New Feeds December & January

I took a sneaky month off from posting my new feeds, but this month we are back, baby!

New blogs to the feed reader since 30 November –

Amarachi Ukachu
And Then We Laughed
Balancing Meanderings
betweenthewires
Champagne and Chips
Cozy Cape Cottage
Engrish.com
Expat Eye On Germany
Goodnight, Cheese
her moon – her stars
Hollywood Housewife
Hotly Spiced
I Try:The Additive Property of Happiness
Just a Northern Girl
kelly’s kinda crazy
Linda’s wildlife garden
Medal Slut
Miscriant
Natalie Patalie
Not Entirely Perfect
Running My Butt Off
silverbells steps out
Stress and Stars
Suburban Tomato
The Art of Simple
The Artisan Life
this ain’t livin’
Uncle Spike’s Adventures
What I Weigh Today
Wildchild Chronicles
Willinga Wino
Zandria.us
~RAMBLING WOODS~

Welcome to my feedreader, bloggers.

There are 34 of you. In my internet travels I found my way to your blog, often because I read a blogger who linked to you. I liked your blog a lot. While there, I probably read back about 40+ posts or so. Then I added you to my feedreader.

Most of you will know what a feedreader is, but in case you do not, click here for info. The quick run down – it is an awesome program which collects new articles that bloggers post. So when you post something new, I get a copy, and if I have the time and something to say, I will click through and comment. If you want to get a feed reader, I highly recommend Inoreader, which I have been using a lot lately.

At the end of 6 months or so, if I am still loving your blog as much as I did when I added you to my feed reader, I will add you to my permanent blogroll. YAY!

And it has now been six months since July, so this month I have gone through that process and the blogs which I am keeping are these –

Adventures in HEL
Alison Asher
And I Get Dressed
Drifting through life
My Vintage Childhood

These blogs have all been added to my permanent blogroll. Welcome aboard!

So why did I unsubscribe from 18 of the 23 blogs? I wrote a pretty decent post a long while ago with 14 reasons readers unsubscribe from your blog – and for this group, the reasons were as follows listed in no particular order –

Where Are You? – You Went Quiet – You’re A Wanna-be – I’m not feeling it – Your Content Was Negative – and three new reasons – you made your blog private – you deleted your blog – you wrote something I totally disagreed with and it annoyed me so much I hit unsubscribe.

See previous new reads for NovemberOctoberSeptemberAugustJuly

Plus view my Blogroll here!

new feeds

Before and After

So you might recall my clock post, and my paperweight post. Here is how the area looked before.

before

And here is how it looked after I used a table runner to cover the top of the cupboard. The golden sleigh was a Christmas present and I am going to use this to keep all my whiteboard markers and scissors in one place.

after

This is the area just inside our front door, and it leads into the kitchen. There is a large whiteboard which we probably need to redo from scratch as we made it back in the days we had other people living with us and we used it to track where everyone was going to be each day. what the meal was going to be and who was going to cook it, etc.

I still use the whiteboard for meal planning and we use it to write in things like appointments. I am a huge whiteboard nut, I love the things. I just bought my fourth one, which I will also share with you as a surprise shortly! ;)

after2

The blue bowl I made myself in Ceramics a long time ago. I presently use it to hold the wax melts once I’ve used them in the oil burners several times but they still have some scent left, so I don’t like to throw them out right away.

Happy Snoskred, Home

And Already..

cs1

people have arrived here searching for –

cs2

Many people will not be scammed thanks to that post.. :)

Thank you to the brave person who emailed me about this – it takes great bravery to speak up about these things, because so many people make assumptions about scam victims. They are being scammed by criminals. That is the only assumption we need to make about them.

That person emailed me yesterday asking

Why do you do all this?

That is a really good question. Here is my answer.

Because I deeply believe that nobody should be scammed.

I can’t always stop people from being scammed, but the least I can do is put the word out there and hope that people find my site before they bank the check.

I also believe the banks should take their share of responsibility with these fake check scams.

Banks have everything they need to figure out the check is fraudulent, yet they choose not to figure it out, and they often tell customers “the check has cleared” – and take zero responsibility when it “unclears”.

Customers trust their bank and rely on the advice they are given – that the check is real, and that is has cleared.

People assume if the check “clears” it must be fine, because they believe that banks have done some homework as a part of this clearing process and the bank has checked to see if the account exists and if the funds are there.

