Tibetan Singing Bowl


I recently learned about Tibetan Singing Bowls. One of the therapists at the Veteran’s Center brought one into our group session and explained how people who have experienced trauma may have heightened sensitivity to stimuli such as noise. He hit the bowl with the mallet and asked us all to raise our hands when we no longer heard the ringing. Some people raised their hands at similar times, but generally, everyone heard the ring for different lengths of time.

The bowl was also incorporated into mindfulness exercises to help us focus on being in the present. Focusing on the moment, in the now, and not in the past or thoughts or fears of the future. Many of those moments of the past and future, rob us of our ability to remain in the present and enjoy life as it is today.

I was excited when I found out I would have the opportunity to review a Tibetan Hand Hammered Singing Bowl. The timing couldn’t be better as we have had a lot of changes in our household and in our schedules with the new semester. With a lot of change, comes a lot of challenge and stress for our family.

This set comes with a HAND HAMMERED TRADITIONAL BOWL that is crafted of seven different metals including copper, iron, tin, lead, zinc, silver, and gold using the genuine Tibetan techniques. Included in the box is also green silk cushion with green tassels. A wooden mallet with a leather wrapped end is also included to strike and circle the bowl. There is also a matching green silk drawstring bag which matches the pillow. The whole set comes carefully wrapped in bubble wrap inside a nice branded gift box.

This set would make a nice gift for yourself or a loved one who may benefit from a little extra meditation or relaxation.

The tassels on the pillow seemed a little awkward, however, for me the pillow serves its purpose to simply hold the bowl and let the ringing resonate. The mallet is sturdy. Spots of my mallet were a little rough and could use a little more sanding. The bowl has good tone quality. It rings well when struck with the mallet. When you circle the bowl with the mallet against the outer edge of the bowl (after you strike it) it sings well and can get quite loud. After some time and experimentation you can learn to increase and decrease the volume of the ringing. It is a nice tool to focus and relax with. Based on my experience, I would recommend this set and I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars as I do like it. I think that a couple of slight adjustments would easily perfect it.

It is always nice to know that a company stands behind their products. The maker, Yak Therapy wants their consumers to be perfectly happy with their singing bowl sets, so they offer a 100% money back guarantee.

Disclaimer: I received this Tibetan Singing Bowl Gift Set for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. I am not affiliated with the seller in any way and all opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation, nor am I required to give a positive review.

Crab Rangoons #Yum

Last night, I made crab rangoons for the first time. I was so happy that they came out so delicious! Most of them were more picturesque, but I didn’t get a chance to take a pic before they were scarfed up (the last few had a little cream cheese leak out but they tasted just as good). A friend asked if I’d share the recipe so I thought I’d post it here too.

I made homemade crab rangoons for the first time. #yummy #cooking #chinesefood

A post shared by Desiree (@dthompson207) on

Crab Rangoon Recipe

 Makes About 16 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: About 5 Minutes

 Ingredients:

1 brick (8 oz) Kraft Philadelphia Regular Cream Cheese, softened
4 crab sticks finely diced (imitation crab meat or real if you prefer)
2 tablespoon powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
Dash of Worcestireshire Sauce
Green Onions finely diced or Dash of Onion Powder
Wonton Wrappers
Oil, for deep frying

Method:

Mix the cream cheese, crab meat, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Stir to blend well. Place about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Dab some egg on the outer edges of the wonton wrapper and fold the four corners to meet in the center and pinch the sides closed to prevent the filling from leaking out in your oil.

Use a deep-fryer or heat up a pot of oil for deep-frying and fry the crab rangoon until golden brown. (I used a small deep fryer and set the temperature at about 375 degrees.) Dish out with a strainer or slotted spoon, draining the excess oil by placing the crab rangoon on a wire rack.

Cook’s Notes:

Don’t serve the crab rangoon immediately after deep-frying as the filling will be too hot! Let the crab rangoons cool down a bit before serving them with sweet and sour sauce.

Letting Go of Grumps and Making Positives Instead

This morning, my loving fluff of a chow chow woke me out of a dead sleep not once, but twice. I was frustrated. Both times, I could’ve slept longer and peacefully uninterrupted if it wasn’t for her alarming “AWOOOWOOOWOOOWOOOOFFF!!!”

Rather than being grumpy about it or yelling at the dog… I chose to relax knowing that if it had been an intruder, my faithful companion had my back. For that, I am thankful!

Gizmo is super soft and cuddly. She is good company when my husband is gone, and still, when he is here. Most of the time when I look at her and she sees me looking at her, she wags her tail and smiles at me.

I’ve never seen a dog that really smiles like she does. Like seriously, I think my dog has duchesne smiles. Her little ears move and her eyes squint (there’s probably wrinkles and creases at the corners of her eyes under all of that fluff).

Gizmo Happy

I think she looks happy in this pic (but this is not one of her smiles, I will have to capture some of them at some point).

A Different Style Leather Wallet


This Ultra Slim Bifold Leather Wallet is different than any other wallet I’ve ever seen.

wallet

It is quite stylish. It has slots in each side for you to put your debit, credit, and gift cards in. When you are ready to use one of your cards, you pull the tab on the outside of the wallet and your cards slide out. The inside of the wallet has not pockets, but instead, there is a flexible money clip that holds paper money in place.

