Posted in Product Review

Review of Carex Products

I recently received some great products from the people at Carex Health Brands (through Crier Communications) for me to use and blog about. Carex Health Brands offers a complete line of products to help you ease the aches and pains that come with stress and health conditions such as RA and fibromyalgia.  

I received the following products from Carex for my review:

Bed Buddy Warming Shawl

Bed Buddy Aromatherapy Hot/Cold Pack

Bed Buddy Foot & Hand Warmers

Carex Ultra Grabber Reaching Aid

Bed Buddy Warming Shawl


The Bed Buddy Warming Shawl came in handy with I awoke the night after the products arrived with neck and shoulder pain. I took out the warming shawl, took a quick look at the product description and then put it in the microwave for less than two minutes. I put it around my shoulders, buttoned it and fell back to sleep quickly. When morning came, I had gotten a good night’s sleep and most of my pain had subsided. 

The design of the shawl covers the shoulders, neck and arms. It is comfortable to wear and is attractive coming in two colors – black or burgundy. It also offers a secure closure so you do not have to hold it around you. The shawl keeps you warm while providing a deep penetrating moist heat. It is great for anyone with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and/or back pain. You can even use it just keep warm on a cold day. All you have to do is put in the microwave for a minute or two (depending on your microwave) and the warm heat lasts for up to an hour. You can also put in the freezer if you are looking for cold therapy.

Bed Buddy Aromatherapy Hot/Cold Pack 

I really loved the Bed Buddy Aromatherapy Hot/Cold Pack. Actually, using it was heavenly. If you want soothing relief from aches and pains, this Hot/Cold Pack is your friend. It is filled with 100% natural grains, herbs and flowers and scented with rose, orange, lavender and cherry blossom. The uplifting aroma will rejuvenate you and the hold or cold relief will help you with aches, pains and stiffness.

The Hot/Cold Pack offers a moist heat and deep soothing relief from arthritis pain, joint stiffness, and sore muscles. You can use hot or cold and it heats quickly in the microwave. The aromatherapy scents will help to heal and uplift you. 

I awoke the other night with a really bad migraine headache. (I often awake to pain.) After taking my migraine prescription, I needed to do something about the throbbing in my head until the migraine medication did its own job. I heated up the hot and cold pack in the Microwave, headed back to bed, and put it on my forehead. The aromatherapy helped me to fall asleep quickly while the moist heat provided soothing relief. In all honesty, I didn’t expect to use the heat/cold pack on my forehead but it came in handy when I did need it and offered relief I didn’t expect.

Bed Buddy Foot & Hand Warmers 

The Foot & Hand Warmers come with lightly fragranced scent packs with eucalyptus, clove, and cinnamon – all to calm and revitalize your senses. Heat up to long lasting comfort, that stays heated for up to one hour. The warmers are one size fits all and easy and safe to use. I have awoken to stiff achy joints and even on a warm morning, the Foot & Hand Warmers are a Godsend. 

Carex Ultra Grabber Reaching Aid 

The Ultra Grabber Reaching Aid is designed for grasping items from those hard to reach places. I am 5 foot 3 inches so even without RA and fibro, there is not a lot I can reach. Additionally, the Ultra Grabber offers a 90 degree rotating arm that makes grasping easy. The wrist support is great for those of us with achy and weak hands. The locking tab holds grabbed items in place for those lacking hand strength. It is great tool and it does it what it is supposed to do. It is most helpful to me in the kitchen because I have pretty high cabinets. I don’t do well with stools and chairs as it is but with the grabber, I no longer have to worry about stretching to reach something and then giving up to locate a stool or chair. 

You can find Carex products at various online retailers, including Amazon, and local retailers, including Walmart.  You can also find Bed Buddy products there as well. Carex Health Brands is a global leader in home health products and has been in business for more than twenty years.  For more information, please visit the Carex website at and/or the Bed Buddy Facebook page at  To find retailers, call Carex at 1-800-526-8051 or email them at


Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. The people at Crier Communications sent me samples to try out. The opinions expressed belong entirely to me.


Posted in Product Review

Trudeau Stress Less Product Line Review and Giveaway

Just in time for Arthritis Awareness Month (May 2012), the good people at Trudeau Corporation sent me products from their newest line of food preparation tools for review.  These kitchen tools from the Stress Line product line are designed to reduce the strain on your hands and joints so it makes them ideal for those of us who struggle with arthritis and other limited hand conditions.

I received a complete set from the Trudeau Stress Less product line which included the six following products:  

1.     Stress Less Safety Can Opener

2.     Stress Less Garlic Press

3.     Stress Less Easy Grind Pepper Mill

4.     Stress Less Easy Grind Salt Mill

5.     Stress Less Pizza Cutter

6.     Stress Less Rotary Cheese Grater

The total retail value of the set is $143.00.  In addition to my providing a review, the good people at Trudeau Corporation and J.M. Glass and Associates, Ltd. are giving away one complete set to one reader of this blog.  

My Review

It took me some time to review all the products but the people at Trudeau and J.M. Glass gave me all the time I needed. 