What people do not know is –

banks can bounce a check up to a YEAR after they have “cleared” it.

If the banks were the ones to lose the money, you betcha they’d stop allowing checks at all – or they would do their homework and make sure the check was real. Banks have hidden clauses in the terms and conditions that you as a customer agreed to which mean if a check is found to be stolen or fraudulent, then the funds go back to the bank and YOU the customer loses out on those funds.

However those terms and conditions and the fact that banks will not take any financial responsibility for clearing a check and then unclearing it means that banks are essentially partners in this crime and they are enabling the scammers to get away with this.

I have seen people get a letter in writing from the bank to state that the check has cleared and the funds are available, and even that does nothing for them once the check unclears.

Internet Safety, scam victims are not stupid, scambaiting, scams

Scam Advice.

scam1

I received an email today from someone in the USA who had found my fake check article and wanted to know if they were being scammed. As soon as they told me what was going on, I knew the answer was yes. Luckily, they had not received the check yet, and they will not be depositing it when they do. This scammer will be hearing from me as a surprise, instead.

I asked the scam victim to forward on the emails to me, so that I could post them here – this way any other potential victims can find these details and know right away that it is a scam.

Scammer Email #1

From: DONALD CRAIG {diesel@mail.wowway.com} (1)
Date: Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 2:50 PM
Subject: PART TIME JOB OFFER
To: (2)

If you are organized and honest, you can make three hundred dollars
($350) (3) a week, as a business assistant.Reply for more details .

Please all replies should be forwarded to donaldcraig18820@gmail.com

And please include your phone number.

Thanks
Donald Craig

Warning Signs #1

So, let us take a quick look at the clues here which point to this being a scam.

1. Donald Craig is emailing from one address (diesel@mail.wowway.com) and asking people to reply to a different address (donaldcraig18820@gmail.com) – Scammers do this because there is a very good chance the email address they are spamming people from will be closed down.

2. There is no name or email address in the To field. This gives the sign it is being blasted to multiple email accounts at the same time.

3. You can make three hundred dollars ($350) <-- one of these is not the same as the other. :)

The person replied to the email with a brief note saying they were interested and they would like to know more. They received this reply -

Scammer Email #2

From: Donald Criag (1) <donaldcraig18820@gmail.com>

Hello {NAME},

Thank you for your reply.

Here is a brief overview of who we are and what we do. We are a Europe (2) based company, offering business consultancy services to numerous clients across the globe like auditing, accounting, investment counsels and particularly offshore incorporation services. You can read more about us below:

Snoskred deleted the link as these sites can sometimes contain malware and simply will say Connected Sky is the name of the website.

With an increase in our customers from different parts of the globe, the expansion of the company has made it essential in recent times to employ part-time representatives (reps) in different geographic locations where we render service. The current expansion is what has created job opportunities like this for people like you.

We currently have 12 agents i.e. certified accountants in the United States AND CANADA (3) working for the company. These agents periodically require materials like envelopes, files and stamps to carry out their daily job.
They shall email you whenever they need these materials and also state precisely which type of materials and the quantity they shall need.

Your job as a ‘rep’ is to contact the supplier through email to make orders for the materials requested for and also state the quantity that should be mailed to the agents address through post. (A standard supplier has been contracted to be making available these materials)

An agent can only order for materials once a week.

It has become quite untidy having 12 different agents, contacting different suppliers at different times for materials. It has not brought about accurate accountability for (ConnectedSky). We are employing you so all agents place their order with one person- You, and the supplier gets the orders placed, from that same person- You.
Having an employee like this in place would bring about precise accountability for the company, as we get to know what is been ordered and what is been supplied, and plus it saves us time. You shall be keeping a record of what an agent orders, and also a record of what you ask the supplier to provide. (Of course the logs have to match, as you are expected to ask from the supplier only what the agents’ demand).

Please note that all costs of supplies, shall be handled by the company, and at no time whatsoever shall you be asked by (ConnectedSky) to pay any charges or hidden fees- NO!.

Salary/wages payment: $350 weekly will be paid to you in form of cheque.

Just like we said, it is a flexible online/ ’work from home’ job compatible even with undergraduates as it does not require having a college degree, so long as you are computer literate, you have an email and you can keep records.

Agents will only contact you for materials during the weekdays.

We will always email you guidelines and instructions to follow in getting your job done perfectly when you start working.

If you still care to proceed with the job, get back to us with your information listed below then we can proceed from there.