The wallet came presented in a nice black gift box and wrapped in white tissue paper. I think the tissue paper could’ve been skipped. The wallet is made of black leather with black stitching. The leather is thick but soft to the touch. It is embossed on the front with the brand logo. One pull-tab has red ribbon, while the other is black, and each has a black leather tab on the end.

The wallet that I received had quite a few scuff marks on the back and some on the inside of the wallet, which is not what I would expect when getting a new item and one that was packed so well.

Overall, I like the design of this wallet. It is nice.

Disclaimer: I received this wallet for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

SoundFit Plus Bluetooth Speaker: This Speaker Slays!


The AYL SoundFit Plus is on my Summer Checklist for sure! It is a solid bluetooth speaker great for listening to my favorite music! It came nicely and protectively packaged in a colorful, descriptive, and informative box. This speaker came with a micro-USB charging cable, and a user manual. The speaker is IP65 rated which means it is dust proof and can handle low pressure water jets (although I don’t intend to put mine in the bathtub). It features a 10 watt amp with two full range drivers on the front and a passive radiator on the rear for extra bass. The entire speaker is coated in silicone and has a thick, silicone carry handle.

There are four buttons on the top of the speaker which include power (also used for pairing), lower volume (also skip back), play/pause (also used for answer/end) and volume up/skip forward. I found I had to push down pretty hard and hold it to power on the speaker. It’s a little harder to push the buttons than I thought it would be perhaps because of the silicone. There is a threaded mount on the bottom of the speaker for putting the speaker on a tripod, or mounting it on handlebars, etc. On the right side of the speaker is the micro-USB charging port and 3.5mm audio in jack which are hidden under a large silicone flap. I wasn’t able to get the flap to seal again after I pulled it open so I wouldn’t want to drop this in the water now (for me that doesn’t change much because even if something is waterproof, it doesn’t mean I want to get it wet, especially when it comes to electronics. Just sayin’.) It is something to be aware of and hopefully something the company may address in the future if this speaker being waterproof is really important.

The speaker also has a light on the front which is helpful to show it’s on/off/pairing status. It also plays tones at power on and power off. Pairing with the speaker is quick and easy and the speaker can remember multiple devices.

This speaker is convenient to use. It has a 12 hour battery life and 3 hour charge rating. It has great sound quality and gets quite loud. My family and I have really enjoyed using it lately, especially sitting outside listening to music and enjoying the summer weather and campfires. It would also be great to bring to the beach. For the price (especially on sale and with Prime shipping), I think it’s a great deal!!

Overall I am very happy with this speaker and with the sound quality, output, battery life, and durability of this speaker. (It’s taken a couple of drops like nothing and still works fine). It also comes with a lifetime warranty! I would highly recommend this Bluetooth speaker for music lovers and beach-goers. It is highly portable and great for listening to music anywhere!!!

Disclaimer: I received this Bluetooth speaker for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

My Dogs are Wild about Wyldlife Bully Sticks and Beef Tendons


I’m not sure who was more excited about these Wyldlife Bully Sticks & Beef Tendons Combo Pack, me or my dogs. Upon further thought, I might have to say my Pekingese, Gremlin, actually was the most excited. When I started opening the box, it was hard to tell he is a senior dog. He stood up and sat on his back legs patiently while I finished opening the dogs and package to give him a bully stick.

Gremlin begging for bully

He and my Chow, Gizmo, each happily chewed away on a bully stick. Despite chewing vigorously on them for about an hour, most of the sticks still remained.
The sticks had a slight smell, which was just noticeable when taking them out of the package.

gremlin sniffing beef tendon

The Beef Tendons smelled a little like pork rinds. I gave a beef tendon to Gremlin and Gizmo. Gizmo took it and just laid it next to her (she takes a little while to warm up to new foods and treats at times). Gremlin chewed away and ate his beef tendon as quickly as he could get it down which took him about an hour. It might’ve been a little much for his digestive track, so next time, I would probably take it away after he ate about half.

When visiting family, we also shared the bully sticks with the family dogs (a lab and boxer). They loved them as well, the boxer chewed on it and strutted around the house with it proudly. The lab laid down and chewed like crazy; she was able to destroy a bully stick in about 10 to 15 minutes (she is a vigorous chewer and destroys even guaranteed indestructible toys…)

I felt good about feeding these all natural pet chews to my dogs, and they all were very pleased with them. I also liked that they were a long-lasting, one-size-fits-all treat for the dogs. I also like that they are made from animal parts that otherwise would be wasted. For these reasons, I would highly recommend Wyldlife Bully Sticks and Beef Tendons!

Disclaimer: I received the Wyldlife Bully Sticks and Beef Tendons combo pack at a discount in exchange for my honest, and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

Pain Away Essential Oil for Pain Relief


Since being in a car accident a few years ago, I have pain in my neck and shoulder area. Some days it is worse than others. I’ve tried stretching; I was told it was my trapezius but it is hard to get a good stretch. I’ve tried heating pads, over the counter medications, and icy hot. None of it really works for very long…

I received Pain Away recently, and admittedly, I was very skeptical that it would do anything. It came beautifully packaged and presented like a gift.

