Friday, July 3, 2015

Product review

-- Product Review -- 

Joe Jacobs, marketing agent for Quality Encapsulations offered their Omega 3 Fish oil product for review back on May 21st, was to arrive by May 27th, but we weren’t able to pick it up until May 30th at the US postal service provider, a couple miles on the US side of the border from us. 

Their product differs from others in that the company “invested time, money, energy and extensive research, to create an Omega 3 Fish Oil which is rich in EPA, DHA, Omega Fatty acids. And here is the catch, it has the least aftertaste that is possible for "Fish Oil" to have (compere to any other brand on the market), and believe it or not our price is also impossible to meet.” For those of you who are not already aware, omega fatty acids are hard to find in today’s diet in the quantity we need for heart, skin, joint and brain health. Omega’s improve immunity, circulation, ability to heal, lower bad cholesterol and offer many other health benefits.

This is so much better than other fish or vegetarian omega 3 products I have tried in that it is triple strength. This brand offers an antioxidant blend; each serving (2 soft gel capsules) is packed with 1500 mg of omega 3 (800 mg of EPA and 600 mg of DHA). The soft gels are specially designed to be narrow and tapered on each end, and are therefore really quite easy to take – which I appreciate since I have trouble swallowing pills… and there’s no fishy aftertaste. Having experienced eczema, allergies, joint issues and anxiety I have learned the importance of taking supplements for omega 3, 6 and 9 (all types of fatty acids)… I have tried flax and hemp and various fish oils, but I have to say that so far (over the last 18 years of taking these supplements) this brand is now my favorite.

The product is made in the US, is tested for safety and is non-GMO. Each bottle contains 60 softgels. Sadly the bar code sticker was placed over the supplement fact information listing what is exactly in the bottle. However the company offered a graphic that offers the information covered by the bar code sticker, but it is hard to read:

The supplement is housed in an appropriately sized solid white plastic (recyclable; #2) bottle, which means there is no wasted space.

The plastic seal over the screw cap was not perforated and I had to cut it off with a razor knife. An additional seal was under the cap, and that peeled off easily.

Directions are to take 2 soft gels daily, but Dave and I only take one each, and they warn not to exceed the dose and keep out of reach of children. Also - don’t take if you are nursing or pregnant or if you have fish/seafood allergies, use blood thinners or are planning to have surgery.

As always I did some research on the company via the Internet and could not find a website address for them, which means I could not find out if they have in house recycling, social, conscious purchasing, or charitable policies in place. However I did find out that Quality Encapsulations is based in Brooklyn, New York (US). Visit them on FaceBook:

Or view their YouTube video:

Interestingly over at it had a list price of $63.62 (US) but is currently on sale for $15.99. And over at it is selling for $81.96 (Canadian).

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Office in the Garden ??

Your Office In The Garden

When you think of a home office, does a garden office come to mind? Well, it's possible and even fun to build your own workspace while enjoying your garden at the same time. You can start by purchasing a sturdy and safe shed and then decorating and organizing it to your liking. You can create an open shed without doors or a closed door shed that has windows so you can look outside your window at the garden while you work. Look through interior design magazines or on home decor magazines to get ideas for your shed for the home office.

When constructing your cozy office for the garden, you should use wood flooring because it not only looks inviting and rustic, but it is also environmentally friendly. There are all kinds of wood flooring and wood finishes to choose from and it is safe for kids and pets who come to the office. Laminated wood flooring is an inexpensive option but if you want a more authentic flair, choose traditional hardwood flooring. Also install high quality insulation along with the flooring.

To make the garden office more functional, it is a good idea to attach your main house's electricity to the shed as this reduces the need for getting separate utilities for your office. You should purchase some sturdy padlocks for the shed's door to secure the office.

You can also hook the plumbing from your main house to the shed in case you plan to cook or bathe while in the shed.

Decorate your shed to make it personal for you. On the outer part of the shed you can plant some bold colored flowers such as violets, sunflowers, carnations, roses, yellow tulips and orchids. Another idea would be to paint a garden themed mural on the front of the shed. For the inside of the shed put up photos of your garden on the walls and on top of your desk you can stencil images of fruits and vegetables. Purchase some vintage chairs and rugs from the flea market and install some pendant lighting for a calm feel to the office. Paint the walls in your favorite color.

