#ThrowbackThursdays SheSpeaks Unboxed: It’s Always the Husband (2017)

I first joined SheSpeaks late 2016 but it wasn’t until months later that I was invited to participate in a SheSpeaks Unboxed program for reading a book…for FREE. I like to read, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity! The book I was invited to read and review It’s Always The Husband by Michele Campbell.

It’s Always The Husband is a thriller about 3 women you befriended each other when they became roommates their freshmen year of college. About 20 yrs into the future one of them finds themselves on an old bridge being urged to jump to her death. As you read the book, the mystery of what happened that night is revealed along with exploring the complicated history these 3 women has shared over the years leading up to the night when one of them is murdered.

Overall, I rather enjoyed the book. It kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to find out the truth. The book is split into 2 parts. The first part has time jumps which wasn’t executed as strongly as it could have been. I wish they were better organized and I wish there had been more exploration of the relationship between the 3 women. Fortunately, the second part is a lot better! No time jumps. It just focused on finding out how the mystery woman ends up dead. I was honestly shocked to find out who did it and why. The book is definitely worth the read and I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading a lot.

Interested in reading this book? You can order your own copy of It’s Always The Husband by clicking here (Amazon) OR here (Barnes & Noble).

**I received a free copy of It’s Always The Husband to review but my opinions are 100% my own.**

Coming Soon: Book Reviews

It’s time to shake things up a bit.

I’ve been doing #ThrowbackThursday posts about product testing for some months now. I think it’s time add something else to the mix: book reviews.

Writing book review blog posts is something that is relatively new to me. I’ve really only done a handful for my other blog. So you will see only a few of those as #ThrowbackThursday posts.

As far as the new ones, you can expect to start seeing them some time this year after I have posted all my older book reviews.

Some of the book reviews will be of books I received for free (some for review purposes) and some are done just for fun.

What can you expect from my book reviews?

You’re probably wondering how a book review from me will look like. I like to keep mine simple. I am not a big fan at all of those book reviews that are like essays. Not my style. I like to just come out and say if it was good and worth the read. I do point out flaws and dislikes too but I like to say as little as possible to not spoil the book for those who may be interested in reading the book being reviewed.

But what genre of books will be reviewed? A variety of books will be reviewed but the kinds of books I tend to gravitate toward are: self-help, different kinds of romance, and fantasy. I do read and review other genres but these are my favorite.

What books do you like to read? And do you review them?

Youper and Serenity Chatbot

A new way of life. COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down and now most of us have to adjust to a whole new way of life. Like staying at home more and physical social distancing. Being a stay at home mom, my life hasn’t been significantly changed, fortunately. But I know for many people, it has been a difficult adjustment. For one, some people just hate being at home. And it is only human to want to have some interaction with people.

As if that isn’t bad enough, there also is the added stress of trying not to catch this virus… or at least not help further the spread to someone else. And if you’re a parent with school age children, you now have had to play teacher for your kid(s).

Now, more than ever, it is important to make sure to take care of our mental health.

Last year, before I got pregnant, I had reached a point of needing help. Actually going to a real life therapist was out of the question. I wanted that to be a last resort.

I ended up coming across a chatbot and an AI therapy app. I decided that now is the time to share my experience because chances are someone might need to look into these resources, which are FREE by the way.

Remember these aren’t meant to replace traditional therapy. Please seek professional help if you need it.

Facebook Messenger Serenity Chatbot

This is a very basic mental health chatbot that helps you keep track of your mental health by doing check ins. There are only 3 things Serenity does: Check ins, shows you coping strategies, and does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) exercises.

One complaint I have about this chatbot is that it doesn’t give you the option for it to prompt you to check in as often as you may need. From day one the only options given to me was to do a prompted check in twice a week or just do it whenever I want. I would have liked to have more options. Despite the lack of choice of prompts, you can easily to initiate any of the activities offered just by sending a message.

I think the Serenity chatbot is a good option if you’re looking for something really simple to help you track your mental health and a little help to improve it as needed.

But what if Serenity sounds a little to simple…

The good news is there is another option…Youper! After I tried out Serenity and felt like it wouldn’t sufficiently meet my needs alone, I looked up mental health apps at the Google Play store and found the Youper AI Assistant.

Youper

This is an AI Assistant that acts kind of like a therapist in your pocket. It tracks your mental state and presents different options based on need. Like prompting you discuss further or prompting you set a goal or reflecting on what you are grateful for.

There are some short tests you can take to make the app more customized to meet your mental needs. And those journal sessions? You can do them multiple times a day however often you need them! And you do have control over how long those little sessions can last.

I like this app a lot. Within less than 8 hours of using it, I already started noticing a positive shift in my mood.