The Stress Less Safety Can Opener

My favorite of these products was the Stress Less Safety Can Opener.  Once I figured it out, opening cans were a breeze.  The can opener offers an ergonomic design and comes with an easy rotating handle.  It opens cans from the side so there are no sharp edges on can once open.  It is also compact for convenient storage which means it fits in your kitchen drawers.  My electric can opener was on its last lick and it lasted me a good two years and I was deciding whether to buy a new one (another electric one).  For a lot less, this Stress Line can opener doesn’t leave the sharp edges that other can openers leave, plus there is no cost towards your electric bill if you were considering an electric one like I was.  Additionally, it comes with a five year warranty. Think about all the money you are saving now and into the future.

Check out this video on how to open cans easily and effortlessly with the Stress Line Can Opener and tell me that you are impressed.

Stress Less Garlic Press

I used the Garlic Press next.  The Garlic Press comes with a lifetime warranty, ergonomic handle, nonskid pads to allow you to press onto the counter, and a pivot ABS chamber that allows for convenient cleaning.  Simply put, it was easy to use, easy to press, easy on my hands, and easy to clean.

Stress Less Easy Grind Pepper Mill and Salt Mill

The Stress Less Easy Grind Pepper Mill and Salt Mill were so simple to use.  If you have hands that hurt and/or are weak, you know that pepper and salt mills are hard on the hands. Most likely, you avoid using salt and pepper mills for that very reason but now you don’t have to. The Stress Less Easy Pepper and Salt Mills allow you to use pepper and salt mills again without the pain involved.   Grinding salt and pepper is as simple as turning a handle with these two products. They feature an ergonomic design and soft handles to make grinding effortless. Additionally, both come with a lifetime warranty. You can even buy as a set and save some money.

The Stress Less Pizza Cuter and Rotary Cheese Grinder

The Stress Line Pizza Cutter and the Rotary Cheese Grinder were easy to use.  The pizza cutter offers an ergonomic handle with a finger guard, a removable cutting wheel for easy cleaning and a large diameter wheel for easy cutting.  It also comes with a lifetime warranty. The rotary cheese grater allows both left and right handed use.  It offers an ergonomic vertical design and a rotating crank for natural motion.   As with the pepper and salt mills, rotating the handle was effortless. The ergonomic design reduces pressure off the fingers and eliminates the need to turn your wrists.  It offers a vertical design so that the cheese falls directly on the food. Like the pizza cutter, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

My Overall Impression

The Trudeau Stress product line, in my opinion, delivered on their promise to offer products that reduce strain in the kitchen.  In addition, their products are well made and beautifully designed. If you are like me and you have tried many joint friendly products, you know that most are not well made and beautifully designed and their promises fall short when the product falls apart.  Well the people are Trudeau have been able to combine traditional designs with ease of use thus offering a great quality product.  

All of the products in the Stress Less Line are available online and in retail stores, such as Ace Hardware and Bed Bath and Beyond with a suggested retail price from $12.99 to $34.00.


The gracious people at Trudeau are giving away a complete set of their Stress Less product line products that includes the Stress Less Safety Can Opener, the Stress Less Garlic Press, the Stress Less Easy Grind Pepper Mill and Salt Mill, the Stress Less Pizza Cutter and the Stress Less Rotary Cheese Grater.

For an entry in the giveaway, visit Arthritis Connect, one of the online health communities I advocate for, and check out their product review section. Pick a product that you are familiar with and let me know if that product delivered on its promise.  Leave a comment below telling me which product you checked out, its link and your experience with it.  Also, please leave your email address so I have a way to contact you. I will announce the winner on Monday, April 30.  You have until April 29 at 11:59 pm to enter.  Good Luck!

Posted in Product Review

Magic Opener – Review and Giveaway

The great people at Open Sesame USA sent me their Magic Opener® to review. They have also given me six openers to give away to readers of my blog.

My Review

Opening small, medium or large plastic bottles and cans is a snap with this opener. You can open any brand of bottled water, soda pop cans or even glass soda bottles. Whatever it is you are trying to get open, the Magic Opener® Bottle Opener is your answer to daily opening of different beverage containers. The openers not only work well but they are fast opening and very comfortable on your hands.

Having used the product for this review during a rheumatoid arthritis flare period, I can honestly tell you that I was relieved to have the opener available for use. It is as simple as saying “open sesame,” and the magic opener does the job each and every time.

Here are some really cools things about the Magic Opener® Bottle Opener:

  • It is so small you can take it with you in a lunchbox, purse or backpack. You can take it anywhere – to the park, camping, traveling and even your workplace. Store in your car, your RV or with your camping equipment. Store it any place you will need it to come in handy.
  • It is magnetic! It sticks to any metal surface so you don’t have to worry about getting it lost. Mine is on my refrigerator door right now so I won’t be searching for it the next time I need to use it.
  • It offers a 3 in 1 function feature – you can open plastic bottles, flip tops on cans, and glass bottles all with one tool.
  • It is ergonomic and for me – that is a big deal. Because of having rheumatoid arthritis, my hands always hurt. Along with the 3 in 1 function, the Magic Opener® is designed to be gentle on the hands especially for those suffering from arthritis or limited hand strength. This also means no pain or strain is required to get bottles and cans open.

