Sunday, August 2, 2015

Product Review



-- Product Review -- 

* Look for a coupon code listed near the end of this review!

This product review process happened very quickly, Sadia customer support manager for Zufy, connected with me around June 23rd regarding the Zufy Car Phone Holder and the order was processed on June 24.  Dave (my husband) picked it up on July 4th via postal service a couple miles on the US side of the border (we’re located in Canada), which happened to be when we were crossing the border again, but the shipping order stated it was estimated to arrive before June 29th, and Amazon is pretty good about being accurate about that.





Amazon shipped it in a cardboard box (10” long X 7” wide X 5.5” tall) with 5 Sealed Air brand (flm.fillair.com) inflatable packaging cells; which not only protects the product but also weighs less – so there is less cost in shipping and simply poking the packets and letting the air out will deflate the individual cells. The plastic film is recyclable and results in 33% reduction in petroleum-based packaging. If you don’t deflate the packets you can reuse them for your own shipping – or give them to someone who could use it (family, friend, business).  Interestingly, while most communities offer plastic recycling, the packaging company’s site (see above) also lists addresses you can send the deflated product to and they will recycle it into a variety of products ranging from trash bags to automotive parts.



The parts for the car phone holder itself was contained in a small grey-blue and white paperboard box, and it does require some minor assembly – taking about 5 minutes to do. Simply assemble 2 pieces together and apply a little force until you hear a click, and then peel the thin protective covering from the footrest and stick to your windshield in a position that will not impede your view, keeping in mind you may have headphone or charging cords dangling from the device.





It has a strong suction cup that will stick to windshields. The arm is adjustable to get the right direction and angle and the phone holder has a ball-style mount and that enables you rotate 360˚. Once assembled the whole thing can fold up upon itself as well, for easy storage. The padded, scratch-proof holder adjusts (range of 1.42”-3.26”) to securely fit any device including: MP3, MP4, mobile phone, GPS device or PDA device. My husband’s Samsung phone is in a protective case, and it fits perfectly. The beauty of a product like this is the convenience of being able to see who is calling, have your navigation at eye level or change music choices – without time consuming fumbling while waiting at a red light. By seeing who is calling or messaging you can more easily determine whether to pull over or not; otherwise if you don’t know who it is you might pull over and find out it wasn’t important – which can be time consuming and frustrating. Another bonus is the way the holder is designed – it allows you to record the trip or something happening in front of you.



The clamp arm width is 35-38 mm. There is a fast release vacuum valve clamp at the base for releasing the suction cup and repositioning it – simply press the valve to help lock the suction cup to the windshield. The cup arrives with a plastic protection film that needs to be removed before installing. 





The whole mechanism seems to be made of high quality ABS plastic – which is lightweight and can withstand over 150˚F – which is really nice, as it can get hot in the car in the summer. The company offers a 1-year warranty for this product. 

Dave has been using this product in our Jeep for a few days now and says he loves it - it is very convenient to use.



It retails on Amazon.com for $58.95 (US), but is currently on an amazing sale of $16.65. I’m not sure how long that sale will last however. Unfortunately it is not yet listed on Amazon.ca.



* Sadia wanted us to offer our readers a discount code for 20% off on your next purchase of the Zufy Car Phone Holder :
 *  You can use the links here in this review article to purchase the product. 

Coupon Code,
20% Off:   37AXRJH5

Start Date:   08/01/2015 2:00 AM PDT
End Date:   08/09/2015 11:59 PM PDT

This coupon will be active from 1st August 2:00 AM.

Sadly I could not find a website for the company itself, nor was there any additional information re:  if they have in house recycling, social, conscious purchasing, or charitable policies in place. However, for those of you who would like to look into the company a little more check out their FaceBook page:




Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet:

http://www.twitter.com/brummet
http://www.facebook.com/lillian.brummet 






Saturday, August 1, 2015

Quote of the Day



-- Quote of the Day -- 


 

"Nerves and butterflies are fine - 
they're a physical sign 
that you're mentally ready and eager.  
You have to get the butterflies 
to fly in formation, 
that's the trick." 

