A love letter to Audible

Listening.

 

Dear Audible,

I was late to your party, I thought I had experienced audio books and didn’t feel the need to add one more digital subscription to my life.  I feel like I should apologize for those early thoughts seeing as how you have become such a huge influence in my day to day life.

I am a person who does not have dyslexia, living with three people who do.  Two of them are my children and it took me awhile to figure all that out.  I thought that maybe my kids were late bloomers, or I had not spent enough time on spelling, or they weren’t trying very hard or I hadn’t found the right kind of books to get them hooked on independent reading.  Then one day, my husband was working from home and got the “up-close and personal” view of our homeschool day.  “Hmmmm,” he said, “hearing the kids go through their school day reminded me a lot of my own frustrations in school.  Dyslexia can be genetic, we should have them tested.”

The rest is history, or maybe I should say a new beginning.  A beginning that had me whole heartedly determined that my kids were not going to miss out on a love of literature.  But there is the reality that I cannot read out loud all day every day, also some books are HARD to read out loud and some don’t interest me, like what ever book came after “The Lightening Thief”!  Audible doesn’t get tired or loose it’s voice, Audible doesn’t have to stop to switch the laundry or make dinner, Audible doesn’t force my kids to ONLY listen to “mom-approved quality” literature, it offers them everything, all the time.

That’s the first part, you helped my kids, and that’s huge but you also helped us as a family.  You’ve given us shared friends, shared stories, shared experiences.  We spent a month of evenings listening to, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas” together.  We laughed, held our breath, sighed with relief, and occasionally fell asleep together.  We loved the shared time so much that we did “The Wind in the Willows” right after it.  A long car trip would not be complete without a “Harry Potter” book, but we’ve sprinkled in dozens of others for the shorter trips in our life.  A few favorites are “The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict”, “The Chronicles of Prydain”, “Whittington”.  Without this audio option my husband would miss out on all of these stories, all of these experiences and people that my kids talk about.

Please keep adding to your library, please keep improving based on the suggestions of your loyal community, please keep your costs affordable so anyone and everyone can enjoy the beauty of being read a story.

Many thanks.

Your loyal customer and big fan,

Diane

 

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Product Review: Hail Merry Macaroons

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image via Hail Merry

What does one talk about after a cleanse?  Chocolate!  As I get closer and closer to banishing refined sugar completely from my life, I’ve come to regard Hail Merry as a shining beacon as I cruise the grocery store. These chocolate macaroons are a staple in our house.  I can stare at Chocolate Covered Katie all day long, BUT when it comes to treats and sweets I, like most Americans, like sweets made for me and ready to go as soon as the inclination hits.  However, I have no interest in reaching for a Snickers to satisfy, it needs to be high quality, with amazing flavor and no ingredients that my 8 year old would have trouble reading.  These guys have no refined sugar plus they are GF, contain raw oils, are vegan, kosher and non GMO certified – whew, that’s some cred, but the crowing jewel is that they are delicious.  My husband loves these before a pre-dawn bike ride, I love them for a 3:00 break with Rooibos tea, my 6 year old son loves them, my daughter “hates coconut” so refuses to even touch one of these but she happily downs another Hail Merry treat (that also contains loads of coconut – go figure).  Also, Susan O’Brien, the founder of Hail Merry and inventor of these genius treats lives in Dallas, so it’s just another small way I can support my local community and a woman owned business.  Not to worry if you don’t live in the great state of Texas,  Hail Merry is distributed nationwide.

So although, I owed you guys a review of Gnosis Chocolate, I’m going to go with the solid advice of, “if you don’t have anything nice to say…..”   One thing I will say IF you are dying for a chocolate bar and looking for a high quality sure thing I like Green and Blacks (try to go for 70% cacao or above), also Lilly’s if you want to go completely sugar free (however they do contain soy).

Happy yummy snacking!


Product Review: Tammy Fender Epi Peel

Tammy Fender

I first heard about Tammy Fender on goop.  I know the benefits of regularly exfoliating my body, you guys know I like my skin brushing, but I’d never given much thought to my face beyond the use of a face cloth.  I think early years with St. Ives Apricot facial scrub tainted my idea of how I should be exfoliating neck and up.  After reading about the benefits, the absence of the major beauty no-no’s and the hundreds of comments that tout this Epi Peel as a “miracle worker”, I was up for giving facial exfoliation another go.

Tammy Fender Epi Peel – The product itself is tiny, the diameter of the container is about silver dollar size and the price tag is fairly hefty at $80.00 for 1.9 oz.  After washing my face, once a week, I reach for this tiny package and begin my gentle “wax on wax off” action.  The directions are to gently massage with damp fingers and then leave on for 5 minutes.  This kind of thing is usually a breaker for me, I don’t want to sit around with white bumpy things all over my face for 1 minute let alone 5, but the words “miracle worker” roll back through my brain and there I sit letting the Epi Peel due it’s thing.

The result is truly impressive, I get that “just had a facial” glow after using.  Even after 2 months of regular weekly use I can still tell a difference on the days I use this product.  I’ll even dip in to this stuff twice in a week if date night is on the calendar.  Final answer – even with the price tag, I’ll buy this again.


Product Review: Brahms Mount

Over 20 years, that’s how long our blanket from Brahms Mount has been in my husband’s life.

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I have a J. Crew skirt that’s about 15 years old, but that’s about as far back as my possessions go.  Brahms Mount is an American company based in Maine with American made products that are beautifully basic and quietly luxurious.  Not organic but made of natural fibers and manufactured with “earth friendly practices” plus our personal quality test of daily use, thousands of washings and nightly games of tug-a-war puts this product in the BUY AGAIN category for us.  Another lovely thing is that they still carry the exact blanket that we own – that NEVER happens!  My husband and I both are notorious for falling in love with things that get discontinued.  The cotton is the perfect weight in the summer, helps add warmth in the winter under our comforter, super soft, easy to clean, dries quickly.  Also, drum roll please, free domestic shipping!

P.S. If you like celebrity endorsements, this lady likes them too!

 


Product Review – Manuka Raw Honey

It is not often you can get the very best of something for under $100.00, at least that was my husband’s argument when he came home from the grocery store with $40.00 honey.

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That was a couple years ago, since then we’ve looked into why manuka honey can cost $40.00 and beyond.  It has to do with the “active” number you see on the package, the higher the number the higher the cost.  The number refers to the concentration of methylglyoxal (MG) which has strong “antibacterial powers and antibiotic effects”, according to webMD.  We like it because it tastes like heaven.  Our daughter uses it instead of butter on her toast, I use it to make this beauty tea and it turns out I’m not the only one.  Certainly not an everyday indulgence, but I love having this little pot of gold on our pantry shelves, it somehow makes the occasional sore throat a little less awful.

P.S.  Still cleansing, just trying out a new section for the blog, I’m making these “Product Reviews” a new thing, hope you like them.