1, NAME: (4)
2, CONTACT ADDRESS,
3,CITY,
4,STATE,
5,ZIPCODE:
6, MOBILE:
7, AGE:
8, SEX:
9, EMAIL ADDRESS

Please all replies should be forwarded to (5)

And please include your phone number and all replies should be forwarded to this email

And you can reach me on this number 7072603466

I will be waiting to hear from you soon.

Regards,

DONALD CRAIG

Warning Signs #2

So what clues have we been provided in this email?

1. Donald Criag – most people know how to spell their own name. If it is mis-spelled, chances are, this is not their real name.

2. Europe is not a country. Real companies would say they are based in COUNTRY not CONTINENT. EG We are based in Germany.

3. Capital letters as a surprise out of nowhere are a dead giveaway.

4. The part with 1, NAME: – if you ever receive an email that asks you to supply details in that kind of format, you can be certain that it is a scam. No legit employer would ever ask for your details in this manner.

5. Please all replies should be forwarded to blank? Forget to put something in there, did you, scammer?

If you go to the supplied website, it looks legit until you do some googling and then you discover that other sites out there have the exact same text.

Google A Line Of Text

Taking lines of text from this email and searching for them can be quite interesting. For example this line –

Please note that all costs of supplies, shall be handled by the company, and at no time whatsoever shall you be asked by (ConnectedSky) to pay any charges or hidden fees- NO!

comes back with these results – and you’ll quickly note the brackets contain many and varied company names within the exact same sentence –

Please note that all costs of supplies, shall be handled by the company, and at no time whatsoever shall you be asked by (sovereigngroup Ltd) to pay any charges or hidden fees- NO!

Please note that all costs of supplies, shall be handled by the company, and at no time whatsoever shall you be asked by (HI Audit Kyriacou & Partners) to pay any charges or hidden fees- NO!

Please note that all costs of supplies, shall be handled by the company, and at no time whatsoever shall you be asked by (Global Consultants) to pay any charges or hidden fees- NO!

Please note that all costs of supplies, shall be handled by the company, and at no time whatsoever shall you be asked by C&N to pay any charges or hidden fees- NO! - in this case there are no brackets, this scammer is likely the one who wrote the “script” to begin with.

What Script?

Scammers work on a script. When one of their gang finds the script to be successful, they will pass it on to other gang members who will use it – just changing their name, email address, phone numbers and the company name.

Scammer Email #3

Hello {name},

Thank you for the reply.

Your Details have been taken down and passed over to the admin. They have processed and reviewed your application so you can begin work immediately.

Please be informed that you will be working as the company’s representative in your location. Nothing hectic, as your recruit manager I’ll be giving you guidance every step of the way and attending to your every question until you get the complete hang of it.

Secondly, at this juncture I need to know through which channel, would you prefer receiving your salary- via check or via direct deposit?

We usually recommend paying via check, and I advise you select that also. As a straightforward and transparency principle, this way we can keep the working relationship as open and as simple as possible. (It is also via cheque (1) payments that the company shall fund you the money needed for ordering materials, which you shall pay to the supplier).

Note that your first salary shall be prepaid, (2) which means that your salary shall be included in the first check you receive and you will be paid as you start. Your salary after that shall be paid weekly, on Fridays.

Lastly, let me know if you can get started this week?

And please include your phone number and all replies should be forwarded to this email

And you can reach me on this number 7072603466 (3)

I will be waiting to hear from you soon.

Regards,

Donald Craig

Warning Signs #3

1. Note the two different spellings of check & cheque. It is spelled cheque in my own country but most of the scam victims I speak with are in the USA. I’ve often struggled to make sure I spell it as check myself and I am not trying to scam anyone. :)

2. They are going to give you money for doing nothing? Prepaid salary is not something legitimate jobs do.

3. Why is the phone number on the web site for Cyprus, and this one is for the USA? Both numbers divert to Nigeria, via a redirection service, by the way.

Scammer Email #4

Hello {name},

I got the response from the admin department earlier today and all your details with the company have been entered on there.

Please be notified that the company would be sending you a cheque to the residential address which you provided for you to purchase the necessary materials that our agents have been placing orders for.

The company shall also include in the cheque, your first salary of $350.

Note that your other salaries after this shall be paid at the end of the week- on Fridays.

The cheque shall be forwarded to you via courier and which begins this week Tuesday

Feel free to ask any questions and kindly stay close to your email, as I shall be mailing you at intervals.