~ Steve Bull



Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet:

http://www.twitter.com/brummet
http://www.facebook.com/lillian.brummet 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Improve your business



 -- Improve Your Business --

* Written by: Danica Bridges

Are you carrying on a business which you feel needs much tweaking in order to achieve a profitable future? You are only one among many entrepreneurs who are going through the same ordeal. It makes most entrepreneurs question whether it is worth all the time, effort, and money spent on trying to sustain a business despite the low sales they are experiencing.

Those who have made notable successes in their business ventures advise against nurturing doubts and desperation. In fact, whenever you are feeling any kind of doubt, successful business owners say you should turn those doubts into positive thoughts and ideas on "how to make my business better." In fact, here are some ideas on how to remain optimistic and become like some of the world's most successful entrepreneurs.

1. Find ways on how you can emphasize your products' or services' importance according to society's present needs and demands. More than having an amazing product, it is more important to market the product based on how it can improve people's lives. Some of the ways by which you can show such significance include demo videos, infographics, and other kinds of media. People are most likely just waiting for something placed in action before actually putting their money into a certain product or service.

2. Always aim for improvement on your brand's customer service. There is nothing wrong with using the usual approaches but it won't hurt to add an extra kick. Offering something extra would be a good start. Japanese community convenience stores, for example, have established small but secure library or play area for parents who bring their children to shop so that the kids can have something to occupy themselves with while the parents are busy shopping.

3. Always consider the customer's point of view when creating products and services. Do not zero in on profits right away because profits mostly follow after customer satisfaction. It is always smarter to consider whether a certain product or service "should" be done rather than that it "could" be done. An established product could easily be tainted with one wrong decision.
4. Be as unique as you can. Do not be content on just being good or even better at something but always challenge yourself and your business to create something that no else can create.

5. Be a business that is helpful and friendly. Establish a sense of community among yourself, your employees and your customers. People will patronize a business that they feel connected with or that understands what they need. Inspire your customers to share your products and services on their personal blogs or other social media. Urge your clients to share their experiences with others and with you as well as to give you a feedback in order to help you improve your business. 

By improving your business, you get more clients, and with more clients, you know you have a business that makes more money.



Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet:

http://www.twitter.com/brummet
http://www.facebook.com/lillian.brummet 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

product review



-- Product Review -- 

I first responded to Tiger Elite’s (marketing company) offer on June 16th to do a review for Press Café’s French Coffee Press. Scottie Rae, Co-Founder Press Cafe of MSG Market Source, was a pleasure to work with; there was really good marketing and customer service involved here. Press Café is a small family run business. In doing some research on the company I learned that they support the Wounded Warrior Project and also Children’s Cancer Research charities. You can find out more about the company at:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/MSG-Market-Source/750130948418757



I absolutely love coffee presses. The only electricity used is in boiling the water and you can put jsut the amount of water you need in the kettle rather than bringing a full kettle to boil. Or if you have a wood stove going in the cooler months you can heat the water in a pot on the wood stove instead. You can easily make one or two cups at a time (most presses only do 2 coffee cups worth). The loose coffee grounds are wet and easy to swish out with a little water, dumping them on an outdoor plant, on the lawn, or in the compost bucket. There is no excess steam staining the underside of kitchen cupboards (like most machines do), no noisy gurgling, and there's no risk of overheated and wasted coffee or stale coffee getting burned on which happens when a machine is left on. Another ecological point for presses is that there are no filters involved, saving money and reducing our impact on the environment. 

We picked the press up on July 4th via postal service a couple miles on the US side of the border (we’re located in Canada), which happened to be when we were crossing the border again, but the shipping order stated it was estimated to arrive on June 24th, and Amazon is pretty good about being accurate about that. 

The coffee press arrived packaged in a white cardboard box wrapped securely in bubble wrap. All the packaging was recyclable… including the cardboard shipping box (5.5” High -by- 7” Wide -by- 10” Long).