  • 90 day money back guarantee – You can use it for 90 days and return it for any reason at all and the people at Open Sesame USA will send you your money back, no questions asked.

Here is a demonstration video that shows how the product works.

If you are interested in buying your own Magic Opener® Bottle Opener, you can click on any of the links on the main page to be directed to the order page or by clicking HERE. You can also purchase a set of three interchangeable metal plates. As you know, water and soda bottles come in many different cap sizes. If one plate is not the correct size, replace the metal plate with the most appropriate: x-small, medium or large. The plates are easy to change and the directions are simple and easily explained.

Coming from someone who has spent the last three days with very achy hands, this is a product that can make life a lot easier for you whether your hands ache or not. Another plus for those of us who have arthritis is that the opener grips the bottle cap or can flip top so well that you don’t have to worry about it getting lose while opening and thus, you avoid a mess. Additionally, you can also tightly reclose plastic bottles and as we all know, this practically important for plastic soda bottles.


I only have good things to say about the Magic Opener® Bottle Opener: and that the people at Open Sesame USA have delivered on their promises. They have also generously given me six bottle openers for giveaway. If you want one, just leave your email address below. I will contact the first six people to get their addresses and send out right away. Also, please let me know what other opener products you have tried in the past and whether those have delivered on their promises.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review.  I received a Magic Opener® for my review.  Thank you Pablo at Open Sesame USA for providing me the opportunity to review your opener.

Posted in Product Review

Stopain Cold – Review and Giveaway


I was recently contacted to review Stopain Cold a topical analgesic for pain relief. Stopain is available in four formulas: Stopain Spray, Stopain Extra Strength Spray, Stopain Extra Strength Roll-on and Stopain Gel. All the formulas provide fast, temporary relief of pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, muscle aches and back pain. What it does is stop the pain and allows you to get moving again. Sounds simple, right?

The best thing about Stopain is that it goes on cold. If you have arthritis, your joints are constantly inflamed so using a cold product makes a sense. (If you have arthritis inflamed joints, you know what I am talking about.) Further, it is not sticky so it doesn’t stick to your clothes. It is also non-drip so you don’t have to worry about it dripping as you apply. Last, it has a menthol scent that you only smell when you find apply it and I don’t know about you but that is long enough.

I received the received the convenient hands free application roll-on. I loved that I didn’t have to get my hands messy. No dripping, no stinky smell, and it did not stick to my clothes. It definitely helped me with my back, neck, and should pain and muscle aches. I saw relief within a few minutes.

You can buy Stopain at most pharmacies and drug stores including Wal-Mart, Rite-Aid, CVS and Walgreens. Further, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Stopain are donated to the Arthritis Foundation with a minimum contribution of $25,000.00


The folks at Stopain have generously offered to give one reader of this blog a Stopain formula of their choice. All you have to do is like their Facebook page and come back here and leave a comment that you did so. Leave your email address so I have a way to contact you.

The giveaway to open to US residents only and the winner will be picked by You have until Jan. 28 at 9 p.m. EST to get your entry in. The winner will be announced the following day. If I don’t hear from the winner within 48 hours, I will pick a new winner. Good luck!

For more information about Stopain you can visit their website or Facebook page, where there will also be ongoing sweepstakes.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. Robin Leedy Associates sent me Stopain Cold Roll-on to try out. The opinions expressed belong entirely to me.

Posted in Product Review, Site Review

I need a break from this reality

I can’t even seem to get into the Christmas spirit this year for reasons that I have no control of.  In addition, it is a busy time of the year at the office so my mind is completely fuzzy with too much legal terminology that sometimes I wish would stay out my dreams.

Maybe I should take a vacation?

How about some place warm?

Or some place cold?

Considering how cold it has been and that we are still thawing out in the Northeast, not a good idea.  (Dee, stop your snickering or I might send you snow for your Christmas present.)

You know what I will do?

I will go online to CSN stores website and take a look at bedroom furniture.  See, last month we had a waterbed incident so I gave my husband a choice, either he went or the waterbed went.  Considering how cold it is here, it is a good thing he chose to get rid of the waterbed.  That means that we need a new bedroom set because the guest bedroom set is okay, but it is the guest bedroom set – you get my point, right?  It is also a queen size and my husband has issues with queen size beds.  It doesn’t really help that he hogs up the bed so then, I got issues.

Whether you are looking for bedroom furniture, dinning room furniture, or living room furniture, CSN Stores has more to choose from than any local store.  Besides, it is cold outside – going online is much warmer and you can take your hot chocolate with you.

Delivery is free in most cases and right now, if you shop online, any product marked “arrive by Christmas” will arrive in time for Christmas and all your purchases include an extended holiday return policy through January 31, 2011.

My vacation starts December 24 and goes through the beginning of the year.   Maybe, I will sleep for a week on that new bed I plan on buying. Maybe, I will buy a queen so I don’t have to share.

