Books to Read to Take Your Mind off of Coronavirus
2500 reviews can’t be wrong. Get this one.
Oh dang! 3800 reviews on this one AND it’s a heartbreaker. Sign me up!
No really, I have it on good authority that this book is truly excellent. A sad story for both hero and heroine, but a love story nonetheless. Free on Kindle Unlimited, or 3.99 on Kindle.
A recent review:
“What an absolute amazing read ! This book had me on the edge of my seat, on the verge of an anxiety attack for the main character and the “monster” in question makes my skin crawl when he speaks !
I love Grady Hendrixs books, all of which are 5 star for very different reasons.
If your looking for dark horror, read it. If your looking for character development and to be immersed in a world where monsters, close to home exist. Read it.”
Products and Services to Help Make Extra Money during the 2020 Pandemic
Fetch is one of the coolest apps I’ve come across.
This is such an interesting program that basically rewards you for shopping. From any store. Even online.
Okay, so here’s how it works.
(This post contains affiliate links. I’m required to say that.)
Download the app. Do your normal shopping. Take a photograph of your receipt and submit. Rack up points. Use points for discounts on products or services, or even gift cards. That’s it. I’m personally on track for a $50.00 gift card from Amazon and I’ve done nothing but typically monthly spending.
Some tips: some stores will give you a larger point amount that others. For example, a receipt from Target will earn you a lot more points than a receipt from say, your hairstylist.
It’s so easy and it’s a way to start saving for Christmas.
Here’s the link to the app And be sure to use code: 3J5UR to get a free 2000 points when you scan your first receipt.
If you have some clothes you no longer wear and would like to sell them online, this is one of the easiest apps to use.
We could all use a good decluttering session, right? So pick your best, clean items and start selling.
Just take some bright photos of your items and start listing them. The app is easy to use, provides a shipping label for you and charges a minimal fee per transaction (10% of selling price). And I’ll tell you what: there’s no better feeling than getting the notification that one of your items has sold.
Pro tip: if you notice your item has likes, or even “eyes” on it (i.e. many people have viewed it), but it’s not selling…consider “promoting” it instead of just dropping the price. Promoting it doesn’t cost you anything, and you can choose to send an offer to the people who have liked it, or you can just send a “hey, I’ve dropped the price” to people that have viewed it. I did this just today and within a few hours had a sale.
Here’s something else about the site: you can buy from it! Do you like Lululemon? How about Nike? Louis Vuitton? It’s all there and for deep, deep discounts.
Anyway, if you want to give it a go, you can save $10.00 on your first purchase by following this link: https://merc.li/cDeRjmR3b In addition, when you make your first $100 selling on Mercari you get $20.00!
Do you have a special talent? How about a skill that everyone seems to ask you about because they don’t know how to do it themselves? You should consider offering that skill as a gig on Fiverr. It’s basically a site where you create an ad for the low cost service you offer and people browsing the platform can hire you to perform the service.
I’ve considered using the site myself for graphic designers and book cover creators. I know a lot of people have used the site and have been very happy with the work.
Give it a try. You might discover a hidden business talent!
Here’s a link to a helpful article that talks about how to make money using Fiverr.
Two Vitamins To Help Keep You From Getting COVID-19
A healthy immune system can help prevent the virus from even knocking on our door. Here are some easy ways to put the “No Soliciting” sign out.
PS: I am not a doctor. The following is not medical advice. Please consult your physician before starting a new exercise regime or taking new supplements.
According to what I’ve read and discovered from many sources, we are all likely deficient in Vitamin D. How is this possible? Because we use sunscreen often (as we should) and because we all spend a lot more time indoors at jobs or school or at home, especially now because of COVID. We just aren’t getting the natural Vitamin D that we need. This is one of the reasons why supplementation is really important.
And Vitamin D is key in keeping our immune systems healthy and functioning. So much so that it’s being discovered that between groups of people who tested positive for COVID-19, folks that were higher in Vitamin D had less severe symptoms, while lower Vitamin D levels showed worse results. Here are some excerpts from an article on WebMD.