There are benefits of having an office in your garden. It serves as a change of scenery from the traditional workplace or even your usual office inside the main house. You experience a sense of freedom in being able to work in peace without the noise and anxieties of the day. A garden office lets you enjoy your garden in a new way and it's also cost effective. Moreover, you're living a more sustainable life with this kind of office. When you work in this setting your productivity level increases and you'll also develop more ideas for your projects. Nature has a way of boosting a person's creativity.

An office in the garden may seem like an unusual idea but actually it is a trend that has been catching on for the past few years. It's not hard to construct and it will last for many years depending on how well you build it.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

quote of the day

-- Quote of the Day -- 

“It is easy to find fault.

 We have to look much closer 

to find the good in things.”

~ James Sperbeck

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Product Review

-- Product Review --

I am extremely impressed with the generosity and professionalism of Martin, marketing rep for Natural Tonus & Power company, who around May 21st sent me 6 of their products – which I decided to split into 2 review articles, with 3 products reviewed in each article. I received the order on May 28th and we were able to pick up the product via the US postal service on May 30th (we’re located a few miles north of the US border). The company is based in Elkhart, Indiana (USA).

In this article I will review:

Essential Nutrient for collagen production – Vitamin C Serum
Daily Anti-aging Formula Natural Cutey Cream
Pure advanced Anti-aging Formula, Vitamin C Cream
…since they are all products that are applied topically to the face and neck.

* Note regarding the ingredients listed in this article: the printing on the label was very small and I had a hard time reading the ingredients listed there, so apologies if I got some of these wrong – I did the best I could.

Essential Nutrient for collagen production – Vitamin C Serum should be the 1st of the 3 products listed in this article that a person needs to apply, before the other two products (below). This serum comes in a 1 fl. oz. brown glass bottle and offers 20% potency, contains hyaluronic acid and claims to enhance healthy skin with the addition of anti-aging and antioxidant support. Sadly the bar code sticker was placed directly over the list of ingredients.

I’ve tried two other brand name serums before this one – and comparing them found that this product is slightly thicker and foamier than the others. Like the others it comes with a pump, to ensure cleanliness and accurate dispensing. The pump, thankfully, screws off so you can reach the last of the product at the bottom of the brown glass bottle (recyclable) as it empties. It is paraben free, made in the US, and is not tested on animals.

According to the information on applying a serum like this to your skin can be more effective than taking the vitamin orally; the product also claims to thicken the dermis layer, which can offer further protection from sun damage. Retails for $24.95 (US) on

Daily Anti-aging Formula Natural Cutey Cream comes in a 60 ml (2 fl. oz.) sized solid white plastic container (recyclable plastic #5) with a grey colored screw-top lid. Directions state to apply on a freshly washed face after the serum and before the moisturizing cream. This product is also paraben free, made in the USA with natural ingredients and is not tested on animals. The product has a lovely white creamy texture with a light sheen to it. The plastic safety seal over the twist off cap and top of the jar was not perforated; I had to cut it off with a razor knife. It is supposed to replenish lipids, inhibit UV problems, reduce wrinkles and eliminate free radicals.  Retails for $29.95 (US) on

Ingredients: water, cetearyl alcohol, caprylic triglycerides, clycerin, cetareth-20, shea butter, butylene clycol, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide 7, macadamia clycerides, octydodecanol, ethyhexyl palmitate, corn oil, tocopheryl acetate, cholecalciferol, retnyl palmitate, ascorbic acid, pyridoxine HCI, phytonadione, silica, carbomer, polysorbate20, dimethicone, xanthan cum, phenoxythanol, caprylyl glycol, potassium sorbate, hexylene glycol.