Happy holidays and happy shopping days!

Posted in Product Review, rheumatoid arthritis

The RA Communication Kit

I recently received a “Let’s Talk RA” communication kit from the Arthritis Foundation. First, I would like to point out the importance of communication with your doctor towards managing your rheumatoid arthritis. Let’s Talk RA offers an opportunity to the take the first step in learning to discuss your healthcare options with your doctor. The kit is free and it provides a lot of great important information essential for successful management of RA.

The communication kit offers four great resources: (1) a communication guide that offers advice on how to make the most of your appointment with your doctor; (2) a healthcare assessment so that you can share your responses with your doctor at your next appointment; (3) a survey that allows the Arthritis Foundation an opportunity to see the helpfulness of this kit and so that they work towards other successful resources to help patients in RA management; and (4) information from the Arthritis Foundation and Bristol Myers Squibb about other resources and information they provide.

Personally, I think that this a great tool essentially for those who have a hard time communicating with their doctors on they are feeling and the concerns they may have about their treatment and healthcare. My favorite piece of this kit was the patient notebook, because it allows you a small, handy place to all your questions and your doctor’s responses to those so that you can look at that in preparation for your next appointment. These is so much information out there and it really helps and makes sense to have to break all that information down and to just look at the most vital information that you need to better manage your care.

Posted in Product Review, rheumatoid arthritis

Two CSN Stores products to make life with arthritic hands easier to bear

The generous folks at CSN stores sent me two products to test and write a review about. The two products they sent are helpful to those with weak or arthritic hands. As a person who deals with the daily reminder of rheumatoid arthritis and painful hands, I am always looking for ways to make my life with RA easier. In particular, I have a passion for cooking (even though it may seem like I am consumed with my job, family and education) so it makes sense that working in the kitchen is not painful.

The two products I received from CSN stores are the Black & Decker Grand Openings Can Open and the WMF Profi Plus Lid Gripper. They become useful to me right away, and thus, they became a Godsend to my arthritic hands.

Black & Decker Grand Openings Can Opener

This can opener was very easy install and use. Even my four year old nephew was able to open cans with it. That is how easy it was to use. Its use resulted in no stress on my hands and I was able to open cans with little effort. It is different from other electric can openers because it opens bigger and taller cans and most others do not. In addition, it has a power piece cutter and automatic shut-off for smooth cutting. The blade is removable and replaceable. You can hide away the cord for easy storage. The Black & Decker Grand Openings Can Open also offers a built-in knife sharpener and bottle opener so it is a 3 in 1. At $19.95, it is 25% off the regular price and is reasonably priced considering all its great features.

WMF Profi Plus Lid Gripper

I have several different types of lid grippers that come in a variety of sizes taking up closet space in my kitchen because none adjust and they are not as good at gripping as they advertise. What is unique about this gripper is the balance it offers because of the way it grips. For those with weak and arthritic hands, this means you can use a weaker grip without pain. It offers an adjuster so you can get rid of all the other plastic or metal grippers you own that are cheaply made. Its cylindrical handle is heavy duty and offers a hanging loop for easy storage on a utensil hook or hanging. It is durable so you do not have to worry about it falling apart when opening a bigger jar or a difficult lid and it is easy to clean. It is currently $35.oo and the last lid gripper I will ever buy so the savings of this product has already started. In addition, all the grippers I own altogether total about five times as much and do nothing but take up space and hurt my hands and wrists when I use them and on days where my hands feel both weak and painful, they are useless. (In addition, if my husband is being useless, then I am stuck banging jars to get them open.)

Some Tidbits on CSN Stores

CSN stores are an online retailed based out of Boston, Massachusetts that started out in 2002. Since then, they are over 200 online stores, including their lighting store, which offers a variety of ceiling and fan lighting, wall lights, lamps, track lighting, and lighting accessories. You never find this many brands of lighting in one place unless you visit CSN Lighting. The site also offers some great selections, including their “Go Green,” “Clearance Center,” “Special Savings,” and “Request a Quote” options. You always have the price narrowing option if you have a particular price range in mind or a brand option if you have specific brand in mind. All of their 200+ online stores are set up this way so you will always find what you are looking for and at a price you can afford.

An Advantage

The biggest advantage to buying from CSN Stores is that you will not have to deal with annoying sales people who to try to get you to buy something without letting you look around in order to get rid of you. Have you ever left your local furniture store wondering whether you had an opportunity to fully explore your options and price ranges? (Yup, that feeling really sucks.) In addition, at CSN Stores, anything over $69.00 is shipped free and they ship within United States and Canada. Think about what local stores charge you for delivery. The last time I bought furniture, it cost $75.00 for delivery from a warehouse that was less than a mile from my home.

Check out CSN stores for yourself so that you can check out satisfied and the visions of rude sales people and high delivery costs will be a forgotten memory (the best kind of amnesia you will ever have).

* * *
I also have a giveaway post up at my review blog where CSN stores is giving away a Ginsu Bakelite 5 Piece Prep Cutlery Set .

