Sunday, April 15, 2018

Favorite Floral Collage and the Domain Dilemma Continues!

This is one of my favorite collages. 
(click to enlarge)

A collection of just a few of the flower photos I've taken over the years.

That part of this post makes me smile.πŸ˜‚


Unfortunately, the second part doesn't.

And my apologies for yet another domain name related rant here. 

I am SO tired of this ongoing issue that I thought was finally getting settled this month. That hasn't happened.😣

When I checked for the

domain name that I wanted to go back to this month, turns out some domain company has bought it up in the meantime. Now, it won't be available again for ANOTHER year!! 

To say I was surprised and mad when I found out about this is putting it mildly. 

So now I'm debating what to do. 
I really don't want to revert back to a blogspot  domain but I can't waste anymore time with all this. 

As it is, I will have lots of work changing links in my eBooks, sites, this blog...but I wouldn't have to put up with lousy domain providers like Namecheap anymore. The company that caused all these problems to begin with.

So, for now, 

will work, but if and when I transition back to NO custom domain, I will be blogging at,

What I've learned from this experience and the advice I can pass on.... choose a domain provider VERY carefully (read lots of recent reviews at several different sites)and check their BBB rating. 

And most of all, stay away from 


The domain provider that has caused me all these problems and wasted HOURS and hours of my time. 

Buyer beware!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A Spring Haiku and Happy Easter!

I think robins ARE feathered talismans! 

🌞 Such lovely, lucky birds.🌞

I hope you and your family have a beautiful, sunny Easter weekend.πŸ˜‚


PS: I will be transitioning back to a .com domain here at My Real Life Reviews, sometime before the end of April. 

The new .xyz extension I've been using recently hasn't worked out very well. In April, the .com extension will be available again for sale, so I'm planning to go back to my original address as soon as it's possible to do so. 

So, if you don't find me at .xyz, the .com should be "kicking in" instead. And hopefully I'll get my traffic back to where it was and put this whole blog domain journey behind me. It's been one big hassle I could have done without.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Happy Spring and Still Working on My Blog Address Transition

Happy Spring!

Don't you just love gorgeous, fluffy clouds? I sure do. 😊

This blog address transition to .xyz extension (previously .com) turned out being a bigger task than I expected. 😣

All of the links I have in the sidebar here have to be changed (one at a time) to my new .xyz extension! I didn't expect that, but I am slowly getting them updated and my blog traffic is starting to go up again too.

🌷🌷Speaking of sidebar links, if anyone has any idea how to get them to work on Blogger now (I haven't been able to add new sidebar links for years) please let me know. 🌷🌷

I really miss being able to actually add links to new reviews, and not just the product name listed instead, on my blog sidebar here.

I hope your early spring days have been happy ones so far.

It's been mild here on Vancouver Island but we did get one small blast of snow. I liked it but I don't miss the annual snow I grew up with, most of the time.😊

I'm working on a couple of new reviews too, I will get those posted as soon as this blog address change is completely finished, hopefully by the end of this week.

For now....Hugs and Happy Week! πŸ˜‚

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Spring Fever and Two Upcoming Blogger Address Changes

No, this tulip photo doesn't have anything to do with my upcoming Blogger address changes.  

But I'm "itchin" for spring already (earlier than most years for my annual case of "spring fever").  I thought it would be nice to share a tulip photo, until the real ones appear again. πŸ˜€

 Here on Vancouver Island, that happens fairly early!


As for the address/changes, they apply to both of my Blogger sites:

My Real Life Reviews

will have the web address:


Geraldine Helen Hartman

will have the web address:


I am switching domain service providers after my recent issues with NameCheap that were never rectified. 

NameCheap is still a company I would definitely avoid, if you are looking for a website or domain provider. They caused me a lot of extra work and hassle in the past year. 

You can read more here re: my Namecheap experience.


The easiest way to find me online at my Blogger sites is just to type in: 

My Real Life Reviews


Geraldine Helen Hartman

and my sites will come up, without any domain extension required for search. 

But just to make it official, LOL, the new domains I am transitioning to shortly will both end in extension .xyz

Thanks for your continued support and readership at all my sites, it is appreciated!πŸ˜€

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses, Heavenly Night Cream

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses, Heavenly Night Cream

This is one of the top 5 night creams that I've EVER used!

