My Carbon RFID Money Belt

Money Belt 1RFID MONEY BELT

~ What ~
Made of a durable black nylon and mesh with a molded plastic buckle and a nylon zipper, this black belt is adjustable for size 25 to 39.5-inch waists. It measures approximately 9 by 5 by 0.5 inches and has a total of three 3 by 4.5-inch pockets. With the belt being waterproof and containing RFID blocking, it should not be washed.

~ Why ~Money Belt 2
We like to travel, so I appreciate a nice looking functional fanny pack that also has a hidden pocket. I love the RFID blocking capability to protect my identity. I like that there are several pockets plus a small hole for earphones to access a pocketed cell phone. With one zipper access to the 2 outer pockets, Velcro tabs fold out to show another hidden zippered pocket. The money belt is ideal for storing credit cards, folded money, identification, keys, or other small items including a smartphone.

~ Why Not ~
Some may wish there were other color choices besides black. Others may want a longer belt length to hold their girth.

~ Wish ~
I wish the belt were available in other colors.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a slim fanny pack or money belt that can hold a plethora of small items plus protect your identity with RFID blocking when traveling, this is a must.

Thanks to My Carbon for this sample that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check this review for errors.

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Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours: A NovelTitle: Before We Were Yours
Author: Lisa Wingate
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-0-425-28468-1

“Secrets ain’t a healthy thang, no matter how old they is. Sometimes the oldest secrets is the worst of all,” Avery is told in Lisa Wingate’s novel, Before We Were Yours.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-fifty-eight pages, this paperback targets those who enjoy historical fiction involving adoption, hidden pasts, and complicated family dynamics. Topics of child endangerment, abuse, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers.

In this story told in first person by two different people over seventy years apart, twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her younger siblings are violently uprooted in 1939 when their mother is rushed to the hospital to deliver a baby. Forced to live at the Tennessee Children’s Home, the sisters and brothers do all they can to stick together, but they each face one hardship and disappointment after another. Added in inserted current-day chapters, the engaged thirty-year-old Avery Stafford is drawn to a woman in a South Carolina nursing home who somehow has an old photograph of her aging grandmother. As Avery divulges into the past, she finds more than family secrets that change her and those around her.

~ Why ~
Learning about Georgia Tann and her adoption empire that included conning parents out of their children or taking them without permission for a profit, the book covers the heartbreak, loneliness, and fear from a child’s perspective and the siblings she deeply loves. I like how the chapters jumped from the past to present through two related women searching for hope.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like tragic tales related to orphans being physically, emotionally, and sexually abused may not want to read this one. Others may not relate to the existing political or societal norms of the South.

~ Who ~
A former journalist and speaker, Wingate is a national bestselling author who has won many writing awards.

~ Wish ~
With the ending being a little confusing, I wish there were more explanation that connected the siblings.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a historical fiction about life as a child in the infamous Tennessee Children’s Home that was run by Georgia Tann, this story shows how family love conquers all.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Thanks to the author for this complimentary ARC book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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KJV, Thinline Bible, Large Print, Cloth over Board, Green, Red Letter Edition

KJV, Thinline Bible, Large Print, Cloth over Board, Green, Red Letter EditionTitle: Large Print Thinline KJV Holy Bible
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-718-09799-8

“The Thomas Nelson KJV Large Print Thinline Bible, featuring the timeless beauty of the trustworthy King James translation, strikes the perfect balance between portability and readability,” the back cover insert states.

~ What ~
At eleven-hundred-and-eighty-four pages, this Holy Bible in the traditional King James version has a sturdy hardbound turquoise cloth cover with a vine design incorporated on the front and back. It includes two matching ribbon markers, a ten-point size font, words of Jesus in red letters, and eight full-color maps with a one-year reading plan and thirty-days with Jesus listing. Each chapter has a brief title, but there are no other additions.

~ Why ~
Being a King James Version Christian, this is my favorite version of Scriptures. I like how easy the large font is to read (yes, I am getting older). Including the two marker ribbons is ideal if you are reading through the Bible yearly and in both the Old and New Testament on the same day. Other nice features are the sturdiness of the hardcovers that will not bend or crack like other thinner-covered Bibles and that it can lay flat when opened. It is a stripped down version with no extra fluff or added notes.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in God may not be interested in having a Holy Bible, but it is one of the most famous books in the world. Some may wish the book contained footnotes, a concordance, or index. Others may think the paper is thin so the words bleed through a little.

~ Wish ~
Realizing this is a thinline Bible, I wish it contained some information at the beginning of each book or a sentence or two before each chapter.