Pure advanced Anti-aging Formula, Vitamin C Cream comes in a 57 g (2 oz.) solid white plastic tub with a screw-top lid; both are recyclable (plastic #5). Directions are to apply twice a day to the skin, after it has been hydrated or moistened – so after a shower or after you wash your face with a cloth at night would work. Be sure to avoid contact wounds, or with eyes - but can be applied to the skin around the eyes. The product has a lovely white creamy texture with a light sheen to it. It is supposed to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars, and stretch marks while producing collagen naturally. Retails for $29.88 (US) on

Ingredients: deionized water, vitamin c complex, cetearyl alcohol, caprylic triglicides, glycerin, ceteareth-20, shea butter, propylene glycol, PEG-16 macadamia glycerides, octydodecanol, ethyhexyl palmitate, corn oil, tocopheryl acetate, cholecalfiferol, tetinyl palmitate, pyridoxine HCI, phytonadione, silica, sodium propoxyhydroxypropyl thiosulfate silica, caprlyl glycol, potassium sorbate, hexylene glycol, phenoxethanol.

It was my understanding that these 3 products should be applied in the order that they are listed here in this article, however upon doing that for almost 2 weeks I noticed that I started to have some breakouts (pimples) – so I decided to use only the 1st and 2nd ingredients after each daily shower, rather than both creams – which took care of the problem. I put the other bottle aside to use when the other cream bottle empties. So far, I’ve found the product to be a nice addition to my daily upkeep and would definitely recommend these to my audience here.  I would suggest to my audience that they use creams and serums like these not only on their face, but also their neck down to the cleavage area and on the backs of their forearms and hands. Depending on the health of your skin, people have reportedly seen results in as little as the next day while others have not seen results until using it for a couple weeks.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

quote of the day

-- Quote of the Day -- 

"The best things in life are nearest: 
Breath in your nostrils,
 light in your eyes, 
flowers at your feet, 
duties at your hand, 
the path of right just before you. T
hen do not grasp at the stars, 
but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, 
certain that daily duties and daily bread 
are the sweetest things in life. "

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

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!

Friday, June 26, 2015

self-care for writers

Self-Care for Writers: Key Issues, Key Steps

* Written by: Harriet Hodgson - a freelancer for 37 years and  the author of 34 books. Her latest releases are Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life after Loss - and - Help! I'm Raising My Grandkids. Watch for her forthcoming books, The Family Caregiver's Guide - and - Affirmations for Family Caregivers, slated for fall 2015 release. Visit Hodgson's website to learn more about this busy author and grandmother. 



Starting a new writing project is exciting. You had the idea, planned the chapters, and the time for writing has come. When I'm working on a book I write for hours, think about revisions constantly, and even revise in my sleep. If I don't monitor myself, however, I can become obsessed with writing. I work longer than I should, get behind on household tasks, have an aching back, and tired, gritty eyes.

None of these things foster writing. While I'm writing I think of my disabled husband and my caregiving duties. Although I take good care of him, sometimes I don't take good care of myself. To be productive, writers need to care for their physical and emotional selves. Self-care can prevent debilitating colds, long-term illness, and burn-out. Here are some suggestions for you.

Adjust your chair. Mayo Clinic, in its article, "Office Ergonomics: Your How-To Guide", says your knees should be about level with your hips when sitting in a computer chair. My chair is comfortable, but it doesn't support my lower back, so I use a small beanbag pillow. I bought the travel pillow from an airport shop and it's a useful thing to have.

Use a foot rest. Your feet may not reach the floor if you are a short person. The solution is to rest your feet on a small stool or stack of books. Usually my feet are flat on the floor. Still, after I've been working a long time, I worry about the veins in my legs, and stretch my legs out straight, and rest them on a stool beneath my computer desk.

Get moving. Short breaks are surprisingly effective. I get up every half hour, do some stretches, and walk around the room. You may do this or walk in place. Desk exercises are pictured in the article, "Deskercise! 33 Smart Ways to Exercise at Work," on the Greatest website. It describes stationary jogging, squats, leaning your back against a wall, chair exercises, and more. Choose some exercises and do them regularly.

Eat healthy snacks. The calories in snack foods add up quickly. In fact,they may equal a total meal. Limit your sweet and salty snacks. You'll find more ideas in "10 Healthy Office Snacks to Eat at Your Desk," by Leyla Shamayeva, on the Calorie Count website. It recommends cereal cups, nuts, whole wheat crackers, peanut butter, dried fruits, and sealed fruit cups in water. Technically, water isn't a snack, but it's wise to keep bottled water on hand. "Sip throughout the day and watch your productivity and mood improve," the author writes.