I was not paid for this review. CSN Stores sent me the two products for review. The opinions expressed belong entirely to me. Thank you CSN Stores for allowing me the opportunity to review your products.

Posted in Product Review

Finding Aventine Hill Has Changed Me

Commercial soap bars are bad for skin because commercial manufacturers extract glycerin from soap (that is the stuff that moisturizes skin and gives it a healthy glow and skin) and replace it with other detergents and chemicals. They add the glycerin to other products so you end up having to buy additional products in order for your skin to feel soft. You have to use lotions or other moisturizers within 30 minutes of bathing or you risk having dry and itchy skin. Don’t you just love capitalism?

This was all new to me but I did some research after receiving some bath salts and soap from Sheila at Aventine Hill Bath Emporium. Soap should maintain its natural glycerin and nothing should be removed from it. With natural glycerin, you can even use it to clean your hair and with no chemicals or detergents, your hair feels clean, oil free and it does not leave dry, flakey, itchy or burning in your scalp. Mother Nature is always better for you, and if I had not tried this out for myself, I would not be a believer.

I received Sheila’s Rosemary Mint handcrafted soap on Thursday. I used it Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. After my first use on Friday, I told my sister that my skin felt absolutely amazing and clean with no yucky residue like commercial products cause. No itchiness and no dryness. I don’t ever recall my skin feeling like this “normal.” So, I used it again on Saturday and Sunday, and I told my sister that she, too, had try to it. Now, she is a believer.

Think about this: the next you are walking down the soap aisle at your favorite store, pay some attention to all those soaps in the bright colorful packaging. Look at their labels. Most of them to do not even use the word “soap” on those labels. In fact, many are called “beauty bars” or “moisturizing bars.” They are not called “soap” and that is because, they are not really soap and legally, they cannot even claim that. Not only are they bad for your skin, they are bad for the planet. They contain chemicals and artificial colors. Antibacterial soaps, for example, contain triclosan, a toxic chemical known to cause cancer. Our skin absorbs whatever it comes in contact with and with a high accumulation of toxins, illness happens. As for the environment, there have been studies that have found that toxins that come from body washes, shampoos, and other healthcare products seep into our drinking water. (Yuck!!!)

Organic, natural and homemade soaps are a much better alternative. Yes, they do cost more than those detergent bars you pick up form your supermarket or local discount store, but the difference is, they are good for your skin and good for the planet. Don’t forget the money you will be saving when you are not buying lotions and moisturizers. Just like with commercially manufactured bars, read the labels. You want to buy soaps that use only pure, organic oils or fats. Avoid those that use artificial colors and fragrances because those would be synthetic chemicals. For scent and color, look for those that use organic essential oils and natural organic colors.

So, do yourself and the world a big favor and start using REAL soap. If it was not for Sheila, I would not be a believer. In the past, when I hear about natural products, I was hesitant because of the price, but after trying Aventine Hill’s Rosemary Mint handcrafted soap, I believe that her soap is worth every penny. Aventine Hill also offers a wide variety of bath salts, facial masks, lotions and more. All their products are made with ONLY certified organic materials. Their Dead Sea Salts are 100% prue and only from the ACTUAL Dead Sea in Israel (Which by the way, I have personally visited so I know first hand the benefits the Dead Sea has to offer).

Sheila was also kind enough to send me some “Sore Muscles Bath Salts” which because I am still hyped up about the soap, I almost forget to mention. These salts are made of 100% pure Dead Sea salts from Israel and Yogurt Powder. The last week or so has been really busy and tiring for me and my joints were aching, and in particular, my ankles. I finally had an opportunity to bathe in those amazing salts and I did not want to get out of the bath. My ankles started to see some relief and my bath time was very tranquil for the first time a long time.

Our bodies are taxed by the toxins that we unknowingly put in our bodies. We are slowly killing ourselves without even realizing it. My body is worn out by the reminder of rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and after two years of dealing with this disease, I am starting to see clearly what these toxins are doing to our bodies. I have started to make changes and have done research on how those changes can happen. It is simple things like using products that are all natural and eating products that are hormone free. Now that I have tried organic and all natural skin care products, I cannot imagine going back to those commercial products. I did not expect to notice a difference in the way that my skin felt five minutes after I walked out of the shower but it is not something I took for granted. It was noticeable right away.

Aventine Hill Links:
Make sure you check out Sheila’s Wellness blog where she discusses her products and the benefits of all natural and organic.
You can purchase a variety of products from Aventine Hill.
Check out the ingredients page for Aventine Hills. It is a must see.

In case you were wondering, Aventine Hill is one of the seven hills on which ancient Rome was built. It is also the site of the Temple of Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom who was the virgin goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic, and the inventor of music. Aventine was also a meeting place for many great minds, including skilled artisans, actors and writers.

Aventine Hill Bath Emporium came out of Sheila and her family’s love for nature and a need for natural and organic skin care products. What a great idea and unless you check it out for yourself, you will never know the benefits of using all natural and organic skin products over commercial brands. I forgot to mention that Aventine Hill’s products are not tested on animals.