~ Want ~
If you need a thin but large print King James Version of the Bible with a sturdy cover that will last a long time, this is an excellent choice. It would make a thoughtful gift for a new believer or one who only wants to read the Scriptures.

Thanks to the Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Lucky Clover WiFi Single Wall Switch

Wall Switch 1LIGHT UP YOUR ROOM FROM YOUR PHONE

~ What ~
This small white oblong electrical light plate allows a person to control a wall switch via his or her wifi smartphone without needing a hub. By downloading an app to a smartphone, the 4.5 inch by 3-inch long unit can be controlled at a distance or by voice command using the Amazon Echo. Arriving in a small package, the wall switch comes with instructions and 2 extra screws. Electrical work is necessary to an electrical wall socket.

~ Why ~Wall Switch 2
Having an Echo in our home, I like that I can speak a command and Alexa handles my requests. I like that this device can be synced with my smartphone and that I can access from anywhere via my phone a light in my home, turning it on or off. Another nice feature is it has a blue LED glow that can be seen and used in the dark.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like having more apps on their smartphone may not be interested in this product. The directions are vague in installing the wall plate into an existing electrical configuration as there is only a small diagram with no wiring directions. The light plate cannot be used when multiple switches (like 2 or 3) are incorporated into one wall plate. Others may not own an Echo to verbally have the unit go off or on.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were available 2 or 3 switches in an one plate configuration as a singular one cannot be used in any part of my kitchen to work with my canned lighting.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to control a light-switch by voice or when not at home, this device may work well with a smartphone app or when using Amazon’s Alexa, but I recommend checking the wall plate first to make sure a singular switch plate will work where you want to control a light.

Thanks to LUCKY CLOVER for this discounted product that I am freely evaluating.

This product can be found at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XYG11BR/

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Lucky Clover Smart Plug-In Timer/Controller

TURN LIGHTS/APPLIANCESAlexa Light 1 ON MILES AWAY OR HAVE ALEXA DO IT

~ What ~
This small white electrical plug-in allows a person to control an appliance via his or her wifi smartphone without needing a hub. By downloading an app to a smartphone, the approximately 2-inches round by a ½ -inch deep (without the 3 prongs) unit can be controlled at a distance or by voice command using the Amazon Echo. Arriving in a small package, the plug-in comes with detailed instructions.

~ Why ~
Having an Echo in our home, I like that I can speak a command, and Alexa handles my requests. Setting up this simple device took less than 15 minutes by syncing it with my Samsung Galaxy Core Prime smartphone and setting it up to link remotely and with Alexa. I like that I can access the freestanding light in our family room and turn it on or off from anywhere via my phone. Another nice feature is it can be set for specific or random times to deter possible intruders.

~ Why Not ~Alexa Light 2
Those who do not like having more apps on their smartphone or already use timer plug-ins may not be interested in this product. Others may not own an Echo to have the unit go off or on verbally, but it can be used only as a timer.

~ Wish ~
With the Amazon link having reviews for the company’s smartbulb, it would help if it included those for this plug-in. I wish the adaptors were available in other colors to match a room’s décor or plug-in face plates.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to control a light or appliance while not at home, this handy plug-in works great with a smartphone app or when using Amazon’s Alexa.

Thanks to LUCKY CLOVER for this discounted product that I am freely evaluating.

This product can be found at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XX73YQG/

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Psalm Hymns: Worship Leader Books 1, 2, & 3

Psalm-Hymns Worship Leader: Books 1, 2 & 3 (Volume 1)Title: Psalm Hymns: Worship Leader Books 1, 2, & 3
Author: L.L. Larkins
Publisher: Capture Books
ISBN: 978-1517796884

“By reciting or singing these psalms, God makes Himself, His records of testimonies of His deeds more accessible,” L.L. Larkins writes in the introduction of her book, Psalm Hymns: Worship Leader Books 1, 2, & 3 (Volume 1) – Dramatic, Contemplative, Singable, Recitable Psalms!

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-ninety-page oversized paperback targets those who are seeking a compilation of rewritten psalms from the Bible that are set to the music of famous songs and hymns. By using a plethora of different versions of the Holy Bible, three books in one are included in this series that covers Psalms 1 through 89.

After an introduction and historical uses, the eighty-nine rewritten psalms cover two to eight pages each, ending with the Ten Commandments, author’s biography, and a proposed fifteen-week performance syllabus.

Each psalm is written out in poem format with the psalm title at the top of the page, followed by the type it is, tune it is set in, author of the original song, and year published. After several stanzas are written, notes are included, explaining the history of the original psalm and more information.

