Sunday, May 21, 2017

International Delight One Touch Latte Review (Crowdtap)

International Delight One Touch Latte in Mocha

One Touch Latte and black coffee

First try

Second Try
I received International Delight (ID) One Touch Latte, in exchange for honest review from Crowdtap. I received one coupon for any flavor.

I used the store locator to find ID products, walked to a few, but could not find the One Touch Latte. The website gave me both Walgreens and Dollar General for ID products but they only sold the regular powder and liquid versions.

I ended up contacting ID on Facebook to ask for other stores to find the product. I found success at Krogers.

To use One Touch Latte, fill your cup with 3/4 coffee. Shake the latte can for a few seconds and spray into the cup for a few seconds.

The first try, I didn't shake long enough and the latte's consistency was similar to whipped cream.

The second and future cups, I shook the can longer and had better results.

The biggest issue I had with the product is my kids, who kept trying to eat the coffee creamer.

The One Touch Latte comes in Mocha, Vanilla, and Caramel. I do recommend you call stores ahead to see if they carry the One Touch Latte before arrival.

The Good Book Book Review (Litfuse)

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.

I received The Good Book by Devin Spoo with a foreward by Kyle Idleman, in exchange for honest review from Litfuse. The book is a user-friendly guide to understanding each chapter of the bible.

In the introduction, the author discussed how the bible is hard to understand at times, even for advanced readers at times. I know I struggle with certain things in the bible, which is why I downloaded a few translations on both my Kindle and phone to better understand context.

The book has 40 chapters to help people better understand the bible's biggest ideas. The author does provide bible verses in the book.

For example, The author provides the first few verses of Genesis, which describes the first seven days. Then Chapter 1 starts off by focusing on how we are unique and created in God's image. We are priceless. We have value. The author says we don't need to know the exact date, we was created or the age of the universe, but God did not mention the dates in the bible.

You can purchase the book using the link above. The book is available in Kindle and Hardcover format. The book is prime-eligible.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Top 50 Must Know Sites and Tools for Internet Marketing Book Review (Tomoson)

I read the Top 50 Must Know Sites and Tools for Internet Marketing, in exchange for honest review from Tomoson. I wanted to read the book to help me with a social media campaign for my sister, as well as learn new ways to market my blogs and books. The book is a free download once subcribe to Dudl Media's e-mail list.

Part 1 of the book focuses on image creation sites, such as Canva (used this one on a regular basis), Piktochart (used a few times during my last degree program),PicMonkey,  and Video Scribe, which allows you to create animated videos.

Part 2 of the book focuses on Search Engine Optimization SEO) and Keyword Tools sites. Two of the sites include Google Trends (came in handy for my thesis) and Google Analytics. Trends allows you to track search volume of keywords. I used trends to track keywords to help define my thesis down further.

Part 3 focuses on social media. The sites included social media automation, creating Facebook bots, and social media scheduling, such as Buffer. This section could have included more scheduling sites such as HootSuite or Klout for example.

Part 4 focuses on email marketing and subscription lists. Some sites listed include Mail Chimp and Constant Contact. Part 4 is very short as well.

Finally, Part 5 focuses on education, reference, and other sites such as Problogger, Udemy, and SkillShare.

The book is quick read. Find what you need, try out the site, and see if it helps you market your blogs, books, and other projects.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Veronica's Treats Customized Picture Oreo Cookies Review (Tomoson)

I received Customized Picture Oreo Cookies, in exchange for honest review from Tomoson. The treats are created by Veronica's Treats. Veronica's Treats customizes cookies, marshmallows, cakes, cake pops, chocolate pops, and more.

I was sent three cookies with different designs on each. Two was covered in milk chocolate and one was covered in milk chocolate. The cookies were good and very sweet.

On the website, you can choose the product color: milk, white and milk, or just white. You also can use the quantity and ribbon color (some are free and some colors are $3 extra). You can also customized the message and choose the delivery date (needs 2-3 days notice).

Finally, you can customize your cookies with logos or pictures. After you receive your order receipt, attach a photo and send it back to the company.

The cookies are individually wrapped in cello bags in a gift box. Ordering requires a minimum of two cookies per order.

You can learn more and place an order about Veronica's Treats using the link above.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

MInimalist Living Review (Tomoson)

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.

I read Minimalist Living in exchange for honest review from Tomoson. I received the book via Kobo. The book was written by George Pain.

I wanted to review the book because last year, I moved from a house to an apartment. I am still trying to unpack, declutter, and organize my house. I just found a sofa and another small table (courtesy apartment dump) within the last week, so I have one less obstacle, to whenever I have company (i.e. therapists, counselors, evaluators, close friends, etc.). The living room is finally looking decent, along with the dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. My final two projects are the bedroom and closet.

My problem in the bedroom is clothes, lots and lots of clothes--from clothes I paid for to items, received for free. I was able to clear some space in the closet to start the closet cleaning process and to make more room for the kids diapers, wipes, and mattress pads.

I need to get rid of any clothes, which are too small or don't fit my style anymore. I also need to get rid of random stuff in the closet such as a speaker or two, I don't use. I have also started reorganizing my essential oil collection in the closet from the floor in cloth bins to plastic bins because the cloth bins are falling apart.