Please all replies should be forwarded to (1)

And please include your phone number (2)

DONALD CRAIG

Warning Signs #4

1. Again no email address to forward replies to.

2. You have already provided your phone number, a couple of emails ago.

Scammer Email #5

Hello {name},

Check (1) for the supplier has been mailed out to your address you shall receive it this week Tuesday which is tomorrow.

The Cheque (1) is from one of our clients who is making part payment for auditing and account review services rendered by us. (2) You shall deduct your salary of $350 and pay the supplier the remaining funds.

As soon as you receive the Check, go straight to your bank and deposit the cheque at your bank. You’ll need to enquire from the bank when the funds would be available for withdrawal in 24 hours.

Here is the tracking number UPS.COM {number}

Use it to monitor exactly what time the package would arrive at your address.

Note that the funds would be available for withdrawal or 24/48 hours after you have deposited it into your bank account.

kindly send me me a reply or text me so i will be able to know when the funds would be available so i can get the name and location of the supplier and send them to you.

After you must have received the funds, keep your salary in your bank account (which is $350)

You can text me or call me on my this number (707) 676-3105 (4) to update me on the step after you have gotten back to me with reply from the bank

Would be waiting to hear from you soon.

Regards

DONALD CRAIG

Warning Signs #4

1. Again the check/cheque misspelling.

2. So now you are receiving a payment for the company and processing that via your bank account. Money laundering, anyone?

3. “kindly” is a word the Nigerians use a lot, along with “I will like to” “update me urgently” “compliments of the season” “modalities” and a few other catchphrases.

4. 7072603466 was the number previously given. Now we have a new number? And note it is written differently as well. (707) 676-3105

It was at this point that the scam victim became suspicious and did some googling – and they found my website as a result and sent me an email reaching out for assistance. Thank the deities, they will not be scammed. But for every one person who reaches out, there are thousands of people who do get scammed.

The scammers are constantly coming up with new scams – here is one which talks about wrapping your car in advertising to be paid a weekly amount via cheque and when you read through the comments there you will see hundreds of people who fell for it..

The Only Answer

Banks need to stop allowing checks / cheques / bank drafts. Full stop, end of story. There is no reason in these days of electronic funds transfer for this form of payment to be used. Allowing it simply allows the scammers to get away with these scams – especially when the bank is often a willing participant, telling people checks have cleared when they can bounce up to a year later!

Until then, you have to protect yourself, and here is the best advice I have seen on this subject – though I have added a rule #7 just to make things perfectly clear.

How To Avoid Fake Job Scams

Bitter Bastard said it best in their reply here

“Rules to follow” to avoid most fake jobs:
1) Job asks you to use your personal bank account and/or open a new one.
2) Job asks you to print/mail/cash a check or money order.
3) Job asks you to use Western Union or moneygram in any capacity.
4) Job asks you to accept packages and re-ship them on to anyone.
5) Job asks you to pay visas, travel fees via Western Union or moneygram.
6) Job asks you to sign up for a credit reporting or identity verification site.
7. Job asks you to deposit a check into your personal account.

Avoiding all jobs that mention any of the above listed ‘red flags’ and you will miss nearly all fake jobs. Only scammers ask you to do any of the above. No. Exceptions. Ever. For any reason.

Wait! I’m being scammed by Connected Sky

Did you find this post searching for something like “is connectedsky business assistant job a scam” – the answer to that question is yes – this is a scam. There is no job. You will be sent a fraudulent check, and they want you to send them money because your bank will clear the check at first.

If you have banked a check from them –

but you still have the money and have not sent it anywhere – PUT THAT MONEY BACK IN YOUR BANK RIGHT NOW. Do not send any money via Western Union or Moneygram.

If you have banked a check from them –

And you have sent the money via Western Union or Moneygram, then you may wish to seek legal advice. I strongly suggest that you do so as a matter of urgency, because..

In the USA, scam victims can be arrested for banking a fraudulent check.

Even the FTC in the US gives out incorrect information re check scams – they say “The bottom line is that until the bank confirms that the funds from the check have been deposited into your account, you are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check.”

This is UNTRUE –

even if the bank confirms the funds have been deposited, the bank can undo the transaction at any time when they discover the check was stolen or fraudulent – even up to a year after they “cleared” it. But you did not know this, and nobody ever tells anyone this.

