Saturday, May 23, 2015

Product Review

-- Product Review --

After speaking with Kevin Kramer and Gary Kramer, of the SKLEER team, on April 15th - I received the 30 ml/1oz. container of the product (arrived April 23rd) as well as a sample puck which I intend to keep refilled and in our camping/traveling supplies. I also received an informative pamphlet.

SKLEER – Skin Conditioning Gel has all natural ingredients and does not contain any parabens, preservatives, lanolin, hydroquinone, corticosteroids, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, retinoic acid or benzoyl peroxide. According to the company information, “it contains a combination of essential oils: eucalyptus, tea tree, caraway, cinnamon and cardamom that work synergistically together to assist healing.” Interestingly, the patent pending gel is formulated to carry the healing ingredients to the lower levels of the skin, making the product more effective than it could have been without the gel.

This dermatologically approved product is housed in a recyclable paperboard container that protects the 1 oz. plastic tube with a screw top lid – both recyclable. Inside the appropriately sized box were two small pieces of polystyrene foam, helping to further protect the hard cap from cracking or breaking during transit.  The tube had a tiny safety seal covering the hole where the product comes out, which impressed me as there is so little waste with this product. It was not tested on animals, and is best kept at temperatures below 77˚F.  SKLEER is actually developed by an international medical and pharmaceutical research organization (Maxitrade PTY. Ltd.) manufactured in South Africa, and marketed in the US by Acatac Inc. (Los Angeles, CA).

The product looks and feels like a hazy-white creamy gel and definitely smells like natural medicine – I could detect the tea tree and cinnamon scent right away. My husband Dave has had issues with painful cracks in the tips of his fingers from working on projects around the house that really dry out the hands – like cement and drywall and mudding. He found that for his hands it worked really well, healing even the deepest cracks on his thumbs. He found it soaked in very fast, didn’t feel greasy or have any residual on the skin afterwards – like some dry skin healing lotions. I haven’t the same problem as Dave, and so the first time I tried it I found it did soak in quickly, but there was a sort of tacky feeling on my dry finger tips for a couple minutes. However I did find that once the tackiness dissipated, I was left with very soft feeling fingers. A few days later I tried again after drying out my hands doing garden work – and this time it absorbed so quickly… like in seconds. Days later still, I burned my arm on the oven (like an idiot) and that thing itched like crazy as it healed… so I tried this gel on after reading it was also good for burns, and it instantly stopped itching and feeling irritated.

The pamphlet I received states that the product can be used to smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles, even skin tone and can naturally treat both acne and dry skin types. It can heal itchy skin, eczema, rashes, insect bites and minor burns and abrasions, eases hives and sunburn and more. This stuff is reportedly so safe you can use it on babies and toddlers.

Check out the list of ingredients: water, alcohol denat, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, hydromane, cardamom oil, caraway oil, cinnamon oil, glycerine, carbomer, propylene glycol, 2-phenoxyethanol, and sorbitan monoctanoate.

SKLEER sells on for 19.99 (US) and sadly is not listed yet on – I hope they’ll have it there soon. However, if you scroll down the page you’ll notice that they have wonderful reviews.

This is definitely something that I feel anyone would want to have in a first aide cupboard and travel/camping supplies. I certainly will.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:
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Friday, May 22, 2015

World of Writing, interview

-- World of Writing --

* Joining us today we have Ellen Palestran, author of: "Have You Ever Had A Hunch? - The Importance of Creativity", which is now in its third edition. Ellen is a writer, artist, filmmaker, educator, game inventor, hydroponic farmer and creativity consultant.  You can find her @:

Q: Who inspired you to pursue a career in writing?

A: My brother was thirteen years older than me while my sister was ten years my senior. Each had their own bookcase loaded with books that, for some reason, seemed enticing to me, even before I had learned to read. I wanted to decipher for myself just what was in their books – just as they did. I wanted to be like them; they were my role models.

Early on, I developed a love for language, for the rhythms and sounds of words and for the information and stories contained in books. I started creating my own magazines as a kid but never considered myself a writer until my sister died when she was only thirty-nine years of age. It was a huge loss.

I experienced a need for something life-affirming and that was entering the creative life with more focus and commitment. I discussed this need with my late husband one night while we were driving home and he asked me: “Why don’t you write?" I remember saying “Me?” - because I had never thought of myself as a writer, despite having had a revue produced that I had written while a student in college in England. There and then - in the car - I created and recited the first verse of a poem that evolved into both a published book and DVD. As soon as we arrived home, I jotted it down on paper. Yes, I was a writer! So my husband, also, was my inspiration and catalyst. Now I have nine published books – and am still writing.