Can you tell which is the commercial brand over the natural organic one?

I was not paid for this review. Aventine Hill sent me some samples to review. The opinions expressed belong entirely to me. Thank you Aventine Hills for allowing the opportunity to review your products.

Posted in Product Review

Great Grips Door Knob Grippers

Most of us take for granted something as simple as opening a door but for people with arthritic conditions and weak hands, this can be a difficult and painful task. I contacted the gracious people at Great Grips about their Door Grippers and they recently sent to me some of their Great Grip Door Knob Grippers to review. I also received a set of the Great Grips Red and Blue Faucet Grips. Before I offer my review, I would like to let you know more about Great Grips and the company’s founder and inventor of Great Grips, Patrick Going.


Twenty years ago, Patrick Going had an idea for make doorknobs easier for people with arthritis, weak hands and other disabilities. Now with the help of a research team at the University of Colorado Springs, the older versions have been updated and look much sleeker and last longer. According to Going, the older versions were functional, “but it didn’t have the durability and the looks.”

In 1989, Going was the director of the southern Colorado branch of the Arthritis Foundation when he and a friend of his, Bill Youmans, pulled together a plan for Great Grips. They thought the costs would only be around a couple thousand dollars and the idea would only take a month to create. However, it took more money and time than the two men thought it would, and at one point, according to Going, they “we were in the hole $100,000,” but that did not stop them from selling over 1.5 million Great Grips.

About a year ago, Going started to think about ways he could change Great Grips. After much time and coordination, they came up with a newer model that, according to Jess McClure of MIND Studios, is “just light years better.” With a new design, they started to evaluate more economical production ideas. The new grips are made of silicone whereas the older ones were made of thermoplastic elastomeric. Silicone material allows ink to stick on the covers and a company can imprint their logos and other information on the grippers and this way, they are more useful to companies wanting to advertise and wanting to give away the grippers. Newer models glow in the door so you can easily find the door in a dark room so it offers a great safety feature. They are slightly higher in price but there are still reasonably priced.

Great Grips Door Knob Grippers meet the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Accessibility Guidelines §4.13.9 for Door Hardware which states, “Handles, pulls, latches, locks, and other operating devices on accessible doors shall have a shape that is easy to grasp with one hand and does not require tight grasping, tight pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate. Lever type devices are acceptable designs.” The test they are referring to is called the “closed fist” test. Further, the new ADA/ABA Standards for Accessible Design §404.2.7 states that door hardware has to be operable with closed fist or loose grip. Great Grips offers and meets those standards with a price to most people can afford.

Some awesome facts about Great Grips

• They are easy to install. Depending on hand strength, you may need some help.

• Great Grips can be stretched to 300% of their original size. They fit small interior household doorknobs to industrial high-traffic styles. You can wet them a little before installing to make stretching a bit easier.

• Great Grips are made of a soft & comfortable latex-free material for allergies are not a concern.

• Great Grips can insulate against both hot and cold.

• Great Grips eliminate shock from door knobs when installed.

Great Grips offers a 30-day return policy.


Since I had an opportunity to review the door grippers and faucet grippers, I can say some great things about the Great Grips products. Despite the fact that my hands were hurting on the day I put the grippers on my doorknobs and faucets, I did not have a problem putting them on once I wetted the insides. Opening doors and faucets became much easier especially on those days where my hands were hurting bad.

The only real quirk I had was that my toddler also had easy access to the doors with the grippers on them. Opening doors suddenly became a snap for him and believe me, he was enjoying it. I decided that I could not have the Great Grips on all the doors if I wanted my toddler to stay out of specific closets and rooms. Now, if they would make doorknob grips that were easy to open for my arthritic hands and could still keep my toddler out.

I received three doorknobs grippers, one that had an ADA logo on it, another with no design but the Great Grips name on it, and third that was glow in the dark model, which I really liked considering I have become an absolute klutz since my diagnoses. I can see the door handle in the dark thereby minimizing a chance of less than graceful incident. The Great Grips people also sent me the faucet grips, which really helped out when turning faucets in my bathroom.

Both the door and faucet grips are also reasonably priced starting at $7.95. You can purchase 20 clear or grow in the dark grips for $60.00. In addition to price, the new clear Great Grips offer an inconspicuous look to any doorknob. They are easy to install and the soft material stretches to fit the knob. The material is durable and can clan be cleaned in your dishwasher. Since the grips are easy to install and remove, you can take them with you anywhere, for example, on vacation.

Great Grips also offers a home modification kit for $16.95 which it makes it easy to enjoy Great Grips in key places throughout your home. The kit includes two clear Great Grips and one glow in the dark grip, and one set of Hot and Cold color-coded Great Grips for use on your faucets.

As far as I am concerned, aside from accessibility for my toddler, I love my Great Grips. And these are the reasons:

• They are convenient and safe to use.

• They are easy to install because they slip over any round door knob and allow the user to open with very little effort.

• They are made of latex free rubber so allergies are not a problem.

• They meet ADA guidelines for people with disabilities.

• They are available in clear or glow in the dark color.