If you are not willing to seek legal advice, the only advice I can personally provide to you is to print out all the emails you received and the emails you sent, print out that page from the Federal Trade Commission and keep it somewhere safe for if/when the police eventually turn up on your doorstep.

but be aware -

and I want to make this very clear –

You will have to pay this money back to the bank eventually. The sooner you make arrangements to do this, the better.

If you need further advice, you can leave a comment on this post, or use the contact form to get in touch with me.

Internet Safety, scam victims are not stupid, scambaiting, scams

The Timer

path

I am a massive sucker for time management games, the kind you get on your iphone like Diner Dash and Hotel Dash and Wedding Dash. But when it comes to time management in real life, I’m not so good at that. So in 2014 I set myself the goal of becoming better at managing my time.

Last year I had a daily schedule which involved two focused 2 hour sessions – from 10am to midday, and 2pm to 4pm. In some ways this was great but in other ways I found it very limiting. I wanted to set myself a third session in the evening but there were always interruptions in my two hours which sometimes made focusing on a task really difficult.

Sometime in December I stumbled upon a site that mentioned using shorter timed focus sessions. This was actually a pretty revolutionary concept for me and getting annoyed with the limits of 2 x 2 hour sessions, I thought I would give it a try.

There are six basic steps to a short timed session:

1. Choose Your Task

What do you want to achieve today? It could be anything. I’ve set the timer for –

– editing photos
– writing blog posts
– feed reading
– surfing the web
– cleaning and/or decluttering
– household chores
– exercise
– organising the fridge
– cooking
– gaming – especially those addictive can’t walk away from games
– watching the chickens

The last two are especially important to set a timer for, because I can lose hours in a game or just watching the chickens be chickens out there in the yard.

2. Set the timer

I use my mobile phone timer but you can use any kind of timer you like.

I like to set a minimum of 25-55 minutes for most photo editing or writing tasks. You don’t seem to achieve very much in less than 25 minutes at those two tasks. For kitchen or chore tasks I might set 20 minutes with a seated 10 minute break to make a nice round half hour, and then I can catch up on my email in the break.

I am flexible with how long I set the timer for, too. If I have to leave for a appointment in 20 minutes, then a 15 minute timer with 5 minutes of getting ready time means I don’t waste 20 minutes waiting for it to be time to leave.

3. Focus on your task

And ONLY that task. Phones off. Email off. Internet off. TV off. If the doorbell rings, you don’t answer it. I find this freeing in so many ways, especially ignoring the doorbell. I know if it is the package guy because right after the doorbell rings, there is a beep from his scanning the package. That one I’ll get up for. Everyone else can come back another time. No interruptions.

4. Timer Goes Off! Take a short break

If this was a seated writing or computer related task, save what you were working on before you turn off the timer. I’ve lost 55 minutes of writing thanks to a lightning storm before.

This step is *absolutely critical* – I cannot express to you the importance of taking the break the moment that timer rings. . I also recommend getting out of the room you were working in. You are giving your mind a chance to fly free and getting the blood flowing to your limbs again if the task was a seated one.

5. Take a longer break

You’ll find focused timer tasks can be quite tiring mentally. If you kept going for 4-6 hours at a time, not only will you get tired mentally but you’ll find it harder to focus.

6. Plan a reward

You’ve put in the effort so you deserve a reward once you’ve done at least 2 rounds of timed sessions then your break in a row. Your reward could be anything. Mine tend to range from playing a game to a snack to watching a tv show..

Group associated tasks together –

If I gave you 3 tasks that involved three different rooms, and you had to spend some of your focus time moving from room to room to room and back again, you’d find quite a bit of your time spent in moving about.

If you moved those 3 tasks into the same room, you’d save yourself a lot of time.

But only do one task at a time

You’d save even more time if you focused on just one task at a time.

The same goes for almost any task – it is quicker to do one task over and over than to switch from task to task. I find this especially true with things like image editing, writing, taking screenshots for my Breaking Bad episodes.

You can break tasks apart

I might break some tasks down into two separate timed sessions – for example – with the photo editing –

First session = 55 minutes of going through the photo folders, picking out images I want to edit and saving them into one folder

When the buzzer goes for the break, I get up and make a drink or have a quick walk around – my mind by this time has probably already moved onto how I want to edit those photos I have picked,

Second session = 55 minutes focused on image editing.

And even within this session I may break this down further. EG cropping all the images *then* making all the images the size I want *then* using tools to enhance the focus or colour *then* saving them all.