Q: How does writing help you make a difference in the world?

For me, writing is the way I learn and share my knowledge and experience with others – especially, if I feel it has significance and can, possibly, make a difference in people’s lives. I want to encourage people to be creative, independent thinkers and not simply accept unquestioningly, what they have been told is the only way. It might be but it might not. Through my writing, I want to encourage people to rely on their own instincts and be courageous enough to make their own decisions. What truly feels right, probably is and what doesn’t – isn’t.

Through my writing, I hope to instill sufficient confidence in people to examine the motivations and agendas of group leaders who might have cynical agendas. Yes, independent, positive thinkers can make a difference in the world. Maybe, by conveying this, my writing can make even a small difference in the world.

Q: Can you tell us what editors typically look for in a query letter or project proposal?

A: It is essential not to make the work of an editor even harder than it is, so let your query letter reflect the fact that you are truly professional in your writing. I have edited a number of books and so I can tell you what I look for and what I therefore think other editors would like to find in your query letter or proposal:

Diligence – the fact that the writer of the query letter has paid attention to grammar, spelling, and the clarity of their intention.

Knowledge – the writer has researched the topic and displays a deep and thoughtful understanding of it. 

Originality – there is something fairly new in what the writer is saying.

Cordiality – of course that is essential.

Suitability – the subject written about fits the publication.

So to those, who are passionate about writing, I would like to say: do your homework, and, whether it is an article or a book, make sure that what you are offering is as complete and polished as possible. There are so many different venues for publishing today. Your query letter must be indicative of your professionalism.

Q: What do you do when you are not writing?

A: Most of the time, I am involved in the creative process because creativity is home to me. I spend a lot of time painting in my studio, have made some movies, read a good deal and walk and exercise nearly every day. Family time is very important and I derive tremendous pleasure from my three grandchildren, constantly surprised by their concepts about the world around them, their unexpected questions, and their ever-growing language ability.

Join the celebration and follow the tour.

Q: What gave you the idea (inspiration) for this book?

A: For many years, I had been creating a fantasy novel that required a lot of time and focus. I did not have sufficient time to work on this because the realities of life had intervened – just as they do for most other people. While I was teaching at college, I decided to devise a class exploring creativity for my humanity students.  This, I then took to broader audiences.

 Although, initially, I tried to pinpoint what stood in the way of my own creative potential, time being the biggest obstacle, my exploration became much broader and I examined the barriers that stood in the way of the creative potential of so many people. I identified psychological, sociological, educational and political obstacles.

I am fascinated with the subject of creativity. Writing and talking about it adds to my depth of understanding and my knowledge.

I feel that creativity is tremendously important not only for all individuals, but for society as a whole.

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced in writing your non-fiction books?

A: Research, of course, is always a challenge. Are the sources credible? Is what I am saying helpful? Because what I am writing about is relevant to me, will it be relevant to others?  I always over-research initially; I like to know just what I am talking about. This is very important to me but it does bring with it the later challenge of deciding what is really relevant and what is simply interesting to me.

The layout of a book is also extremely important to me and I like to actually see the whole book in a physical, tangible form and not just on my computer. I actually storyboard the complete book. And I edit and edit a lot. Writing takes a great deal of time but for me that is fine. I love the process.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

inspirational quote

-- Quote of the Day -- 

"Focusing on the act of breathing clears the mind of all daily distractions 
and clears our energy enabling us to better connect with the Spirit within". 

~ Author Unknown

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Product Review

-- Product Review --

We started networking with Michael - from - regarding the Dual Cable Clips for managing wire and cables on April 3rd, and the product arrived on April 17th via “letter mail” , just 15 days after our first communication.

I received 2 sets of the Dual Cable Clips, each set comes in a pack of 3 clips; one set was black in color the other was pink. The purpose of this product is to organize wires and cables for the office and can hold many different sizes and shapes ranging from TV, iPhone, Smartphone, cell phone, computer, and USB cords – they can also hold pens!

There are 3 benefits that set this product ahead of its competitors on the market. First – it is designed to hold 2 cords, whereas most others are designed to hold only one. Also, the clips are incredibly easy to install – simply peel off the backing and stick to the surface of choice. The 3rd benefit is the strength and versatility of the authentic 3M adhesive will keep sticking while others fall off because of low quality adhesive. You can stick these onto virtually any surface including plastic, metal, wood and glass.