“The sickest patients often have the lowest levels of vitamin D, and that countries with higher death rates had larger numbers of people with vitamin D deficiency than countries with lower death rates.”
“Experts say healthy blood levels of vitamin D may give people with COVID-19 a survival advantage by helping them avoid cytokine storm, when the immune system overreacts and attacks your body’s own cells and tissues.”
Here’s a report from the Lancet, that in part, states:
“…Vitamin D supplementation could hold promise as a preventive or therapeutic agent for COVID-19”.
I take 5,000 IU every day and my teens take 1,000 IU every day. In addition to that we try to get natural sunlight, without sunscreen, earlier in the day, for at least 20 minutes.
Vitamin D is like rocket fuel to our immune systems, and that is exactly what we need to help fight this virus — and the future viruses to come.
Chronic inflammation is an enemy when it comes to a healthy body and a healthy immune system. Too much inflammation in the body signals to the immune system that there is something wrong, something to fight, or something to heal. And an immune system that is constantly turned “on” and functioning on red alert can actually be harmful to us. See this article from Harvard Health:
“Inflammation is like a fire in your body you cannot see or feel. “It’s a smoldering process that injures your tissues, joints, and blood vessels, and you often do not notice it until significant damage is done,” says Dr. Andrew Luster, of the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. The damage might show up as arthritis, heart disease, stroke, and even Alzheimer’s disease.”
And in the fight against COVID-19, keeping our levels of inflammation down, and therefore our immune systems on standby (as opposed to full-on battle), is the goal.
Something that can help with that is Tumeric.
Tumeric, it turns out, is kind of a sleeper agent in the world of supplements. Here we’ve had access to it all along and have only been (scarcely) using it in only the most adventurous recipes.
Tumeric is the rockstar of anti-inflammation. It helps with swollen joints, achy muscles, and general body stiffness from too much gluten or even mild arthritis. My sister had a total spinal fusion and she swears by the healing properties of turmeric that help her maintain mobility every day. Do some research and check it out for yourself. This might become your new best friend.
Products to Help with Overall Health Right Now
Protein. It’s a favorite word for health aficionados. It seems like everywhere you look someone is selling their favorite brand or formula. And I admit, I’ve tried just about every single one out there. Personally I feel like extra protein is something that can’t be a bad thing. Many of our foods are lacking in adequate protein, and with our busy lifestyles, it seems like a protein supplement can help keep our bodies well. And not just to help build muscle (although muscle does burn fat!), but it’s also good to help with our dietary needs in general.
We tend to overeat in the U.S. We eat on the run. We eat standing up. We eat a lot of the time without really thinking about what it is we are putting into our bodies. And we snack. A lot.
This protein powder helps combat all of that, and it’s dairy and gluten free and Keto friendly. And, it has the best taste of any protein powder I have ever tried. Ever! And I’ve tried probably close to a hundred different brands. I promise, this is the best yet.
And this goes along with just helping to keep ourselves in better overall health as we trudge through this pandemic.
I heard about this brand while listening to a podcast that interviewed the creators of the supplement. I found it to be really interesting and decided to buy it based on a few facts:
First, it’s a spore-based probiotic which means it is more effective at survival (which goes more with fact #2, below).
Second, this probiotic has better survivability than just about any other probiotic out there (due to the spore-base). This means, among other things, that it will survive our crazy harsh stomach environment and allow our bodies to absorb the probiotic. Most probiotics get to the stomach and basically can’t get past the gatekeepers there.
And third, it contains a patented strain called Bacillus Indicus HU36®, that produces antioxidants in the digestive system. How cool is that!
I’m not going to lie: this stuff is spendy ($49.99 at last check). But, it’s a lot cheaper than all the stuff we buy to treat things that probiotics can help prevent (breakouts, eczema, rashes, indigestion, candida, digestive issues, etc. etc.) To me, that’s money well spent.
