in it and in each other.  Mix in some partying, alcohol, drugs and misunderstandings and you have yourself some serious life drama.  I found myself emotionally reacting during key parts of the story.  And I loved the romance between the two characters.  This love story is amazing. 

I hope you check out some of these titles! Let me know if you enjoyed them. I'd love to hear some feedback. 

A dream, a fantasy, a thought.....
Always thankful for everything & I love thinking of my gratitude as bookends!
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Spreading Awareness of the Struggles of the Amazonian Manatee

A huge shout-out to the folks at Rainforest Awareness Rescue Education Center-RAREC for the dedicated work they do for conservation and wildlife. Their current appeal is to bring awareness for the struggles of the Amazonian Manatee. I'd like to share their special message:

"Quite sadly, many people in the Amazon still buy manatee meat. This has to stop. We need to get the message across -- that the Amazonian manatee plays a vital role in the ecosystem. That the manatees do so much good for the environment. That we must all work together to protect them for the good of us all.
Please help us out! We are greatly encouraged by the success of our education programs. When we talk to people, they are so eager to listen, and so eager to help the manatee. We need to spread the word, we need to tell the people to stop buying manatee meat, and we have to make sure that the local fishermen know: It is NEVER OK to hunt manatees!
Help us keep our education program going! You can help us out by buying our manatee keychains. Proudly handcrafted by local artisans, they are a wonderful way to keep the manatees close to you in spirit. All proceeds go towards our conservation programs, so buy one for yourself, or to give to someone special.
We are also looking for volunteers from all over the world, to come to RAREC and help us care for the manatees -- and all the other amazing creatures under our care. You will see first hand, how wonderful these animals are, so you can be our ambassador back home. Tell the world about the Amazonian manatee, help us save it for the future!
Thank to all our followers for the cheers, for the comments, and for sharing this story with your friends -- every share helps!"

If you would like to know more about this organization or want to contact them, please visit their Facebook page. They are asking for volunteers so if you have the means, please consider it.
I searched the internet for some footage of the Amazonian Manatee and came across this video of a baby manatee whose mother was killed. A rehab center was contacted and according to the person that took the video, the manatee is now doing well. I truly hope so.

Click to learn more!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Cautionary Tale and Advice about Frontier Communications

We've had too many phone conversations with the Customer Service Department of this company with zero solutions.  Now, it's time for us to share our experience with anyone who will listen as well as start looking for another company to do our business with.  C'mon Frontier, you can do better than this.  Too bad you haven't so far...

Here is the note that my Husband tried to write on their Facebook page which was immediately taken down:

"Frontier Communications has to have the worst billing I have every seen.  I signed up with them because of a promotional deal 6 months 150/150 internet and 2 years of free HBO for 95 and then it goes to 132.  Sounds great except I never got to pay those prices.  I have been charged 2 to 3 times as much and when I call in the technicians say they will fix it but nothing happens.  I had to call in several times and every time I am assured this will be fixed but months have passed and this issue isn't any closer to being fixed.  To make things worse, they denied my dispute, the rep who signed me up is gone, and they have no record of my promotion.   My last hope was to reach out to the President at Frontier Communications but who knows if this is real or a gimmick they use.

 I'm not one to blast a company but I would use extreme caution when signing up.  I made several attempts to get this right and all I got were empty promises. If you do decide to go with them despite the numerous warnings from myself & others, make sure to get everything in writing and record everything.

--Raymond from Long Beach, CA

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Product Reviews on RXBAR, Garnier Hair, and Dove Exfoliating

I received these products through PINCHme, free of charge, to sample and review. My opinions are truthful, sincere, and completely my own.

Garnier Whole Blends Shampoo and Conditioner

I have medium to long, relatively thick hair, so I appreciate great hair products.  Admittedly, I'm not a loyal hair care brand consumer.  I'll try anything and sometimes, I'll like it for a while and then I feel like my hair needs something different to shake it up. Then I'll go back to using the products again.  I was using another brand of shampoo with a different name brand conditioner before I decided to try these products.  First impression was that these products had a very pleasant scent.  My hair after it was dry was soft and tangle- free.  I will definitely buy this product and add it to the list of hair products I rotate with.

Dove Exfoliating Body Polish

I was so excited to try this product! First off, it smells amazing.  Then when I lathered it all over in the shower, it just felt luxurious on my skin.  It's a real treat and sort of feels like going to the spa without actually going to the spa. My skin felt soft and pampered.  Would I buy it for myself? Most likely.

RXBAR Kids Protein Bar (Chocolate Chip)

Full disclosure, I'm not a big fan of protein bars in general.  But I do have them handy for the kids to be used for snacks and such.  I usually make my brand decisions based on what's on sale for the week with previous taste approval from my kids.  But I'm very picky and will rarely rave about them unless I feel the product is deserving.  Unfortunately, this product fell very short. The texture was grainy as opposed to the texture of a candy bar.  The flavor was chocolate chip so I was hoping for a nice chocolate finish.  But the taste had the impression of being processed and artificial.  I will not be seeking out this product for purchase.