With winter's arrival (albeit a mild one, here on Vancouver Island) I am back to using night cream, on a nightly basis. This one from Andalou Naturals, I am sold on!

So rich and creamy and it actually does something! My facial skin looks smooth, firm and with a lot less pores visible, after only a couple of weeks use.

A little goes a long way so you don't need to apply much before smoothing into skin.

The rose scent is SO nice but I did do a skin patch test on my arm for 48 hours before using on my face, to insure I wouldn't have a reaction.No problems in this regard but it has a definite scent. You can't get much better than a beautiful, natural- smelling rose scent and this is what this cream delivers!

I usually buy non-scented products but this rose line from Andalou has me hooked!!! I also use their 1000 Roses Body Lotion as a hand cream and it is wonderful too. 

The current price at Amazon for this night cream is very good at less than $18. for a 1.7 ounce jar. Similar products with this quality of ingredients often sell for a lot more.

Here's some additional information from the Amazon product page:


Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Purified Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Glyceryl Stearate, Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Plant Stem Cells (Alpine Rose, Malus Domestica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Stearyl Alcohol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Soothing Complex: [Sodium Hyaluronate, Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract, Boswellia Serrata (Boswellin) Extract], Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*†, Bisabolol, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil*, Panthenol, Tocopherol, Allantoin, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Distillate*, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Juice*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract*†, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Extract*†, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Rose Isolates, Vanilla Isolates, Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Flower Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil* 

*Certified Organic Ingredients

 †Fair Trade Ingredients


If you've been looking for a night cream with more natural ingredients, a reasonable price and one that actually DOES something, give this one a try. 

Especially nice for rose lovers!!! 😊

Overall rating for this product: Excellent. 5 out of 5.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Holiday Cookbook Sale 2017 :-)

I am having a holiday cookbook sale for my first (print) cookbook,


for the rest of November and the month of December.

You can read all the details here.


Happy Cooking and Happy Holidays!!!

Monday, October 16, 2017

My NameCheap Nightmare!!!

NameCheap, What Happened???

How does a company go downhill SO FAST??? πŸ˜ 

I have been using NameCheap as my domain provider for my two blogs, for many years. 

Up until recently, they have provided acceptable and at times, even excellent service. That unfortunately has all changed.

With my recent email switchover from MYWAY (now out of business) to GMAIL, in Sept. and Oct. I had hundreds of email updates to complete. Most of them went without a glitch and took a few minutes each to complete. 

Not so with NameCheap! 

As of today, I have been trying for over 3 weeks to complete what should have been an easy email update with them. 

They seem to have a glitch at their end, not allowing my (and probably for lots of other people) a GMAIL account to be used as my new email address with them.

Their support staff refuses to acknowledge this glitch at their end and keep telling me to go through the same useless steps, over and over and over!!!

You read that correctly, WEEKS to update an email address!!! 

And it's still not done.

You can read my complete update here and also note my rating for NameCheap which I previously had at 5 out of 5. They have now slipped to a 1 out of 5. 

Speaking of 1, I also noted that at the Better Business Bureau, their current rating is also a 1, F!!!! That I'm not surprised by either.

If you are looking for a domain provider, hosting service....BEWARE!!! 😠

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Taming Hair Bangs the Easy Way!

I like having hair bangs, but up until this week, never found a way to get them to "lay down " and stay down and not being a pain....with ends sticking this way and that, etc. 


If you have unruly hair, I'm sure you can relate!!

I happened to find this Youtube video that was so helpful for this hair issue. 

I simplified the process quite a bit, I don't have one of the "fancy" brushes she recommended but I do have one that looks very similar.

Andalou Naturals Sunflower & Citrus Medium Hold Styling Gel - 6.8 oz

I also only added one styling product, a bit of Andalou natural hair gel (click link to read reviewto my bangs, before I proceeded to the blow-drying method she recommends in this video.

The results are GREAT!!! 

My bangs are smooth and tamed, all day long, even when the weather is humid. And here on Vancouver Island, there is a lot of humidity!πŸ˜€

The idea of 'retraining" the roots of the bang hairs is brilliant. 

 I have tried everything I could think of in the past to keep my bangs smooth and in place, nothing worked. This quick and easy method of blow-drying is simple but different and it does work, every time!

I know this is not a regular review but I was so pleased to find this video, I thought it might be helpful to some of my readers too. πŸ‘©

I don't have access to my cameras right now, that's why I didn't share a photo too. 