Products to Help Keep You Looking Your Best During COVID-19
The worst part about using these strips is waiting for your hair to grow out to an acceptable waxing length :).
These little babies are perfect for underarm waxing, facial waxing, and, even though it says not to…your bikini line. And they are a lot cheaper than paying for the service in person.
They have small sizes for faces and small areas, and larger strips for underarms and legs. Each package comes with after waxing cloths which get rid of any wax residue and also soothe skin that might feel irritated, and the facial waxing kit comes with a roll on after wax cooling serum.
I’ve tried them. I love them. The End.
I once read that as we age, we need to treat our faces like a leather couch. And how do you keep a leather couch from cracking? You oil it and keep it hydrated and moisturized. Well, the same is true for our faces.
And here’s the interesting part: putting oil on oily skin will actually decrease your normal oil production. Crazy, right? But it makes sense if you think about it. What do we do to our skin to decrease oil? We use toners and astringents, right? And what does that cause? It causes our skin to produce more oil because we have stripped it all away. By using facial oils on our skin we are communicating that we have enough oil already and don’t need our skin to produce any more, thank you.
I have tried this product and I love it. I use it every night and every day. It’s not heavy and it soaks right in.
Here is the truth: I had custom whitening trays made for my teeth after I had my braces removed (as an adult, thank you very much) and I buy the peroxide whitening gel from my dentist.
Crest Whitening Strips do a better job of whitening my teeth than those things.
It’s true. I don’t know why they work better, but they do. And as you know I am a MAJOR coffee drinker, so this testimony is golden, baby.
Full disclosure: I have only had this immediate success with this particular Crest product: the 1 Hour Express. It’s spendier ($47.00), but wow does it work. I’m addicted.
Products to Help Keep Your Cleaning Costs Down During a Pandemic
I wish I had taken a video of this product in action because I was shouting at my kids while I was using it, “OH MY GOSH, THIS THING IS AMAZING!”
So I have a dog.
Sometimes…actually, quite often, my dog throws up.
Sometimes he makes it outside in time and other times, not so much.
He used to throw up in the toilet but that’s a story for another time.
So, he recently had a 24 hour bout with a stomach virus or something (probably COVID), and he was throwing up about every hour or so for basically 4 hours.
I was able to get him out the door for all but one occasion, and unfortunately I didn’t realize he had thrown up inside the house until the next day…when it was dried into my carpet.
Now, this vomit wasn’t clear colored and it wasn’t a small amount. He had eaten food again by this time so it was a nice dark brown color and there was a lot. TMI?
Obvs when I found it I freaked out and grabbed my mini bissell cleaner.
You guys, this is what I should have videoed because after two passes with the cleaner, the stain was completely 100% gone! It sounds too good to be true but I am telling the honest truth. This cleaner took the stain and horrible smell out of my carpet completely, all in about 5 minutes’ time.
I’ve used it on my stairs, in my car (coffee stains, anyone?), on little spills that the kids make, and on big animal oopsies like I described above.
This little tool is my number one top favorite cleaning tool ever. If we ever have a fire (God forbid), this will be something I take out of the house with me.
Do you have hard water?
I didn’t know if I had hard water, but I knew this: my toilets suddenly all had dark rings around the interior bowl right along the water line. They looked like mold rings that hadn’t been scrubbed away. But no matter how hard I scrubbed, they never came off.
And then I read about this miracle pumice stone and how it takes away the hard water stains.
You just clean your toilet like normal and then you take the pumice stone and scrape it along the stain. And guess what? The stain comes off! It’s like magic! No more ugly looking stain in your toilet.
Super easy and super affordable.
And finally: news regarding my next novel, Definitely, Maybe.
I’m editing the last four chapters of the manuscript. Please forgive me if you’ve signed up to Beta Read and you are wondering if I’ve forgotten about you. I haven’t. I’m just overwhelmed with my day job, COVID, and school for my teens. Thank you a million times over for sticking around and being patient. You can’t imagine how much that means to me.
Stay well, and here’s my virtual hug and kiss (xx, oo)