I also need something to better organize laundry by whites; Kalen's clothes and my clothes; and Brad's clothes, until they are washed and dried.

Decluttering and organizing has helped relieve some stress but I still have a long way to go. One of my future goals is to get Brad a mattress with low frame and turn dining room into a mini bedroom. I just need a small tv to keep him in there vs in my bedroom.

The book consists of 6 chapters:

  1. Chapter 1 focuses on what minimalism is the benefits of minimalism.
  2. Chapter 2 focuses on minimalism and the search for happiness. 
  3. Chapter 3 focuses on minimalism as counter consumerism. 
  4. Chapter 4 focuses on letting go and moving on
  5. Chapter 5 focuses on financial freedom. 
  6. Chapter 6 focuses on decluttering

I liked the transformation process outlined in chapter 2, which consists of crisis, curiousity, apprehension, disappointment, gratitude, empowerment, and wholistic. I have admitted I have a crisis and the thought of decluttering brings apprehension when I look at my mess. I also have felt release and gratitude at my progress so far.

I also like how the author discusses the different types of minimalists. I think I fall between the possessions minimalist (getting rid of things, you don't need to save space) and a distractions minimalist (to make a conducive environment to focus).

The book is a short read and I just need to put things learned into practice.

You can purchase the book on Amazon using the link above. The book is available in Kindle and Paperback format. The book is prime-eligible.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Atmoz Microphone Review (Tomoson)

Disclaimer: I received this in exchange for honest review.

I received the Atmoz 5ft Lavalier Microphone, in exchange for honest review from Tomoson. I wanted the microphone to cover events such as my mother's weekly bible study or my sister's upcoming graduation party. The mic also comes with a carrying case.  I just need a light kit now to brighten up my sister's house.

I have used lavalier mics for events, I covered during my masters program (new media journalism), but the mic was battery powered (wish I could find it). The mic can be used with phones, camcorders, and computers for covering events, or even karaoke.

I tried it out first at one of my mama's weekly bible studies to amplify the sound. From previous videos, her voice comes in low. I used my great niece to hold the cord and mic near my mother, while I recorded her on Facebook Live. The volume and clarity for the session was improved over just recording with a phone.

I also like the length of the cord. I can capture more sound, while recording from a distance. Another feature is the mic is noise cancelling.

You can purchase the mic, using the link above. The mic is prime-eligible.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Joy of Letting Go Review (Litfuse)

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.

I read the Joy of Letting Go in exchange for honest review from Litfuse. The book was written by Vicki Caruana. The book is Christian-based, parenting devotional.

I wanted this book because I do have a teenager and a toddler and need all the godly parenting help, I can get. The book is about letting our kids go and letting them lead their own lives. I want my kids to be more independent, despite disability, and not rely on me as much, but yet, I have to teach them how to be more independent. If I want the boys to use the toilet more, I have to put them on the toilet. If I want Brad to use soap in the shower, I have to train him to do so.

And I can't complain too much, whenever they try to do something, no matter how chaotic it may go. For example, Kalen is observant, too observant. He has tried to mop, plunge the toilet, and wash dishses based on seeing me do it. Kalen also cleans walls and helps set out dishes for dinner. Kalen is trying to be independent, despite my dislike for water all over the bathroom floor or an overflowing sink of dishwater because he likes the bubbles.

The author also discussed how she raised her kids to be independent, but they live further away from her as adults and reply back to texts days later.

Note: As I am writing this blog post, Bradd wakes up and takes a shower (no soap). After he gets out the tub, he realizes he has pooped and proceeds to wipe his own butt, while I handed him the wipes. Go Brad.

You can purchase the book in Kindle and hardcover format. The book is prime-eligible.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

#Aposon Pink Women's Watch Review (Tomoson)

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.

I recieved the Aposon Pink Women's Watch, in exchange for honest review from Tomoson. I liked the style and color of the watch. I liked the rhinestones and heart on the inside too. While I love a good digital watch, I also appreciate the classiness of a analog watch.

The watch also works for casual and formal use. I can wear the watch to an appointment, church, and my sister's upcoming graduation.

First, the watch is waterproof for daily use. The watch comes with a pink leather strap. The shell is made from zinc alloy. Next, the watch took a minute to set because of my fat fingers. It just took a minute to pull the knob out and set the time.

You can purchase the watch using the link above. The watch is prime-eligible.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Trip to Harris Health

A few weeks ago, Brad got approved for the Medicaide community first choice waiver from The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD (formerly MHMRA of Harris County). Community First Choice focuses on in-home services such as respite, day habitation, job training, and residential services. The Harris Center also offers other services such as psychiatric and a primary care clinic, (which was also on site).

Brad has been on the waiting lists since 2011. I was told last year, the list was backlogged to 2004 so I wasn't expecting him to get approved for any waiver until he was over 18 years old.

When he got approved, the coordinator wanted Brad's FIE (full evaluation) and other school records. I called the school and the school wanted a formal request to send out records. I called mental health back and they mailed off the forms to me, and I went up to the school to turn them in.