Have a super weekend and week to come! 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Autumn 2017 Kindle Book Promos!


πŸ’–πŸ’–Autumn Kindle Book PromosπŸ’–πŸ’–


Stop by the "What's New" page at my new Author's Blog:

for dates and all the details!

PS: Sharing at your social media pages, blogs etc....and reviews, most appreciated! 😊


πŸ’–Happy Autumn Reading and Cooking too!πŸ’–

Monday, September 11, 2017

Happy Autumn and Email Address Update

Happy Autumn!!

 My fav season is almost here again! 😁

Effective immediately, please use one of the following new email addresses to contact me:

For review requests and anything pertaining to My Real Life Reviews, please use:

myreallifereviews   @  gmail  .com   (spaces removed)

For emails pertaining to my own eBooks, books, etc...please use:

geraldine  h hartman   @  (spaces removed)


***PS: If anyone knows how to delete a gmail account, could you let me know?***

 I ended up with a couple extra gmail accounts that I don't actually need and can't find a way to delete them. When I tried, Google wouldn't allow this. Go figure???

I'm working my way through the learning process there and also switching over all my accounts from myway. That email provider is unfortunately going out of business as of the first of October.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Super 6 in 1 Metal Tool Pen

Super 6 in 1 Metal Tool Pen

Joe recently had a birthday and I was looking for some unique ideas for gifts. I found this 6 in 1 metal tool pen at Amazon and he loves it!


   Joe is a "handy guy" so this seemed like something he would actually use, not just put in a drawer somewhere and forget about it. And that's what happened. He carries this tool pen around with him all the time and actually USES it! 


And whenever he shows it to someone, they want one too! πŸ˜‰

I got the silver one for him and it is really a nice looking metal pen. The other colors look good too, and there are several to chose from at Amazon and  also 

The 6 functions include: a writing pen (of course!) and it writes nice and smoothly, a small carpenter's level, a stylus for using with computer/tablet screens, 2 kinds of screwdrivers and a ruler.

This pen is currently on sale for less than $8. at Amazon, so a real bargain too!

I haven't seen anything nicer in stationary stores for a reasonably- priced, specialty pen like this and at those places, I KNOW this one would cost more.

Some other nice things about this pen... It came in a slim, velvety pouch for gift-giving and was also boxed nicely on the outside. 

I also had noted that some other reviewers had mentioned receiving several pen refills with their order. When I mentioned to that I hadn't received any refills with mine, they refunded the full purchase price and let me keep the pen, in lieu of not getting extra refills. Now that's my idea of great service! 😊

If you have a handy (or not so handy) guy in your life or just like unique pens, you might want to give this one a try. 

I think these pens would also make EXCELLENT stocking- stuffers at Christmas too. A gift to be enjoyed all year round and for years to come.

 If you want to stock up for gifts and/or for yourself, click through to read more and to purchase.

Overall rating for this product: Excellent. 5 out of 5

Friday, June 30, 2017

Favorite Summer/Beach Reads 2017!

What A Great Season for Reading! πŸ˜€

When the temperature soars and my to-do list has been checked off for the day, there is nothing I find more relaxing than chilling-out with a favorite summer book.

The books featured below are some of my personal favs, when it comes to summer reads.

And please DO share a title or two of any beach/summer reads you particularly enjoy. 

I'm always on the lookout for new books to read and to review too.

Happy Reading and Happy Summer Too! 

The cover and title of this book got my attention right away. 

And the story itself did not disappoint, I loved this book!
From the Amazon product page:

The Jersey Shore has always been known for warm sand, lively boardwalks, and the promise of carefree summer days. This season the small scenic town of Ocean Point, New Jersey, is not nearly as carefree as tourists would hope. The discovery of the body of a young woman is the first in a string of seemingly random and senseless murders, murders connected only by a warning from the same boardwalk fortune-teller.

It’s a crisis that puts local detective Mitch Burns on edge, and his job in jeopardy. It’s up to him to solve the crimes and protect the livelihood of the town, a livelihood that relies almost entirely on tourists. With the help of newly hired local reporter Elise Jenkins, the two step out to discover who the killer is, before another body is found."

I read this eBook in a couple of afternoons. It kept my attention to the very last page. Suspense, romance, intrigue...and up until the last couple of chapters, I had NOT guessed who the real killer was. I like that. Nothing too predictable here.
Laura Bradford is an excellent writer. Her characters are realistic and easy to visualize. The story moved along at a good pace, with no filler or lag time, which has been too often the case with some other stories I've been reading recently.