My husband Dave (a parts department manager at the local Ford outlet) was really impressed with the 3M adhesive as he’s familiar with their reputation for making strong products – used in auto accessories (bug deflectors, hood scoops, visors, wheel and fender flares) so you know they are bonded well. Dave was thrilled with an idea that struck him after thinking a few seconds about where to best use this product. As a musician he’s come up with some creative ways to save time – musicians break down their gear and set up and break down and set up repeatedly for different situations, different gigs, different locations and different sound systems. So with these cable cord organizers he would be able to rig his kit for microphone cables, keeping the set tidy and easier to breakdown and set up.

Taking both sets of the clips to his drum studio to try out his idea he found that his thick audio microphone cables fit perfectly in the clips. They allowed him to organize cables on the drum-set rack itself – the black ones were perfect in blending into black/chrome hardware, whereas the pink ones were ideal for the backside of the rack – while not his color style, they are more visible in the dark areas in between all the different drums and the shadows they create.

Drum set prior to using clips
Drum set after clips were installed

All in all – I have to say that we are impressed and pleased with the product. Musicians should definitely have this in with their gear and recording studios would greatly benefit from the clips, too. We highly recommend this product.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:

  * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Realm of impact – circle of influence

 * Years ago during a discussion with someone who worked as a professional therapist, she recommended that people decrease their stress by drawing three circles on a piece of paper that overlapped. The inner circle would be those that are closest to you that you live with, see every day - like your wife, your son, your pet. The next circle would be your closest friends and finally your co-workers. Anyone outside those circles are not worth working yourself into a frenzy about. You deal with the smallest circle first, then the next, then the next as your order of priority. Everyone else is not a priority. It really helps put one's life in perspective and helps people slow down. I recommend our readers try this out on their own.

-- Circle Of Influence --
* Today's article was written by Gini Cunningham

Every once in a while I get this crazy notion that I can change the course of world events through hard work, determination, and positive energy. What would I change? I would move away from the current pattern of lies, deceit, and hatred and head toward honesty, integrity, and tolerance. What if everyone told the truth and expressed straightforward opinions? Nothing would be disguised in layers of untruth and mutated, mutilated facts but rather there would just be trustworthy discourse, actions, and deeds. In reality (or unreality, depending on how you take this idea), pretty soon no worries would exist as everything would be direct and in the open as well as being sincere and decent.

Naturally this would be difficult to take at first. Imagine someone really telling you how your hair looks, that you have obviously gained several pounds, or that your plan of action is riddled with erroneous beliefs and unreliable direction. Criticism, even when it is helpful in the long run, is not easy to swallow, especially if you have endeavored to design something totally magnificent - hair, size, or work attempts. In time and given that you have added a layer of armor to prevent you from taking advice personally, I think we would thrive. You would not have to duck, dive, or wonder because every matter, every item would be laid out clearly. Give and take would be an ordinary part of this - you listen to and appreciate others just as they listen to and appreciate you.

That is my ideal world and I guess it will probably require several years (or millennia) to attain this utopian masterpiece of living. In the meantime I must re-evaluate my realm of impact, my sphere of influence. These must be individuals and groups that I trust completely and who trust me in return. No secrets, no behind-the door or under-the table business is allowed. Everything is put forth straight with room for input and the recognition that through the inspired insight of others, some things may have to be adjusted or eliminated. No hurt feelings with no one left out or angry because we will form a solid, binding team of the highest degree of uprightness and integrity. Envision the wonderfulness of the world!

As to my sphere, I must start with my husband and children. Because of our many-year relationship I have to think that I have had some bit of influence in their way of thinking and reacting. No, none of them listens all of the time nor to they behave in the manner I prefer all of the time, but that is of little consequence as long as we engage in give-and take coupled with mutual respect. I learn from them and I know that they occasionally learn from me.

Next comes extended family. Of course these folks are harder to touch as our contact is less constant and they have many other influences and experiences outside of my realm. But I can exemplify goodness and kindness, offer help and support, and even wind in a few wise suggestions. They can take them or leave them, but if these suggestions are powerful and good, unselfish and empowering, I just have to believe they will listen a little and embrace a lot and react with glee.

Then there are colleagues and co-workers. I must separate them into two categories as I view colleagues as my team members in this give-and take relationship. We build on each other's strengths as we listen and improve. A colleague never leaves me exhausted with angst although I may be pooped out and dog-tired with miraculous the ideas and input each offers. Co-workers simply work in the same building. We have jobs and friends in common and sometimes we even operate in team capacity, but most often we are ships passing in the hall - they do their job and leave me alone so that I can accomplish mine. Separate but good would be fine description.