~ Why
This book would be helpful for a church or Sunday school group that is studying Psalms by singing corresponding rewritten wording to a famous song’s melody. With the added notes regarding the history or background information, it can become an in-depth study of the Word of God that is set to music. I like that old hymns are used such as What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, and Rock of Ages.

One example I enjoyed was the short Psalm 23 that is arranged in four stanzas to the tune of Away in a Manger by James R. Murray in 1887. The notes explain the name of God is Jehovah Roi as well as three other names for Him. Also mentioned are sheep and their characteristics, habits, and utter dependency on their caretaker, just like we need to be personally taken care of by Jesus.

~ Why Not ~
Those who have no interest in singing, worshiping, or learning more about Psalms in the Bible will not be interested in this book. Others may not like the translation or rewritten versions of the poems and songs of the Old Testament.

~ Wh0~
A transcriber of psalms for singing and reflections and mentor /counselor in performance and theory of worship, Larkins used to be a leader of praise and worship in church, youth, and various African groups.

~ Wish ~
It would be helpful to include an index that listed the musical arrangement that went with each psalm.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a praise/worship book for a church, choir, or singing event, this may be a helpful source that focuses on the more than half of the Biblical Psalms.

Thanks to Capture Books for this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The Whispering of the Willows

The Whispering of the WillowsTitle: The Whispering of the Willows
Author: Tonya Jewel Blessing
Publisher: Capture Books
ISBN: 978-0-997162547

“Life in the Ashby family seemed especially hard. Where was God love? Auntie Ada told her once to look at the willows – cuz they even praised God,” Tonya Jewel Blessing writes in her novel, The Whispering of the Willows.

~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-ninety-six-page paperback targets those who enjoy historical Christian fiction involving family dynamics and romance. Using one noun that may be considered profanity and slang words, topics of physical and sexual abuse and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. While each chapter begins with an Appalachian folk belief, the ending has a list of the hymns and folksongs of the story’s era as well as eleven discussion questions.

In this tale set in the 1920s in the rural hills of West Virginia, the large Ashby family struggles often running a hog farm where parents are to be obeyed at all costs, marriages are arranged at young ages for monetary sake, and loyalty runs deep. When an act of violence happens to fourteen-year-old Emie, she has to deal with the life-changing circumstances by standing up, even if it means going against her parents’ wishes. With the help of her loving brother, a wise aunt, a dear friend, and others in the holler, many in her family learn about love versus hate, forgiveness over bitterness, and trusting in Jesus instead of oneself.

~ Why ~
This book forces the reader to consider that God is always with us, no matter the trials and tribulations we go through in life. As Emie deals with one heartbreak after another involving those she loves and herself, she yearns to trust Jesus although she cannot fathom why things keep happening that change her and those around her.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like books that have the eternal plan of salvation, learning to trust in Christ only, and old fashioned church hymns may not be interested in this book. Others may not want to read about the struggles of poverty, racism, hatred, and abuse.

~ Who ~
Having written a number of women’s devotionals, Blessing has traveled around the globe as a conference speaker, focusing on helping women. She and her husband currently live in South Africa. This is her first novel.

~ Wish ~
The ending was a little rushed and abrupt. I hope the author has a sequel to the book, explaining what happens next to all the interesting characters she has created.

~ Want ~
If you enjoy a novel that reiterates God is always by our side, you will not want to put down this tear-jerker that shows how one family picked up the pieces and found love after repeated disasters and tragedies.

Thanks to the Book Club Network for this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The Gatekeepers

The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every PresidencyTitle: The Gatekeepers
Author: Chris Whipple
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 978-0-8041-3824-6

“Each chief can make or break an administration, and each president reveals himself by the chief he picks,” the front jacket flap states in Chris Whipple’s book, The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-eighty-four pages, this hardbound targets those interested in the behind the scenes of the highest office in the United States, the presidency. After an introduction, nine chapters cover the different presidential chiefs of staff from 1968 to 2013, followed by an epilog, notes, bibliography, author’s note, acknowledgments, and index.

From Nixon to Obama’s terms in office, the chiefs of staff are dissected in how they got the position, their goals, frustrations, and perspectives, what they did or did not accomplish, and why they were fired or left the position.

~Why ~
I found this read extremely detailed and informative when it came to explaining how the presidential office runs and who helps or hinders history. By reading its contents, I remembered the blaming of Halderman for a causing Watergate, Rumsfield being effective keeping Ford on track, the press core loving Cheney, Baker and Duberstein rescuing Reagan from the Iran-Contra scandal, Panetta bringing discipline into Clinton’s administration, Card not empowered to control Bush’s advisers, and Obama’s Emanuel to name a few. Having written-out audio tapes, memos, and documents show the strengths and weaknesses as well as successes and disasters of both presidents and their top aides. By having to do grunt work and telling it like it is, all chiefs had few moments of peace performing the daunting task of advising their presidents.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like recalling the political turmoil of several of our past presidents may show no interest in reading this book. Others may find its contents sometimes gossipy and name-dropping with the who’s who of politics and Washington D.C. socialites.