A couple of  reviewers at Amazon did make negative comments about the religious undertone of this book but I disagree.

 I am not an overly religious person and I don't like being "preached" at in a story of any kind. That REALLY turns me off and in a big way. But I didn't find the religious references in Deadly Readings over the top or superfluous. They were a part of the story that fit. 


 Sea Glass Hearts
If you aren't familiar with this author/artist's work, she uses a process called scannography and takes seemingly ordinary objects like stones and shells and transforms them into images, books, prints and collections that are uniquely beautiful. 
Sea Glass Hearts is a collection of sea glass and stone images with some lovely poems and poetic phrases to accompany many of the photos.

If you happen to be land-locked and have never seen any sea glass, it is pieces of broken glass that have been washed up along shorelines and polished and smoothed into shapes by the waves and sand.

In this particular book by Josie Iselin, the theme is all about heart-shapes.
The special meanings of this symbol for so many people: the core of our being, the lifeforce and strength, the qualities we value and strive for...lovely and thought-provoking imagery to consider and savour, paging through this book.

 For me, it has a calming, grounding effect to browse through the pages of this book, especially when I take the time to read the text that accompanies the breath-taking photos throughout. 

Ms. Iselin has created magic with her photos and her words.
This book would make a special and memorable gift for someone you love or even as a special thank you or housewarming gift, to enjoy as a small "coffee table" book, in a new home.

I like to keep my copy close at hand so that I can pick it up when I'm feeling stressed and spend a few minutes in quiet contemplation, slowly savoring the pages.

 You're in for a visual treat! 


The Litigators

Although I'm no longer much of a fan of John Grisham's (newer) books, this one was just terrific! 

What did I like about this book? In a nutshell: everything!

 Entertaining from the first page to the last. Characters that literally  "jump off the page" with their authenticity. A page-turner that I read in two days and that would have been even less time, if I hadn't had other things I had to do. 

I really couldn't put this one down!

So what made this one different from other John Grisham books I've enjoyed ? I found myself laughing so much as I was reading along.  
Really loud, can't stop, side-splitting laughter. πŸ˜

Not that there isn't usually some clever, witty content, in most of  earlier Grisham's books. 
But several parts of this particular book are truly hilarious in addition to the usual suspense and drama that are in keeping with Grisham's writing style.

The twists and turns of the plot continue to the very last chapter. Complete with a satisfying ending that ties up all the loose ends.

A bit about the plot....

If ever there was a stereotype for a "seedy lawyerWally Figg is one of them and in spades. Wally and his partner world-weary Oscar Finley, have been waiting (and waiting) for that "big break" for over 20 years that will free them up from the "nickle and dime" cases they've been handling at Finley & Figg for far too long. 

Wally Figg (multiple divorcee) and his new, oh-so tacky girlfriend, DeeAnna provides a big part of the LOL's in this book. If ever there was a sleazy couple, made for each other, it's these two. Some clever "accounting practises" on the part of Wally also include DeeAnna. Suffice to say, it makes for some hilarious and engaging reading, throughout the story.

By a series of events, that seem to be coincidental at the time; a young, upwardly mobile but burnt-out and disillusioned lawyer by the name of David Zinc "lands" drunk as a skunk at their office one afternoon. This sets off a series of events that will change the course of Finley & Figg forever. 

From the Amazon product page:

     "The partners at Finley & Figg—all two of them—often refer to themselves as “a boutique law firm.” Boutique, as in chic, selective, and prosperous. They are, of course, none of these things. 
What they are is a two-bit operation always in search of their big break, ambulance chasers who’ve been in the trenches much too long making way too little. Their specialties, so to speak, are quickie divorces and DUIs, with the occasional jackpot of an actual car wreck thrown in. 
After twenty plus years together, Oscar Finley and Wally Figg bicker like an old married couple but somehow continue to scratch out a half-decent living from their seedy bungalow offices in southwest Chicago.