There are also individuals who shirk, smirk, and disengage from the team and engage in deceit to create turmoil and mistrust. Unless you are in a leadership position and possess the bravery to fire them, especially if you hired them, these folks are tolerated, ignored, and force you to implement duck-and-cover techniques to avoid their wrath. Fortunately, these people are rarely contagious. They may spew vehemence but this does not mean that you must inherently follow suit.

Finally my sphere of influence reaches people outside of home and work when I write a piece such as this and they read it and think about it and most delightedly act upon the ideas. Or they might be present in an audience where I complete a presentation. Or they might be someone I greet on the plane and we strike up an amazing conversation. Or they might be just about anyone who takes the time to connect with me just as I take the time to connect with them. And so that is my sphere - flexible, growing, encompassing those who want to join and not including those who do not. A refocus on my part widens my realm as I add kindness, understanding, integrity, and truth to my Soul and Being.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:
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Sunday, May 17, 2015

World of Writing, interview

-- World of Writing -- 

Joining us today we have author Jamee Natella. After spending 9 years partnering with BBDO West in the U.S. to produce commercials for major brands both domestically and abroad, Jamee branched out to create a global production network to serve both advertising agencies and clients and launched the aptly named Blueyed Pictures with offices in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo. Over the last 16 years Blueyed Pictures has produced an impressive body of award winning work -currently Jamee is in the process of writing a  childrens 'book series' for young children regarding travel as well as being involved in a few projects in development with a director that are adaptations from books. 
Q: When you started your book, did you plan on writing it as a series, or did it just grow into one? 
A: When I first started, it was only going to be one book about one country. The series is titled “I am Sam in ________” , named after my six year old son. Sam and I have traveled all over the world and I wanted to share his experiences but as I began writing, I realized that there were too many stories to tell in just one book. Very quickly my children’s book was becoming a full-length novel so I decided to divide the stories into a series of three books taking place in three different countries.
Q: What age group did you write for?
A: I wanted the book to appeal to my son, Sam, and his peers. I also wanted to make sure it was a series that he would still enjoy reading, as he got older, so I wrote it for children between the ages of 5- 12. 
Q: Why did you write for this particular age group?
A: There are so many travel books out there for adults but none of them address the questions that my son, Sam, would bombard me with during our various travels overseas. He wanted to know about school, cultural fads, customs and local games. Sam was loaded with questions, so I decided to keep track of them and develop a book series to answer those questions that not just Sam had but any child would encounter when entering into a foreign country. 

Q: Did you find it difficult to choose the right language, images and writing style for reaching this age group?
A: When I started this whole process I thought that the most difficult task would be finding an illustrator to depict the situations I was talking about. That was definitely not the case. The most challenging part of writing a travel book for kids was trying to get a six year old to understand the points I was trying to make in only a few short sentences. My son was not only my inspiration, but also my teacher with writing this series.
I would sit down to read to him and I would make sure to study his facial expressions and the questions he would ask. Based on his reaction, I would then have to re-write it to make it more simplistic or more detailed, whatever the case. Sometimes we take for granted and forget that what we see as part of our everyday understanding, may not compute to a six year old.
Q: How do you plan to promote this book (or series)?
A: I currently have a well-known publisher interested in the series. They have been very supportive throughout the development process and I’m excited to move forward with them. I’ve also started taking the steps to make the book available in a digital format.
Q: Is there anything in your book that is based on a real life experience?
A: Everything in this book is based on real life experiences! After all, it came from Sam’s curiosity with asking “his mommy “ questions.
Q: Why did you feel this book needed to be written?
A: There are plenty of travel books on every country in the world and the full history of each one but I didn’t feel that any of them catered to a very young audience.  My son had all of these questions like, “why do the Japanese eat with Chopstick’s instead of forks?” and I could find a 300 page novel on Japanese history, but nothing that a child could understand. Culturally, these travel books spew dry facts without incorporating why things are the way they are, and that’s what kids want to know. 
Q: What are the biggest surprises you’ve encountered as a writer? 
A: For me, the biggest surprise was how much material I had! Before I started writing I was a little worried about how I would fill up the pages but there was so much that I wanted to say I ended up with a whole series! I absolutely loved writing them and I’m very proud of how they turned out.
Q: What is the wisest thing anyone has said to you?
A: Don’t write what you think kids want to hear. Be honest and write what they need to hear.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

inspirational quote

 -- Quote of the Day -- 

Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, 
small but approachable, 
butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life.  
And everyone deserves a little sunshine.  

~Jeffrey Glassberg

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:
  * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!