Letting Go of Grumps and Making Positives Instead

This morning, my loving fluff of a chow chow woke me out of a dead sleep not once, but twice. I was frustrated. Both times, I could’ve slept longer and peacefully uninterrupted if it wasn’t for her alarming “AWOOOWOOOWOOOWOOOOFFF!!!”

Rather than being grumpy about it or yelling at the dog… I chose to relax knowing that if it had been an intruder, my faithful companion had my back. For that, I am thankful!

Gizmo is super soft and cuddly. She is good company when my husband is gone, and still, when he is here. Most of the time when I look at her and she sees me looking at her, she wags her tail and smiles at me.

I’ve never seen a dog that really smiles like she does. Like seriously, I think my dog has duchesne smiles. Her little ears move and her eyes squint (there’s probably wrinkles and creases at the corners of her eyes under all of that fluff).

Gizmo Happy

I think she looks happy in this pic (but this is not one of her smiles, I will have to capture some of them at some point).

A Different Style Leather Wallet

This Ultra Slim Bifold Leather Wallet is different than any other wallet I’ve ever seen.


It is quite stylish. It has slots in each side for you to put your debit, credit, and gift cards in. When you are ready to use one of your cards, you pull the tab on the outside of the wallet and your cards slide out. The inside of the wallet has not pockets, but instead, there is a flexible money clip that holds paper money in place.

The wallet came presented in a nice black gift box and wrapped in white tissue paper. I think the tissue paper could’ve been skipped. The wallet is made of black leather with black stitching. The leather is thick but soft to the touch. It is embossed on the front with the brand logo. One pull-tab has red ribbon, while the other is black, and each has a black leather tab on the end.

The wallet that I received had quite a few scuff marks on the back and some on the inside of the wallet, which is not what I would expect when getting a new item and one that was packed so well.

Overall, I like the design of this wallet. It is nice.

Disclaimer: I received this wallet for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

SoundFit Plus Bluetooth Speaker: This Speaker Slays!

The AYL SoundFit Plus is on my Summer Checklist for sure! It is a solid bluetooth speaker great for listening to my favorite music! It came nicely and protectively packaged in a colorful, descriptive, and informative box. This speaker came with a micro-USB charging cable, and a user manual. The speaker is IP65 rated which means it is dust proof and can handle low pressure water jets (although I don’t intend to put mine in the bathtub). It features a 10 watt amp with two full range drivers on the front and a passive radiator on the rear for extra bass. The entire speaker is coated in silicone and has a thick, silicone carry handle.

There are four buttons on the top of the speaker which include power (also used for pairing), lower volume (also skip back), play/pause (also used for answer/end) and volume up/skip forward. I found I had to push down pretty hard and hold it to power on the speaker. It’s a little harder to push the buttons than I thought it would be perhaps because of the silicone. There is a threaded mount on the bottom of the speaker for putting the speaker on a tripod, or mounting it on handlebars, etc. On the right side of the speaker is the micro-USB charging port and 3.5mm audio in jack which are hidden under a large silicone flap. I wasn’t able to get the flap to seal again after I pulled it open so I wouldn’t want to drop this in the water now (for me that doesn’t change much because even if something is waterproof, it doesn’t mean I want to get it wet, especially when it comes to electronics. Just sayin’.) It is something to be aware of and hopefully something the company may address in the future if this speaker being waterproof is really important.

The speaker also has a light on the front which is helpful to show it’s on/off/pairing status. It also plays tones at power on and power off. Pairing with the speaker is quick and easy and the speaker can remember multiple devices.

This speaker is convenient to use. It has a 12 hour battery life and 3 hour charge rating. It has great sound quality and gets quite loud. My family and I have really enjoyed using it lately, especially sitting outside listening to music and enjoying the summer weather and campfires. It would also be great to bring to the beach. For the price (especially on sale and with Prime shipping), I think it’s a great deal!!