Because I have broken the two tasks into separate sessions, I find I get a lot more done.

blogging tips, time management

My Paper Weight

pw1

During a family visit a few years ago, we went to this little shop called Global Contact in Berry. It is the kind of shop you’d recognise by the smell, which is a blend of sandalwood and patchouli and various incense scents.

global

You are either a person who loves that kind of shop, or you hate this kind of shop. My Mother is the only person I know who does not love a shop with incense, crystals, jewellery but I assume that there are other people who are not related to me who also may not like this kind of shop. :)

pw2

Berry is this quaint little country town with a shopping strip, all different kinds of shops. You can find everything from cuckoo clocks to sausages, from candles to teatowels, from artisan wool to artisan gelato. It is an absolutely delightful place to wander for an afternoon and window shop, but if you have some money to spend it is even more awesome.

pw3

For some reason I was drawn to this paperweight. Well, if you know me well enough you’d instantly know why I was drawn to it – because this thing marries two elements I very dearly love. Cobalt blue, and gold. You’ll note the blue is almost exactly the shade of blue which makes up the background of this blog.

pw4

It is not actually scratched. I had just cleaned it before I took these photos and I have gone back and double checked it since seeing these photos, and there are no scratches. Weird! But I do think some of the bobbles you can see here are caused by the liquid on the glass wipes I used.

pw5

Anyway, while I was cleaning this area I noticed that the top of this cupboard is stained from the whiteboard eraser which has sometimes rested on top of this cupboard. So, I decided to re-do this area and I’ll post about that another day. The photo you see below is after a *lot* of cleaning.

desktop

I’ll head over to Berry soon and take some photos and write an actual post, or even a series of them, because Berry is the perfect driving distance from Sydney for a day trip. You can also catch a train there, and the main street is a very walkable distance from the train station. Bring a tote bag in case you shop up a storm, though!

And to end this post on a weird tangent, Berry was the location for Village Vets Australia, which was a fantastic tv show on the Lifestyle Channel on Austar, and if you missed it, the episodes are sometimes on youtube for a couple of weeks, until they are taken down again..

The show was awesome for so many reasons – I learned a lot of new things about cows. They did a rumen contents transplant on a cow which was absolutely fascinating if terrifying for a germophobe. But be aware the show does contain some surgery on animals, and some very sad moments, in among the great moments of which there are also many.

Australia, Berry, Happy Snoskred, Home, New South Wales

Going Back In Time

insaneclock

I mentioned recently that an item on my to-do list was to go back through the oldest posts on the blog. I know there are plenty of dead links and videos which no longer work and I’m fixing them if possible – finding another video of the same thing, or finding a similar link which still works.

In my review, I stumbled upon – This message may come to you as a surprise.. – where one of my clocks had fallen off the wall while I was at work. I said in that post that I would love to get a clock like the photo above..

clock

and I look up from the laptop and see this – it turns out, I did get one exactly like that – it has the same model name and everything! Not a floor clock like the one above, but the clock I did get was a smaller wall version of the floor clock. It was an insane bargain when the store decided to clear that brand out. I think it retailed for over $300 and I got it on clearance for $30 or even cheaper.

clock1

You probably are wondering what is that thing in front of it – tis a paperweight. I’ll write a separate post just about that item, where I got it, and what it means to me.

An interesting side effect is – going through my old posts is like going back in time through my mind. It also shows me how much I have learned about blogging, which is a post for another day. :)

Home

Wax Melts Sample

So let me say right up front.. Nobody is paying me to write any of this, though I guess that will become somewhat self evident as you read on. I received a free sample which any PINCHme member could receive as long as they answered the survey questions correctly.

PINCHme had a survey you could fill in to see if you would qualify for a “secret sample” – so I filled it in, and I got an email telling me I qualified and I would receive a sample of Glade Wax Melts.

So they were aware, from my answers to this survey, that I burn wax melts regularly, and that I have never bought their wax melts before. I looked at them when they first came out and there was a special pack with the burner but they were all sold out when I went to get one. I had picked them up and smelled them, and there were a couple of flavours I would be likely to purchase.