Aim for eight hours of sleep. Even if you're a "night owl" you need to get enough rest. Try to go to bed at the same time each night. Lower the temperature in your bedroom to promote sleep. Avoid big projects and upsetting television programming before bedtime because they can keep you awake. A body pillow may help you to sleep more comfortably.

Nurture your spirit. I'm a health and wellness writer and when I bog down it usually is due to lack of information. Searching for additional information can be tedious. Instead of doing the research immediately, I call time out and renew my spirit with poetry (I love Robert Frost), or read a magazine article, or look at photos on a royalty-free website. Fifteen minutes later, I'm energized and ready to get back to work.
These tips will help you stay energized and ready for writing.

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!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Product Review

-- Product Review -- 

We first started speaking with Kari Hairston of Radha Beauty about their Premium Tea Tree Oil product on May 20th and it we confirmed the review project soon after that. It was ordered on May 21st and arrived on May 27th at the US postal service just across the border (we’re a few miles north of the US border).

The product arrived in a 2” wide - by - 5.5” long - by - 2” high white cardboard box. Inside, there was only a small square of plastic bubble wrap to protect the large blue glass bottle and the clear glass dropper, which has a rubber top.

Upon doing some research on the company and this product I found out some really interesting things. First – their tea tree oil is “100% pure and natural essential oil, therapeutic grade – the best tea tree oil on the market, produced through steam distillation of fresh leaves”.

Impressive, right?

I have always loved tea tree oil – it is a wonder product for sure. Derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca Alternifolia tree that is native to Australia’s coastal region but its popularity is urging companies to try growing it in other regions. This particular brand uses a steam distillation process to extract the oil and while the concentrated oil does come from Australia it is bottled in the US and distributed by Radha Beauty ( which is based in Berkeley, CA (USA).

We have used tea tree oil as an ingredient in our home-made cleaning products and insect spray for both ourselves and our pets. I’ve also used it for scrapes and sores, insect bites, cold sores, blisters, abrasions, and burns. A few months ago I learned that it can also be applied after each shower on skin tags and freckles or moles, which I find quite irritating. After a few weeks of applying it in this way I’ve noticed a remarkable difference, some small skin tags (I don’t get large ones) disappeared completely, while others shrank in size.

I also use it for dealing with itchy scalp and occasional dandruff (which I sometimes get in the winter) – what I’ve done in the past is place about 6 drops or so in the palm of my hand along with the conditioner, mix it a bit and then apply to my hair and leave it in while doing other soaping or shaving, etc. rinsing it out just before exiting the shower so that it sits on the scalp a long time. It works wonderfully. * Tea tree, a.k.a. melaleuca oil, is for external use only.

However the problem with other brands is there’s either a little plastic insert in the top of the bottle where you have to shake out the drops and this can be clumsy… or there’s no dropper and you have to guess by pouring it into your hand, which can lead to waste or over use. Radha’s bottle comes with a glass dropper with a rubber squeeze top that gives the user a lot more control over the amount and the precise application of the oil.

Another thing that sets this brand apart is the color of the glass bottle – blue – most other brands are brown. Radha also has an advantage over many other brands in that they offer this product in a 4 fl. oz. (120 ml) container – most other brands only offer 10 ml bottles. This means there is a lot less shipping involved, less packaging and less bottles consumed over time.  Radha’s bottle is recyclable, as is their packaging and the glass dropper. They do not test on animals and the product has a 6-month shelf life. I’ve found, however, that tea tree oil can last much longer than that if stored in a dark, cool cupboard.

This company is on top of social media – check out their FaceBook page:

And their Instagram page:

Or visit their main site at:

The company invites customer comments and feedback via

According to their site, the Radha Beauty company started up in 2014 and their co-founder (Rebekah Letch), who as a professional model and ballet dancer had experienced problems from non-organic skin care products and makeup. The company is based on the motto: beauty does not have to be bad for us. When you go there you’ll see they have many natural, organic beauty products ranging from serums, coconut oil, eye therapy, and many essential oils. They stand behind their products with a full money back guarantee no matter when, or where you purchased the product.

The tea tree oil retails on their site for an incredible deal at $18.89 (US) for a 4 oz. bottle. Interestingly though it is currently on sale at for $14.89 (US)... unfortunately it is not yet on (for Canadians).

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!