Overall I am very happy with this speaker and with the sound quality, output, battery life, and durability of this speaker. (It’s taken a couple of drops like nothing and still works fine). It also comes with a lifetime warranty! I would highly recommend this Bluetooth speaker for music lovers and beach-goers. It is highly portable and great for listening to music anywhere!!!

Disclaimer: I received this Bluetooth speaker for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

My Dogs are Wild about Wyldlife Bully Sticks and Beef Tendons

I’m not sure who was more excited about these Wyldlife Bully Sticks & Beef Tendons Combo Pack, me or my dogs. Upon further thought, I might have to say my Pekingese, Gremlin, actually was the most excited. When I started opening the box, it was hard to tell he is a senior dog. He stood up and sat on his back legs patiently while I finished opening the dogs and package to give him a bully stick.

Gremlin begging for bully

He and my Chow, Gizmo, each happily chewed away on a bully stick. Despite chewing vigorously on them for about an hour, most of the sticks still remained.
The sticks had a slight smell, which was just noticeable when taking them out of the package.

gremlin sniffing beef tendon

The Beef Tendons smelled a little like pork rinds. I gave a beef tendon to Gremlin and Gizmo. Gizmo took it and just laid it next to her (she takes a little while to warm up to new foods and treats at times). Gremlin chewed away and ate his beef tendon as quickly as he could get it down which took him about an hour. It might’ve been a little much for his digestive track, so next time, I would probably take it away after he ate about half.

When visiting family, we also shared the bully sticks with the family dogs (a lab and boxer). They loved them as well, the boxer chewed on it and strutted around the house with it proudly. The lab laid down and chewed like crazy; she was able to destroy a bully stick in about 10 to 15 minutes (she is a vigorous chewer and destroys even guaranteed indestructible toys…)

I felt good about feeding these all natural pet chews to my dogs, and they all were very pleased with them. I also liked that they were a long-lasting, one-size-fits-all treat for the dogs. I also like that they are made from animal parts that otherwise would be wasted. For these reasons, I would highly recommend Wyldlife Bully Sticks and Beef Tendons!

Disclaimer: I received the Wyldlife Bully Sticks and Beef Tendons combo pack at a discount in exchange for my honest, and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

Pain Away Essential Oil for Pain Relief

Since being in a car accident a few years ago, I have pain in my neck and shoulder area. Some days it is worse than others. I’ve tried stretching; I was told it was my trapezius but it is hard to get a good stretch. I’ve tried heating pads, over the counter medications, and icy hot. None of it really works for very long…

I received Pain Away recently, and admittedly, I was very skeptical that it would do anything. It came beautifully packaged and presented like a gift.

I tried it out on my trapezius. My husband also often has back pain related to his military service. After use, we both felt a bit better. I didn’t mind the scent, but my husband didn’t like the scent. Strangely, it didn’t bother him on his back, but he complained a little about the scent when I used it. It felt soothing and calming without feeling hot, numbing or tingling.

Based on my experience, I would recommend trying this organic product for pain relief.

Disclaimer: I received this oil for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

Another Snake to go down in history in Maine

About a week ago, I saw the first report about a large snake sighting in Westbrook, Maine. This is noteworthy because large snakes are not native to Maine. We also have some very cold winters that helps to keep things that way.

My family has exotic animals and used to have some snakes so I’ve handled some snakes before. I’m not a big fan of snakes. I don’t want one either, but I can touch and hold them without freaking out… but anyways…

The initial report says how a concerned person called in a report of a snake “about the length of a car and with a head the size of a soccer ball.” I have never seen one with a head like that, wow! (Yes, something tells you this person probably had a significant fear of snakes.) The story was later changed to a small ball.

I thought this might be a snake that some people might like to see. Since my brother lives in the area, I joked how maybe he could swing by and pick her up after work. (Being a part of a family with a zoo, you know how traveling to visit family sometimes goes along with strange errands of picking up and delivering animals, feed, or supplies.) Also, it was funny to me because my brother isn’t always keen on all of the animals, especially when we had snakes…

Move ahead to now, after about a week, the  Westbrook police have sighted this snake. It was said to be eating a “large mammal” at about 3:30am this morning. The large mammal was said to possibly be a beaver. Now, I’m wondering, since when was a beaver a large mammal?!