I was extremely excited about this sample because I am a wax melts girl. I love those things. Here are some of the Yankee Candle ones I brought back from Hawaii last trip.

waxmelts

I am now able to source the Yankee Candle melts here, though at double the US price. You can buy them too – most Spotlight stores now stock them. I’m here to tell you from a lot of testing these personally, they smell amazing, the scent lasts a long, long time, and there is a huge range of scents to choose from. The candles are awesome as well but not at all cheap.

esbh

I also brought back a bunch of Essenza candle melts and a bunch of Better Homes and Gardens wax melts. And even though I have been using them regularly I still have quite a few of these left.

With all that said, I like to mix it up and have as many different scents to choose from as possible – because who knows if I will be in the mood for Red Delicious or Black Coconut or Spiced Rum Cake.

So here was a chance for a new company I do not usually buy product from to win my regular wax melts business. They were sending me a sample! YAY! I was very excited.. but day after day went by, and no sample appeared. The date for me to give feedback on the sample was getting closer and I was starting to think I might not be able to leave any feedback this time. Then I got an email advising me there was a delay with the sample and it will arrive sometime in January.

And eventually, arrive it did.

sample

And then I wondered why they even bothered to send me this stingy one little wax cube.

sample1

Glade, you are asking me to spend $8.99 for 6 wax cubes on an ongoing basis, while sending me one, tiny, little cube.

sample2

I think, perhaps not.

Samples are a great chance for company and consumer to try each other out, see if maybe a relationship can develop. I took the time to fill in the sample and qualify for you that I am a potential customer, and then you scrimp on the sample you sent me? Stingy much?

For your future reference, Glade. Fairy sent me 3x dishwasher tablets. Pantene sent me enough shampoo and conditioner for 5 washes. If you are going to send out samples, I think 2-3 squares in different scents is the minimum you should aim for.

Sephy you ought to get this – Better Homes and Gardens Wax Warmer Starter Set, Woodland Deer – next time you are at Walmart, if you can’t find an Essenza kit at Costco.

Here are some closer views of the Yankee wax melts.

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yankee2a

yankee3

yankee4

aromatherapy, PINCHme, Samples, shopping

Those Girls

boxes

Just a couple of weeks ago I was at Aldi. This poor guy was trying to load the skinny but long boxes Aldi uses to hold the coffee pods into those large box containers they use to hold all their empty boxes. The boxes fell on the floor and I said to the guy – don’t pick them up, I’ll get them – I could see a perfect use for them at my place. You’ll remember the Chicken Merge – I used baked bean trays from Aldi to hold the treats. These long boxes are better suited to the task.

treats

Todays treat – baby spinach and rocket, apple, tomato, tuna.

Chickens like to scratch with their feet when they are eating. With the wider baked bean boxes I used, two things would tend to happen – they would tip the whole box onto its side, or they would get in it and scratch around in there.

These long skinny boxes are perfect for chicken treats. I now bring a minimum of 3x those home each time we visit, Because they are long, there is room for all the girls to check out the treats without anyone having to get pecked. Because they are not very wide, the chicken scratch the ground and then eat the treats, and there isn’t much room for the chickens to get inside them or tip them up onto their side.

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You can see how perfectly the girls arrange themselves around these thin, long boxes.

It always amazes me how much chicken behaviour is learned from other chickens.

These new girls did not have the foggiest idea where to lay an egg. When they first merged with the older girls, you would find their eggs on the ground, just randomly. Now, they lay in the laying boxes.

They did not make the Egg Song, ever. They were not very vocal at all. Now, they’re joining in with the egg song, and they are trumpeting and bagerking and making all the chicken noises.

chooks1

They had tried to dustbathe but were not especially great at it, mostly because they did not grasp what the kitty litter tray full of sand was actually for. They also struggled to make dirt holes in the grass. Now, they are in a yard where everything is dirt, which by the way is exactly how chickens like it, and they spend a good couple of hours a day dust bathing with their new chicken friends.

lmk

Lizzy, Mary and Kitty get to share a treat box.

Speaking of chicken friends, how are they going together? Because they have so much space, this merging process is a lot longer than it would usually be. The three newbies still sleep out on the roost in the run at night.

whitesussex

During the day, White Sussex is Queen of the Castle, with the three new girls slotting in just under her, then the game hens, then Redcomb and Rosie are at the bottom of the pack.

rosie

Rosie Rosecomb

redcomb

Rebcomb and the two other game hens got a bit confused with all the rain in December – their bodies thought it was winter again, and they went off the lay and moulted as a surprise to themselves, especially as they had only moulted a few months before. They are looking a bit ratty at the moment as the feathers slowly grow back in.

Chickens, shopping