I tried it out on my trapezius. My husband also often has back pain related to his military service. After use, we both felt a bit better. I didn’t mind the scent, but my husband didn’t like the scent. Strangely, it didn’t bother him on his back, but he complained a little about the scent when I used it. It felt soothing and calming without feeling hot, numbing or tingling.

Based on my experience, I would recommend trying this organic product for pain relief.

Disclaimer: I received this oil for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

Another Snake to go down in history in Maine

About a week ago, I saw the first report about a large snake sighting in Westbrook, Maine. This is noteworthy because large snakes are not native to Maine. We also have some very cold winters that helps to keep things that way.

My family has exotic animals and used to have some snakes so I’ve handled some snakes before. I’m not a big fan of snakes. I don’t want one either, but I can touch and hold them without freaking out… but anyways…

The initial report says how a concerned person called in a report of a snake “about the length of a car and with a head the size of a soccer ball.” I have never seen one with a head like that, wow! (Yes, something tells you this person probably had a significant fear of snakes.) The story was later changed to a small ball.

I thought this might be a snake that some people might like to see. Since my brother lives in the area, I joked how maybe he could swing by and pick her up after work. (Being a part of a family with a zoo, you know how traveling to visit family sometimes goes along with strange errands of picking up and delivering animals, feed, or supplies.) Also, it was funny to me because my brother isn’t always keen on all of the animals, especially when we had snakes…

Move ahead to now, after about a week, the  Westbrook police have sighted this snake. It was said to be eating a “large mammal” at about 3:30am this morning. The large mammal was said to possibly be a beaver. Now, I’m wondering, since when was a beaver a large mammal?!

I can see the headlines “Monster Snake Eats Beaver, Westbrook Police Keep Watch” which can only be made better by this picture:

How long will “Wessie,” as the snake has been named, be on the loose? How many beavers will this snake take down? Will we see this on an episode of North Woods Law? Hopefully, this doesn’t end up like the “Mean” cow incident in Auburn last week. And, if it doesn’t, will Wessie take less bullets than Bessie? (Still hard to believe that the cow kicked open the trailer door to escape on the ride to the slaughterhouse only to get 10 or 15 rounds from police in a lot filled with oxygen and propane tanks.)

Summertime in Maine Means More Iced Coffee


Summertime in Maine brings hot, humid weather. With that, I find myself drinking more iced coffee. Don’t get me wrong though, I do drink iced coffee year-round, which is one reason why I love the Willow and Everett Cold Brew Coffee Maker that I got recently.

It makes brewing your own iced coffee at home very easy. You just load the filter with coffee (preferable course). I didn’t have course ground coffee, so I used standard ground coffee, to test it out the first time. It still came out very good and the grinds didn’t slip through the filter on me.

I had a little spillage when I put the filter in the pitcher, but that was kind of my fault, oops. (I was excited and I wanted it filled to capacity). I think the directions could be a little clearer to help first time users.

The pitcher is a good size (32 oz) and can fit even in the door of a mini fridge. This would make it a great gift for students heading off to college. It takes minimal effort to make coffee, which means if you just fill it each day, you can wake up to fresh coffee the following day. Woot!

The worst thing about this Cold Brew Coffee Maker is that you have to wait a bit for the coffee (18-24 hours), BUT when it’s ready, it is absolutely worth the wait!! Yes, this cold brew coffee maker is seriously awesome!! It cleans up easily. A twin pack or a larger option would be cool too, that way one for home and one for work, or one for you and your friend, etc.

Based on my experience, I would highly recommend this cold brew coffee maker!

Disclaimer: I received this cold brew coffee maker at a discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

3-in-1 Slicer Makes Pitting and Slicing Avocado Easy-Peasy


Avocados really elevate a meal for me. I love them in salads, sandwiches, and tacos. I sometimes like guacamole but it really depends on the recipe. It’s usually something that I could take or leave, and usually it’s a leave…

When I get an avocado, I’m usually trying to cut it open with a knife to remove the pit and slice the fruit. Now I have a handy tool to make the job safe and easy so I don’t have to clumsily try to remove the pit which sometimes damages the fruit. And I don’t have to worry about accidentally slipping with the knife. (I haven’t ever cut or sliced my fingers doing it with a knife but it’s always a fear and definitely a risk.)

This 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer Tool is a must-have for avocado lovers! It makes cutting, pitting, and slicing avocados easy peasy. The pitter is my favorite part of the slicer because it helps me to easily remove the avocado pit which was always the trickiest part about doing it with a knife. Now I can remove the pit without worrying about cutting myself or squishing my fruit.

And for those times when you have some avocado leftover, you can store up to one half of an avocado in the plastic storage container that comes with the tool. Using the container helps to keep the avocado from browning and spoiling quickly. It also helps you to reduce waste since you don’t have to use a plastic bag or other disposable storage options.

Disclaimer: I received this tool at a deep discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.