I can see the headlines “Monster Snake Eats Beaver, Westbrook Police Keep Watch” which can only be made better by this picture:

How long will “Wessie,” as the snake has been named, be on the loose? How many beavers will this snake take down? Will we see this on an episode of North Woods Law? Hopefully, this doesn’t end up like the “Mean” cow incident in Auburn last week. And, if it doesn’t, will Wessie take less bullets than Bessie? (Still hard to believe that the cow kicked open the trailer door to escape on the ride to the slaughterhouse only to get 10 or 15 rounds from police in a lot filled with oxygen and propane tanks.)

Summertime in Maine Means More Iced Coffee

Summertime in Maine brings hot, humid weather. With that, I find myself drinking more iced coffee. Don’t get me wrong though, I do drink iced coffee year-round, which is one reason why I love the Willow and Everett Cold Brew Coffee Maker that I got recently.

It makes brewing your own iced coffee at home very easy. You just load the filter with coffee (preferable course). I didn’t have course ground coffee, so I used standard ground coffee, to test it out the first time. It still came out very good and the grinds didn’t slip through the filter on me.

I had a little spillage when I put the filter in the pitcher, but that was kind of my fault, oops. (I was excited and I wanted it filled to capacity). I think the directions could be a little clearer to help first time users.

The pitcher is a good size (32 oz) and can fit even in the door of a mini fridge. This would make it a great gift for students heading off to college. It takes minimal effort to make coffee, which means if you just fill it each day, you can wake up to fresh coffee the following day. Woot!

The worst thing about this Cold Brew Coffee Maker is that you have to wait a bit for the coffee (18-24 hours), BUT when it’s ready, it is absolutely worth the wait!! Yes, this cold brew coffee maker is seriously awesome!! It cleans up easily. A twin pack or a larger option would be cool too, that way one for home and one for work, or one for you and your friend, etc.

Based on my experience, I would highly recommend this cold brew coffee maker!

Disclaimer: I received this cold brew coffee maker at a discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

3-in-1 Slicer Makes Pitting and Slicing Avocado Easy-Peasy

Avocados really elevate a meal for me. I love them in salads, sandwiches, and tacos. I sometimes like guacamole but it really depends on the recipe. It’s usually something that I could take or leave, and usually it’s a leave…

When I get an avocado, I’m usually trying to cut it open with a knife to remove the pit and slice the fruit. Now I have a handy tool to make the job safe and easy so I don’t have to clumsily try to remove the pit which sometimes damages the fruit. And I don’t have to worry about accidentally slipping with the knife. (I haven’t ever cut or sliced my fingers doing it with a knife but it’s always a fear and definitely a risk.)

This 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer Tool is a must-have for avocado lovers! It makes cutting, pitting, and slicing avocados easy peasy. The pitter is my favorite part of the slicer because it helps me to easily remove the avocado pit which was always the trickiest part about doing it with a knife. Now I can remove the pit without worrying about cutting myself or squishing my fruit.

And for those times when you have some avocado leftover, you can store up to one half of an avocado in the plastic storage container that comes with the tool. Using the container helps to keep the avocado from browning and spoiling quickly. It also helps you to reduce waste since you don’t have to use a plastic bag or other disposable storage options.

Disclaimer: I received this tool at a deep discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

Let it Go! And How You Can.

Over the years, in my personal and professional life, I have been a sounding board for many people. I have listened and listened and listened. Many of those older than me have stated a common theme and that is that life is too short, they wished they had learned things sooner, and stopped to enjoy the little things for they are the big things.

If you don’t let things go, you may be stuck in the past. Ruminating is generally not helpful. Lettings things go, on the other hand, allows you to be in the present.