– Clear feature is sleek and unnoticeable.

– Glow in the dark ones makes it easily to find your doorknobs in the middle of the night.

• No static shock.

• They are reasonably priced. You can purchase either at the Great Grips Website or at for less than $7.95 for a set of 2.

• Great Grips offers a money back guarantee.

***Update: I forgot to mention the easy open packaging and you all know much I hate calmshell packaging so when I received these, I was relieved that I was able to open them without a long drawn out battle with my hands and whatever torture instruments I could think of. The Great Grips products have easy to open packing so in addition to the assistance they provide, they are easy to open and install. Let’s not, of course, forget the reasonable pricing options.

I was not paid for this review. Great Grips sent me some samples to review. The opinions expressed belong entirely to me. Thank you Great Grips for allowing the opportunity to review your products.

Posted in Book Review, Chronic illnesses, Product Review

I am just not in the blogging mood

I am in good spirits but have a lot currently going on. I go through really busy periods. That is what my life is like. I launched my new review blog up. It is called The Lack of Chaos and it is separate from my personal blog.  The reason being is that I wanted to leave this blog exclusive for blogging about Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Chronic Illness. I have two upcoming reviews going to the review blog; one is a book review and giveaway (starts Monday) and the other a review and giveaway for a Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop which should be up in a couple weeks. Today is the last day to enter and win Pamela Callow’s book, DAMAGED.

In addition, I have three chronic illness book reviews and an arthritis assistance product that will be here. I will be doing a product review for Great Grips (Round doorknobs can be difficult to open for seniors, arthritis sufferers, people with disabilities or even when your hands are full!) and also three different book reviews on three different topics, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Autoimmune Disease and the Working Women. As you know, all these topics are dear to my heart.

Here are the names and information about the books I will be reviewing and the links for those books and authors.

Death by Rheumatoid Arthritis by Carla Jones

The first book I will be reviewing is Carla Jones E-book which can be downloaded online for relativity cheap. A percentage of the proceeds from book sales will go to the Arthritis Foundation. Ms. Jones was recently interviewed by her hometown news station about her book and its inspiration.

Susan Ingebretson has a new book that has just been released where she writes about her own experience with chronic illness and particular, Fibromyalgia. Her research led her to finding out the causes of chronic illness and nontraditional healing methods. FibroWHYalgia is a diary/guide on the facts, myths, and practical solutions on a life with chronic illness and fibromyalgia. She can also visit Ms. Ingebretson at her webpage/blog titled Rebuilding Wellness.

Authors Rosalind Joffe and Joan Friedlander use first person accounts to give advice on coping with symptoms of chronic illness and challenges in the work place. Ms. Joffe and Ms. Friedlander also host a blog and webpage called Keep Working Girlfriend which is a must read for the working woman struggling with chronic illness in her life.

All three books offer some great tips on awareness, education, and practical solutions to life with chronic illness so they are all worth the read. All of these authors write about topics that are dear to their hearts and their goal is to bring education and awareness to some of the most life altering conditions.

Other authors and companies if interested in a review can contact me at and I will be happy to review your chronic illness book or assistance product. Just be patient as my life is really busy (and that is merely an understatement).

On the home front, my sister arrived last Saturday and we have a whole bunch of great activities planned for the kids for Fourth of July 4 weekend including watching the movie, Grown Ups, which I might do a review on over at my review blog. I am starting up a paper for my master’s government course on the European Union (boring) and in addition to these great reviews and my already busy life; I plan on having a busy summer. But don’t worry, I will check in at least once a week. Have a happy fourth everyone!

Posted in Book Review, Product Review

Diane Chamberlain Book Review and Giveaway


Maya and Rebecca Ward are sisters who share many secrets. They both have medical degrees and they both share the memory of their parents’ brutal murder. The Lies We Told reveals that all people have secrets and some secrets are those that we don’t even tell the ones closest to us because of the pain that those secrets hold. Diane Chamberlain’s latest novel reveals the complicated nature of the relationship that sisters have and the secrets that they keep; secrets that will either bind them together or tear them apart.

Maya was fourteen and Rebecca eighteen when they witnessed their parents’ brutal murders. As a result of that tragedy, Maya becomes timid and cautious and Rebecca a risk taker. After a devastating hurricane hits the coast of North Carolina, Rebecca and Maya’s husband, Adam, urge Maya to join them in the relief effort with Doctors International Disaster Aid (DIDA). To please her husband, Maya agrees. Maya is on a helicopter transport to a nearby hospital when the helicopter crashes into powerful floodwaters and there appear to be no survivors. After a two week attempt to locate any survivors, Rebecca and Adam must accept that Maya is gone. As time passes, they turn to one another for comfort and then find themselves romantically attached. Meanwhile, miles from civilization, Maya is alive. She is rescued by strangers whom she is sure is not sure she can trust. She struggles to make her way home not realizing that her life is forever changed.