And then change comes their way. More accurately, it stumbles in. David Zinc, a young but already burned-out attorney, walks away from his fast-track career at a fancy downtown firm, goes on a serious bender, and finds himself literally at the doorstep of our boutique firm. Once David sobers up and comes to grips with the fact that he’s suddenly unemployed, any job—even one with Finley & Figg—looks okay to him. "


On My Own at 107

We had a large "free box" at our previous local library and on many a visit, I found a good book to take home from there. Sometimes better than what I found while browsing the library shelves. ;<)
This book is one of those gems! Inspiring from start to finish.
On My Own at 107 is a small but extraordinary book. I read the complete book in one session and loved every page.
This is the story of Sarah (Sweet Sadie) Delany, the surviving sister of the well-known Delany sisters who was left "on her own" at the amazing age of 107, after her beloved sister Annie Elizabeth (Bessie) died (at home) in the autumn of 1995 at the age of 104.
In this beautifully-written diary/memoir, Sadie must come to terms with the profound loss of her beloved sister's passing; sharing the heart-wrenching absence she feels on a daily basis in the house they shared together in Mount Vernon, NY since 1957, where Sadie continued to reside.
Both of these amazing women led long, healthy and inspiring lives.
Bessie (Annie Elizabeth) graduated from Columbia University's School of Dental and Oral Surgery in 1923 and was the second black woman licensed to practise dentistry in New York. For many years, she had a thriving dental practise in Harlem and was known as Dr. Bessie to her patients and throughout the black community.
Sadie (Sarah) attended the Pratt Institute and later Columbia University and earned a bachelor and masters degree. Sadie was the first black woman to teach domestic science at a high school level, in New York city.
They faced many challenges along the way as single,  black career women in a time when discrimination and segregation were still the norm, rather than the exception.
 Neither of the sisters ever married, although they both enjoyed the company and friendship of many suitors throughout the years. 
But most of all, it was their bonds of sisterhood and family that saw them through the storms and also the good times in life.
On My Own at 107 is a touching, unique, at times humorous and unforgettable story to read. And the only book I have ever noted at Amazon with all 5 star reviews!
For me, it was also a book filled with wisdom and inspiration as Sadie reminisced about the 104  years she shared with her sister Bessie. The good times, the lean years, the triumphs...all lovingly recalled and shared.
Not only does it share an amazing story, it also has a lovely presentation, with floral illustrations by Brian M. Kotsy featured throughout the pages. The beautiful flowers depicted in these illustrations were to showcase those grown by Bessie year after year, in her lovingly-tended garden that she cared for on her own, until her 98th year!
I did some checking and found this Wiki page for Sadie (Sarah) Delany. She lived two more years after Bessie's passing, to the age of 109! A life, very well lived. That of course goes for Bessie too. 

And it's so nice to picture them together again now! πŸ˜€


Every summer, I re-read the following two books.  

Two of my all-time favorite books and both make perfect choices for relaxing summer reading.


Beachcombing at Miramar by Richard Bode

I bought this book several years ago and after reading it once, proceeded to immediately buy numerous copies to give away as gifts. I was that impressed.

One close friend carried this book around in her purse for weeks. When she needed a ’stress break’ she would pull it out to enjoy a peaceful page or two. 

Another friend stayed up all night, not able to put the book down until the last page was enjoyed. I can relate, it really is that good.

For me, this was a life-changing book and one that touched me deeply.  

The story of Richard Bode’s journey from the rat race to a peaceful and contemplative life on a California beach at Miramar. A dream that for most people remains just that. 

But Bode went for it. Gave up his high-paying, high-pressure job and left behind the life he had always known (including a marriage that wasn’t working any more) to find himself. To live out his dream of a life filled with meaningful and one- of- a -kind “memory” days.
Beautifully written, this is a book you will never forget. A rare glimpse and chance to share an extraordinary life transition along with the author. 

I highly recommend this book to add to your summer reading list, if you haven’t read it already.


Summer’s Lease by John Mortimer

If lighter reading with plenty of laughs is what you are looking for; perhaps this next one will be more your cup/glass of iced tea. ;-)

This is the travel journal of an English family embarking on a trip to the Tuscany region of Italy. 

Mother Molly: plump, disillusioned with her marriage and the demands of motherhood, decides to respond to a rather cryptic newspaper ad for a Italian vacation rental. She takes a rather bold step (for her) and rents a “villa” in Tuscany for the summer and so begins the tale.

As one reviewer on Amazon so aptly put it:
 ” A delicious Italian dish; sun-drenched and garlic-scented novel” .

If you are looking for a fun, entertaining and well-written summer novel with a touch of suspense, mystery, romance and even strange water-shortages abounding….. you may want to give this one a try. 


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