Both the school and mental health moved quick. I had an appointment within two weeks of approval. Mental Health was also accommodating. I was notified inital appointments take four hours. No way in hell is Brad going to stay still in an office for four hours or more. I been through this before when he was going to LBJ and Ben Taub hospital for pediatrics and psychiatic care. We would spend 30 minutes waiting for a doctor, 10 or so minutes in a room, then waiting hours for medications and transportation home. I was glad when I was recommended to a new clinic closer to my old house.

Anyway, the coordinator said I could come alone for eligibility and financial aide, and Brad will receive an in-home evaluation a few days later. Once again, Google Maps was my friend. My appointment was at 10:45 am. I had to leave the house around 8 am.

The day was doomed from the beginning. I left my phone in the house. Brad's bus was late and he got upset when Kalen's bus arrived and went into meltdown mode. Brad did not calm down. I had to run back into the house to shower and get ready for the appointment. I was in the house less than ten minutes. I grabbed my stuff, headed back to the bus stop, and called transportation. Transportation said the bus will arrive in 20 minutes. Turns out the bus already passed by when I was in the house. When I called back in 20 minutes, I was told the bus came by and they noticed Kalen's stroller outside.

Yes, I left Kalen's stroller outside when I went back in the house and didn't know it until I came back out. No one touched it. So now, I have to get on Metro and take Brad to school. Brad got to school in one piece and I headed to mental health. I typed in the address in google and it took 3 busses to get to Southwest Freeway. No trains at all. Torture. 3 busses, 2 transit centers, 1 appointment.

I was glad Brad did not have to come to mental health for the initial visit after I got off the bus. The Harris Center is in a shopping center with stores, restaurants, and other stuff. It was like store, store, store, big massive parking garage, and viola, this massive building at the end of the shopping strip.

Once I arrived, I signed in, and got an elevator badge to the second floor. The appointment went ok. Financial aide was first. When I thought the appointment was over, I was asked to speak to eligibility. Yay. This made the appointment longer and I needed to leave to make sure I got home in time.

I am happy I have my own place now, but I have no one to get Brad off the bus, when I am running behind. Trying to find the bus stop to get on the first bus to the first transit center took some walking (jay walking). I finally got home and walked straight to the bus stop (front of apartments) to get Brad off the bus. Brad's bus came within minutes of me getting home.

Brad's In-Home Appointment

Two days later, Brad had an in-home appointment with a coordinator. Once again, Brad had a meltdown because Kalen's bus came and his did not. If only he can figure out, I leave the house AFTER his bus passes by when he has an appointment. Brad's bus continues down Antoine drive for a minute or so before turning down another street. The bus comes back down Antoine 10-15 minutes after. So Brad has two chances to catch the bus, whereas Kalen only has one because his bus u-turns in the median because he is the only student on my stretch of the road.

I got Brad back in the house. The appoint was at 8 but the coordinator arrived about 8:30 a.m because of traffic. I had to resort to cooking to get Brad to calm down. I was going to let him stay home, but the appointment was over quick. I signed a form and the coordintator was gone. Mr. H did try to get Brad to look at some graphics but Brad refused. End of evaluation. I don't remember if I took him to school via public transportation or my mama (since she started an in-home bible study with the family at my sister house) but he got there and out my hair. (if you see a video with nurse mama bible study live on  facebook, watch, share, or leave a comment. She wants views and shares).

Now I wait for the next step. I asked for respite, a new aide, psych services, and residential living (temporary and permanent). I also asked for day habitation, which will be good for Brad during the summer, if he doesn't get ESY for school (extended school year for special needs kids, who regress during the school year). Brad didn't get ESY last year, but he received it for two years prior to last year (2014 and 2015). Hopefully by the time Kalen's name gets approved for a waiver, I will have a car.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Dream Lifter Tripod Review (Tomoson)

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.

I received the Dream Lifter Tripod, in exchange for honest review from Tomoson. The tripod came with the tripod plus an adapter for your phone. The tripod also comes with a carrying case.

I wanted to try out the tripod to help with blogging and in the case of someone needing me to cover a live event. I have a tripod for my camcorder, but it is not compatible with a phone adapter.

First, the tripod adjusts in multiple places. You can adjust the legs three times (4 sections on each leg). Each section of the legs also can lock into place.

You also can adjust the height of the middle section. If you twist the screw near the top of the legs, you can adjust the height of the tripod more. Once you have the height desired, you can lock the middle section into place.

I do wish there was a lock for the bracket between the legs though. The tripod can be a bit wobbly if you fully extend it out. a bracket lock would help stabilize the tripod more.

Next, you can adjust the shoe height with the screw next to it. This screw also locks into place once tightened.   The top adapter piece (show plus lever portion) also can be removed for easy storage, if you unscrew the section

Last, the tripod is light-weight and easy to carry. You can toss the tripod in your bag for your photography and video needs. My camcorder tripod is heavier and larger, making it not easy to carry and set up at times. I also like the built in level on the shoe.

You can purchase the tripod using the link above. The tripod is prime-eligible.