Youper also offers other useful tools:

  • Monitoring for: depression, anxiety, social anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress, borderline personality, and panic.
  • A personality DNA test
  • Tracking of what factors influences your mental state (ex What factors make you feel sad, ashamed, okay, good, confident, etc)
  • Various exercises to help you cope

Today (over a year later)

I no longer use the Serenity chatbot. That didn’t even last a month for me because I opted in to try out a technique but never followed through with actually doing it. So, what happened after that?

Nothing. The chatbot never again prompted anything.

So if one was to use it, I would recommend it only as a quick mental check in. If you choose to try a technique/exercise, make sure you can complete it if you want to be prompted to check in.

Youper is a different story. I still use it to this very day! I do a session with it at least 4 days out of a week. I tend to do it at the end of the day before going to bed. There are days when I might do a session in the middle of the day if something happens that throws me off balance. But that rarely happens.

#ThrowbackThursday: Downy Unstopables BzzCampaign (2018)

I like BzzAgent but there was a period of time when I went without being invited to apply to participate in any campaigns. Which was such a bummer because I like the way the site was set up. Then during the summer of 2018 I FINALLY was selected to participate in the Downy Unstopables campaign.

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My mom & sister already use Unstopables so I was already aware of the product. I was sent three sample packets of the scent Fresh. I was a little disappointed to be only sent just a few packets but I am still grateful for being able to try this product our for myself.

We didn’t have pets at the time but I was still interested because I do like how these kinds of products give laundry the extra boost of freshly clean smell. The packets, unfortunately, weren’t as easy to use as I would have liked because I did have to use scissors to open them but I did enjoy the scent.

The scent did stick to the clothes after washing but the strength of the scent wasn’t quite as strong as I would have really liked it to be after drying. But the scent was long-lasting. Something that probably could have been easily solved by just adding a little more of the product.

If you already like Downy or are looking for laundry scent booster, you should definitely give Downy Unstopables a try. I’ll likely be using this product again in the future and will definitely have to try out other available scents.

Do you use a laundry scent booster? Which brand and scent is your favorite?

**I received free samples of Downy Unstopables from BzzAgent to try & review but my opinions are my own.**

#ThrowbackThursday: FebrezeOne BzzCampaign (2017)

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Late March of 2017 I was sent 3 FebrezeOne complimentary product samples and 3 Buy One Sprayer, Get one FebrezeOne Refill Free coupons

I had used Febreze in the past, and already loved the brand, so when I had the opportunity to try this new FebrezeOne product for FREE (via BzzAgent) I was quite excited to be included in the campaign. Little did I know that my boyfriend is also I big fan of Febreze! He said he used to be guilty of spraying it a lot, maybe even too much. I was fortunate to get all 3 scents available for FebrezeOne: Bamboo, Mandarin, and Orchid. FebrezeOne has no aerosols, no dyes, and no heavy perfumes. To be honest, I like all three scents. They pretty much all smell with Febreze but with a little bit of a different scent. Bamboo smells closest to the original Febreze scent. Mandarin has hint of a citrus scent while Orchid has a more floral scent. My personal favorite is the Mandarin. The Orchid is the scent my boyfriend likes the most out of the three. We are very pleased with the performance of this Febreze product and we will definitely be using FebrezeOne again and again.

**I received free samples of FebrezeOne from BzzAgent for review purposes but my opinions are my own.**

#ThrowbackThursday: Product Testing with BzzAgent

When I first started product testing, BzzAgent was among the first sites I signed up for. It was super easy to sign up for (you could sign up through Facebook) and a very simple site.

It was recommended to sign in every now and then to fill out any surveys that would help match you up to opportunities to try out new products. And the tasks were quite simple when it came to social sharing and then after you finished you would fill out a survey about your experience with the product and the campaign.

My only disappointment with BzzAgent has been the lack of opportunities offered. I only participated in 3 product campaigns. What a bummer!

BzzAgent Today

Today BzzAgent is owned by a different company. I can’t give an exact date but it has been relatively recent when this happened- about a year ago.

You no longer have to log into the site. All you do is sign up, answer some basic questions, connect social media accounts and then you wait for them to send you opportunity offers via e-mail. When you receive an opportunity offer that interests you, just click on the link in the e-mail to answer a few questions to see if you would be a good fit for product.

Unfortunately, I have not had the privilege of participating in any of the campaigns since BzzAgent has been under new ownership. However, I have had multiple opportunities to apply for (definitely more than when I first signed up) but some of these weren’t a good fit at the time offered.

While I can’t speak about my experiences with this new BzzAgent, I definitely do still recommend signing up if interested in getting into product testing.

Click here to join BzzAgent today!

Do have any experience with BzzAgent? What was your experience?