I aim to continue to work towards living in the present each day. Ultimately, I want to be happy and enjoy each and every day that I am afforded and blessed with. As a person, I know that I am imperfect and my days are limited. Therefore, I would like to be able to enjoy as many moments as possible.

I would love to be one of those happy people who just enjoy life all of the time, those that exude peace and happiness. Scratch that. I want to be me, and I want to be happy, positive, and loving as much as possible. I want to give others strength, inspiration, and laughter.

Over the last year, especially, I have learned that first, I must give myself those things. I am working on building myself up again. I have started pushing myself more. Pushing outside my comfort zone. Pushing myself to do things to be healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally. Pushing myself to grow.

I am still learning to let things go. It is difficult, there are many things in the past that still bother me… far too many. But that is the past, and I’d like them to be behind me. But how do I do that?

-Acknowledge and Accept Feelings

When I have a negative emotional experience; when I feel angry, guilty, disappointed, etc, I have to acknowledge it and accept it. It takes work to name it, to sit with it a moment to accept it and not try to push it down or not feel it, or to change it.


Move to action. If there is something that you don’t like and it would be better if you changed it. Do you have the power to change it? Get a move on. Work to change it. Unfortunately, there is often no easy solution, but instead lots of hard work that will help you to make the change.


Do your best to have compassion. Everyone you know is fighting a hard battle. Tell those that you love that you love them. They may need to hear it. You may need to hear “I love you too”. Hug them (if they are not averse to them), hugs can help heal.


Even when you don’t feel it, a smile can help. It can help you and it can help someone else. Trying to smile, can help it to become real for you. It can also improve your mood (even holding a pencil in your teeth lengthwise can improve moods per previous studies)


Have patience with yourself. Give yourself time. Have self-compassion. Don’t beat yourself up. Instead take a moment to acknowledge some appreciations about yourself something positive about you or something good that you did. And take some time to do something good for you.


This week, these things have helped me tremendously. It was very hard to acknowledge some of the anxiety, fear, shame and guilt that I experienced recently, and not only acknowledge but to also share that with a roomful of people that I don’t really know. I cried, and it was a little embarrassing. For a moment, I continued judging myself and feared that those around me were also judging me. But I continued sharing and I got through it. I was reminded that no one was judging me, I was given a tissue, and even thanked for my courage. I was able to acknowledge, accept, and let go. I even felt… empowered? peaceful? In sharing those words, I made it okay for others to open up more and to cry. Perhaps, it was brave and courageous as they said. Perhaps, I could let go and allow myself to feel that. Perhaps, I am making a new normal for me afterall.


A Cleaning Pen for Lens Care and Scope Cleaning

I love photography but dislike cleaning. Time spent cleaning kind of feels like good time is wasted. Fortunately, this Pentex Ultra Cleaning Pen makes cleaning quick and easy. I’ve used it on my camera lenses, filters, viewfinder, and iPhone. It can also be used on scopes, which I think would make it a thoughful Father’s Day Gift!

The red slider button reveals the cleaning brush to sweep away dust. It then retracts back into the pen with the slide of the red button to keep the brush pristine.


The other end of the pen has a dual-sided cleaning head; simply pop off the cap to use it. Inside, the cleaning head can be removed and flipped over to use a smaller cleaning head. The large cleaning head is great to cleaning lenses and filters, while the smaller cleaning head is ideal for cleaning cell-phone cameras and viewfinders.


I have used similar cleaning pens before, however, they had cleaning fluid in one end. The fluid would leak and dry up, so because this one doesn’t have that issue to deal with and instead is ready, perpetually for cleaning, I like this one much better! It gets the job done quickly and efficiently so I can get on with snapping clear, crisp pictures.

Due to my experience with this Pentex Ultra Cleaning Pen, I would highly recommend it for photographers, gun owners, bird watchers, selfie takers, and more.

Disclaimer: I received this Pentex Ultra Cleaning Pen for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.