It came with an additional screen and a long stainless steel coffee ground scoop with an interesting serrated clip for clipping on the coffee bag (I assume). This also means the scoop not only seals the bag but is always kept with the bag so you don’t have to search in a drawer for it. 

coffee spoon and extra screen


Also came with instructions offering 7 steps to using the coffee press. Although I’ve been a coffee consumer for more than 30 years I actually learned something from the instructions. 

This product has a beautiful design… we’ve had several coffee presses over the years as we are true coffee lovers but never came across one so well designed – this one had the additional benefit of a vented lid, which could be used to screen out any stray coffee bits. It also aided in making the coffee flow better when pouring, it is the only press we’ve used that didn’t spill or dribble in some way. 

Their stainless steel screen is much more fine than our other 2 (one for camping one for the house) and that means less sludge in the coffee cup. Of course if you use course ground coffee there is less of an issue with sludge, but course ground is not easy to find in grocery stores and getting an even grind in a coffee grind machine doesn’t always result in consistency. The screen is also designed so that no grounds will escape into the cup. 


Interestingly, most coffee presses can also be used for loose-leaf tea, enabling a person to really enjoy a wide array of flavors and beverages. This aspect appeals to us as gardeners as we do dry a lot of our own herbs harvested from the garden and landscape beds.



I found the press is easily disassembled, although the glass carafe fit pretty snug, and the whole thing can be cleaned in the dishwasher. The carafe is specially designed for high heat resistance (up to 180˚).  The only possible note I should make here is that in the 3-part screen system there is a bump in the design, literally – a bump. I checked our other 2 presses and neither had this bump. I’m sure it isn’t going to be an issue, though.



Not sold on Amazon.ca yet, but you can find it at Amazon.com – where it has a list price of $39.97 US but is currently on sale for$ 25.97.


I prefer this coffee press of the other two we own – there’s no mess when you pour and the bottom of the coffee cup has less sludge in it.






 


Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet:

http://www.twitter.com/brummet
http://www.facebook.com/lillian.brummet 



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Quote of the Day



-- Quote of the Day -- 


 

"Your life is bigger that that one moment; 
you know you are not defined by what somebody says is a failure for you 
because failure is just there to point you in another direction. " 

~ Oprah





Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet:

http://www.twitter.com/brummet
http://www.facebook.com/lillian.brummet 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

World of Writing, interview


-- World of Writing -- 


* Today we have the pleasure of presenting: Wendy Van Hatten - a published author and international travel writer and blogger. She holds the position of Editor in Chief for Prime Time Living Magazine, as well as being the wine, food, and travel writer for WE Magazine. She is on the board of the Bay Area Travel Writer Organization, a professional travel writer and photographer organization. For more information about Wendy and her books visit: www.wendyvanhatten.com.



Q: Do you belong to a writers’ group? 


A: Yes, I belong to a writers’ group. It is a small but productive group of writers, who offer feedback and critiques.



Q: How long have you belonged to this group? (how you found them, why you joined & the process of becoming a member).


A: Originally, I attended a large group of writers of various genres, who meet weekly. My schedule doesn’t allow for weekly meetings and I felt I was not contributing to the group. Out of this group three of us decided to form a more concentrated group. We meet monthly, take turns with our writing projects or manuscripts, and dig deep into everyone’s writings.



Q: Where do you meet? How often? What do you do there?


A: Each month we focus on one writer. Our manuscript or parts of it are emailed at least one week ahead of the meeting time. This allows time for the others to review, take notes, ask questions, or answer questions the writer has put forth. We may need assistance or confirmation of a plot, or we may need help with our characters, or we may need a big picture view from an uninvolved party.



Q: Where do you see yourself with your writing in five years?


A: Even though writing has always been a part of my life, writing is my second career. My travel writing is one piece and my mystery writing is another piece. The outlets and formats are different, but I incorporate my travels into my mysteries. I see myself continuing with both types as long as possible.