Diane Chamberlain writes in the first chapter that every family has a story filled with secrets unknown to outsiders. In addition, each member of the family holds their own secrets. The problem with secrets is that they are “the lies we tell others” and “we tell ourselves.” We all keep secrets for several different reasons. One is to protect ourselves and the other is to protect the ones we love. The problem with secrets is that they have a way of coming out and usually when we least expect them to and Chamberlain reveals that we can never really hide from those secrets because they continue to tear us apart inside. She describes the memory of Maya and Rebecca’s parents’ death as “unfinished business” because there was a lot “left unsaid between” them. The circumstances of that murder unfold when Maya and Rebecca are forced that accept what has happened; Rebecca believing that Maya is forever lost, and Maya seeing life in a way she never anticipated.

You can read an excerpt from the book at Diane Chamberlain’s website.
Diane Chamberlain’s The Lies We Told is available through, Amazon, Indie Bound and most book stores including Barnes and Noble.


The Lies We Told is an amazing story about two sisters, who as different as they are, are bond by the witnessing the murder of their parents. Diane Chamberlain reveals bits and pieces of the events that led to the murder of the girls’ parents with each sister carrying around a burden of guilt and personal blame and you will never be able to guess what those secrets are. Moreover, the ending is a shocker but you have to read the book to find out. Diane Chamberlain has become a must read author for me and I am sure you will be hooked by just picking up one of her books. The Lies We Told does not disappoint.


To enter to win a copy of The Lies We Told, please leave a comment letting me know who your favorite fiction author is and your favorite novel by that author. (My favorite is “Black River” by Dean Koontz.) Please leave me an email address so that I am able to contact you. For an additional entry, you can tweet this giveaway to OhBoy_Boys.

This Giveaway will end Friday, June 25, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. so get your entry in by then.

The Winner will be chosen by I will post the Winner here and I will you email directly. You will then have 48 hours to claim your Prize. U.S. and Canadian addresses only.

Logo/Images Courtesy of 2010 © Diane Chamberlain,

Posted in Giveaway, Product Review

ZPCOPEN-OR Open It Universal Package Review and Giveaway

Clamshell packing is the worst invention of humanity and it definitely makes for an arthritis sufferer’s worst nightmare. If you do not have arthritis, think about your 85-year-old mother or grandmother and her trying to open that ridiculously difficult plastic packaging. Even hands without arthritis have a hard time opening these things, and clamshell packaging isn’t going anywhere. Household scissors are not strong enough to cut through that bizarre packaging and would be ruined by just opening one package.

What exactly is the point of clamshell packaging? To make old ladies and people living with arthritic or weak hands absolutely frustrated? It is like selling arthritis medicine with a childproof lid (read my previous review) . Since we all know that clamshell packaging isn’t going anywhere, why don’t we just use a product that out beats it?

The people at the Zibra Company were kind enough to send me another of their wonderful products for review and an extra one to give away to one of the readers of this blog.

The Product Review

Let me introduce you to the Zibra 4 in 1 Package Opener. This handy little gadget can help you with opening those ridiculous clamshell packages. For less than $12, you can get a tool that can help you cut through those sealed plastic containers (blister packaging, cardboard and paper), snip toy packaging, twist and zip ties, and slice boxes and the wrapping on CDs and DVDs. But wait- in the words of the late Billy Mays – there is more! It includes a tiny little screw driver that has a little compartment for storage that will help you open those tiny little battery compartments, and the top blade has a corner for helping pop off bottle caps.

If you do not own one of the Zibra 4 in 1 Package Opener, I personally recommend you get one. I made use of it five minutes after I opened the packaging. The Zibra Company was also kind enough to package the product so it was easily accessible and did not used that dreaded clamshell packaging. It can be a great gift and you will be remembered every time someone needs to open a clamshell package.
The product features offset cutting jaws that allow for maximum leverage when cutting through tough packaging and that offset design also keeps your hands at a safe distance from the sharp edges when you opening to sealed clamshell packages so you won’t cut yourself. Its practical, ergonomic design made it a finalist for the 2008 Housewares Design Award and even Rachel Ray has promoted it. The ergonomic design makes it comfortable to hold and use. The multiuse tool also offers a simple “open/close” switch that helps to keep it safely stored no matter where you are keeping, i.e. a kitchen drawer or your office desk. Last, it is guaranteed against defects with normal usage.

You can purchase the Open It! 4-in-1 package opener at any of these fine stores: Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot, Walgreens, Fred Meyer, and Kroger as well as Amazon and other regional retailers nationwide. It is also available in Canada.


As I previously mentioned, the wonderful people at the Zibra Company gave me an additional gadget for giveaway so one lucky reader of my blog will receive it. Here is what you have to do to be entered into the giveaway.

All you have to do is leave a comment on what you think of clamshell packaging and this product.

You can tweet the giveaway for an extra entry. Just tweet to OhBoy_Boys. Comeback and leave a comment telling me you tweeted.

U.S. addresses only. I will pick the winner with using a random generator on Saturday, May 1 and post the winner by noon. Deadline to enter is Friday, April 30 at 11:59 p.m.

Please leave an email address so I have a way to contact you.

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5/1/10 – Comments are now closed.  I will announce the winner shortly.