~ Who ~
An acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Whipple is also a writer, speaker, and journalist who has won several awards.

~ Wish ~
I wish more photographs were included.

~ Want ~
If you are curious about who has been the United States presidents’ chiefs of staff the past fifty years, this well-written book offers a plethora of differences and similarities of the men holding the second most powerful job in government.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Devotions from the Kitchen Table

Devotions from the Kitchen TableTitle: Devotions for the Kitchen Table
Author: Stacey Edwards
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9187-3

“God is still present no matter what a day may bring. God does not hide Himself from us. He can be found by anyone whose heart seeks Him,” Stacey Edwards writes in one of her inserts in her book, Devotions .for the Kitchen Table.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-twenty-four hundred pages, this book is meant to be read at one’s kitchen table as a devotion that targets women. Using mainly the New International Version of the Holy Bible, also referenced are the ESV, HCSB, NASB, NLT, and Message. A ribbon marker is attached.

Containing ninety devotions, each one is one to one-and-a-half pages with beautiful full-color photographs on their opened pages of homey, comfy scenes. Having short titles such as First One Awake, Meal Train, Pinwheels, Slow Cooking, Power Lines, Dad’s Voice, The Garage Door, Bird Feeder, and Grampa’s Toolbox, each begin with a written out Bible verse followed by several paragraphs correlating the topic to God and a closer relationship with Him. The endings have one to three sentence prayers regarding the devotions’ content.

~Why ~
I appreciate devotionals that have little information about the author but focus on God in day-to-day living, and this book does that. The stories are brief and to the point, often beginning with a question but rarely using the words “I” or “me.” Sometimes Old and New Testament characters or Scripture are noted as the writer shows the struggles, goals, and achievements of daily life with Christ.

A favorite was Raindrops on a Window that offers the Bible verse I Corinthians 1:9 regarding fellowship with Jesus. The author asks if you have ever noticed the raindrops on a window pane and how the view is skewed. She reminds us that when we are lonely, we must not fall into the trap that God is far away; but we need to have an accurate view of Him always being nearby, no matter what our circumstances. A short prayer is at the end asking for a proper perspective.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not want to get a book that focuses on getting closer to the Almighty. Others may wish there were more than ninety devotions included.

~ Who ~
No information is provided about the author.

~ Wish ~
With the stunning photographs throughout the book, it draws away from the writing, so I may be one of the few that wish there were less artwork and more than ninety devotions that could be read throughout the year.

~ Want ~
If you like devotionals with beautiful photographs and short reading, this is an excellent choice for a Mother’s Day or birthday present or gift for a friend who are seeking a closer walk with Christ, but it should not take the place of daily Bible reading.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Skin Care

Eliz Arden Cream 1Complete 8 Hour Skin Care Set

~ What ~
This set by the famous cosmetic company focuses on 8 hours of skin protection. With the 1.7 ounces of 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant, the 0.5 ounce 8 Hour Nourishing Lip Balm, and the 1 ounce of 8 Hour Intensive Hand Treatment Moisturizer, all skin is covered with a combination of petrolatum, a skin-soothing beta-hydroxy that includes Vitamin E. The three items arrive in a colorful red gift box with information of active and inactive ingredients, uses, warnings, and directions.

~ Why ~ Eliz Arden Cream 2
Now that I am in my late fifties, my skin is aging quickly. Born and raised in Southern California, needless to say, I have wrinkled, dry skin. I like that the skin protectant is a thick transparent tannish-looking cream that easily rubs into the skin, leaving a shine without it being greasy. The lip balm is a transparent beige color that glides onto my lips and lasts for hours, especially if applied right before bedtime. The all-white hand cream absorbs into the skin quickly, leaving it pliable and soft.

~ Why Not ~
If you do not ritualistically apply moisturizers to your body, you may not want to consider this product, but it does help with consistent use to keep the dryness at bay. Those who already have oily skin may not want to add more oil-based products to their nightly regimen. Some may wish the lip balm had more potency than SPF20.

~ Wish ~
My only complaint was that protectant had a chemical smell, but since I am only applying it at bedtime, its scent goes away after a few minutes.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a set of three products to keep your dry skin moist and soft, this would be an excellent choice.

Thanks to Cosmetideals for this discounted product that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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