Q: What advice would you give for aspiring authors?


A: It sounds like an overwritten cliché, but you need to write. Really. And, you need to read. If you really like reading historical romances, but you want to write sci-fi…perhaps you should start reading sci-fi.

When you have figured out what you are writing, take some time to do several things. Make a working outline; one that probably will change as you write. Try to get as many general ideas as possible about your manuscript written down. The same applies if you are writing an article as well. Do you have a message you want your reader to hear, are you encouraging your reader to take action, or are you telling a story?

Then, make a list of characters. Give them names, personalities, and descriptions. Make your reader see them. Don’t just tell your reader the main character is tall and thin. Show the reader he has to duck when he enters a doorway. This is a start. It can all change and grow as you write.

I also suggest having a team you work with as you write. These could include a writers’ group, perhaps another writer to bounce ideas off of, a proofreader, a marketing individual or group, and a very important piece…at least one editor. More team members may be necessary depending on your type of writing



Q: Tell us a bit about your passions in life.


A: I have several passions. Travel, writing, cooking, wine, gardening, my husband, my kitty…and combinations of all of these. These surface daily, whether I am writing, traveling, cooking, gardening, or learning about new wines and drinking favorites. My husband and my kitty often make appearances in my mysteries…only they don’t know it.


Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet:

http://www.twitter.com/brummet
http://www.facebook.com/lillian.brummet 



Monday, July 27, 2015

Product Review



-- Product Review -- 


Michael, customer rep with NanoNutra, worked with me on getting this product review here for you today. The product was ordered on June 11, but didn’t arrive until June 20th. Unfortunately it was shipped from Amazon.com in a cardboard box that was easily 3 times the necessary size with 6 Air-Plus brand bubble balloon things used for packaging. I felt that was a lot of wasted space and packaging – although it was recyclable. 




The body gradually loses its normally efficient ability to process vitamin C from foods as it ages, and this vitamin is essential to support the immune system, prevent and fight diseases and cancer, support collagen production, improves energy levels, protects skin and joints, ease healing, enhance healthy gums and teeth, and support brain and circulatory systems as well. Vitamin C is also a powerful anti-oxidant, fighting free radicals and damage from chemicals, alcohol, exposure to natural elements and aging.



My husband and I have taken vitamin C supplements for probably 15 years now and this is the first time I’ve heard of liposomal vitamin c – and how this particular formula, Liposomal Vitamin C by NanoNutra, blends nanotechnology with naturopathy. The secret lies in the increased absorption of this supplement through natural fatty acids and sunflower lecithin. Other, all natural ingredients include:  glycerin, sunflower lecithin, sunflower oil, oleic acid polyglyceride, ascorbyl palmitate, natural flavors, xanthan gum, ascorbic acid, mixed tocopherols, oil soluble rosmarinic acid, water soluble rosmarinic acid, potassium sorbate, purified water.





You can be confident with this product because it has no GMO’s, corn, soy or BPA and is GMP certified. It is sweetened with natural diabetic friendly stevia leaf extract, is made in the US and comes with a money back guarantee.



It is important to note that care should be used when opening the bottle – the product is in liquid form and could be under pressure if temperatures are too warm.  The shelf life for this is really only about 60 days, it does need to be refrigerated after opening. Shake well before using; you can mix the suggested serving (1 tsp. twice daily) in juice if you prefer.



Through the company website (www.nanonutrausa.com) the product comes in several cost-saving packages: 60 servings; one bottle, at $49.99 (US), 180 servings; 3 bottles, at $134.97, and 240 servings; 4 bottles at 159.99. Each 1 tsp. serving is about 15 calories and can be given to men, women and children. However on Amazon.com I noticed while the list price is $89.99 for a 10.15 fl. oz. bottle, it is currently on sale for $59.99(US). Unfortunately it is not listed on Amazon.ca.



You can also find the company on FaceBook:




Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet:

http://www.twitter.com/brummet
http://www.facebook.com/lillian.brummet