A great way to send flowers: The Bouqs review

When I started blogging more regularly I had to start wading through quite a few emails from companies asking me to review their product, or that they wanted to feature my blog on their site, etc.  Most of them were not the types of businesses I wanted to work with and a couple were outright frauds, but I received a very entertaining email from a guy named Adam Meyer, who is a marketing guy for The Bouqs flower company.

Of course like any other offer I get I research the company, and the more I researched, the more I liked.  First of all I found this very entertaining video, and anything that entertains me scores big points!

The email was also very clever and entertaining…more points.  But the real points were earned when I read about their company. The Bouqs is a company that was started because ordering flowers online is not always what it appears to be.  Prices start out okay, but skyrocket when you add in shipping and the cost of the vase?  Seriously I don’t need any more vases.  I usually end up giving them away. Why pay for something I give away? For most of them the starting prices are around 40.00…..and can go way up from there.  When the flowers arrive they are dead or wilted and don’t last a long time.

The Bouqs is different.  Prices start at $40.00, but that is THE price! FREE shipping with weekday deliveries in the United States, and the BEST part for me was that the flowers are cut and shipped within a day of cutting  So they don’t come from a refrigerated warehouse.  They come from the farm on the side of a volcano!  Yes, I said volcano.  AND the farms are Eco friendly and sustainable.  I did not see that they are “fair trade” farms, but when I googled the farm my flowers came from I was equally impressed with it. They are certified with the Rainforest Alliance, which is an “international nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods”  Way to go The Bouqs!!  I love who you do business with!!  My flowers were shipped from Fiorentina flowers in Ecuador.  They have a Fiorentina Flowers Facebook page, as does The Bouqs. 

So back to the flowers.

I chose this bouquet to send to my beautiful Karol: desperadobouqs

I asked for them to be delivered on a Friday, and they were.  They arrived on time, and were shipped very securely:

flowers3

I opened them very carefully.  They stems were encased in a gel like substance to keep them moist I am sure.  I carefully unpacked them:

flowers4

so pretty.  Just like the picture from the website!

so pretty. Just like the picture from the website!

I counted 27 roses in all!  The leaves were in good shape, as were the flowers.  They had a nice fragrance, and I loved the flowers that were shipped with them as an “accent” flower.

Now I am NOT great at arranging flowers, but when I finished cutting the stems at an angle and placing them in TWO vases this is what I ended up with:

flowers7

So pretty!  I was very pleased with the quality of the flowers, the ease in purchasing them and the price of $40.00  !!

vase 1

vase 1

vase 2

vase 2

Together:

flowers6

The flowers lasted about 9 days.  Although to be honest if I had changed the water in the vases they may have lasted longer. I just put them in the composter this morning.  They arrived on 5 September. Not bad for $40.00.  Of course I did get mine for free, but if I had paid the $40.00 I would still have been satisfied!

Please check out The Bouqs!  Great company doing business with eco-friendly sustainable farms in South America!

I highly recommend them!!! To get to their website just click on the Bouq on my website.  And for transparency for every click through and order, I receive a check from them as The Bouqs affiliate!!!  So thanks for that and I am sure you will love your flowers as much as we did!

Disclosure: My Bouq was received for review purposes. No compensation was received for this post and all opinions are my own.

 

 

I used the leaked celebrity nudes of Jennifer Lawrence and others to teach my kids about internet security.

A few days ago nude pictures of celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Victoria Justice, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Kate Upton, Lea Michele, Kirsten Dunst, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and others showed up online.  I happened to see them on a friends’ Twitter account.  When I saw them, I was like, “no way those are real.” But apparently they were.

As the facts of the story emerged it appears a hacker with the name of “OriginalGuy” hacked his way into cloud storage and stole these pictures and then proceeded to put them out for mass viewing.  In fact, it seems as though he alleges he has hundreds, if not thousands more pictures and he will be leaking them out over time.

photo credit: www.gawker.com

photo credit: www.gawker.com

While some celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton admitted the pictures were authentic they were obviously and rightly outraged that their private information was splattered all over the internet, others denied the authenticity of the photos and told their fans the photos were faked. These photos were private and personal. They belonged to the owners of the photos and no one else. Except of course anyone they chose to share them with, if they did.  Someone breaking into your storage and stealing your private property is no different if it is photos or computers, or jewelry, or anything else you own and maintain in a private place.

I remember when my oldest child (who is now 22) got her first phone with a camera.  Her mother and I repeatedly cautioned her about taking inappropriate pictures of herself (revealing or nudes) and keeping them on her phone.  We explained that people could get your images off of your phone.  We warned her against sending nudes to anyone because once out there, they may end up in places you don’t want them.  Even if deleted, they are still accessible.  In fact actress Mary Winstead commented, “To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves.”  She went on to say that the photos had been deleted years ago.  Yet somehow they were still available to be hacked??

Thank you Ms. Winstead.  You just made my point!

Once these photos have been taken and stored anywhere they are potentially available ANY time someone wants to use their skills to hack and steal them.  Now while I will admit that the likelihood that someone will want to hack and steal nudes of my kids is low, it is still possible.  Nudes are nudes.  They fetch high prices.  Someone out there might want nudes of people, famous or not.

My first reaction to this was: “So don’t take nude pictures on your phone.”  And for goodness sakes, if you do, don’t share them or store them anywhere.  In fact some people have argued that people have the right to take nude photos of themselves and expect privacy just as women have the right to wear short skirts in public and not expect to be harassed or ogled or touched.  While I agree that they should have complete agency over their own bodies, once that agency is shared with others you are at their mercy as to how those photos can be used in a negative way.

So don’t give your agency away.

If you must take nude photos of yourself because after all it is your body and you have that right, then go for it! But please keep them just for your own enjoyment.  If you want to share them with someone, the do so by showing them the pictures on your phone while holding it in your hand.  Don’t send them to someone via the internet.  Don’t send them to someone via your phone service provider .

The internet is not as secure as some would think.  Cloud storage is not as secure (apparently) as we would like it to be.  My home is not as secure as I would like it to be.  Thieves are out there.  Given an opportunity and a motive some people will steal and do nefarious things with the stolen property.  This is the way of the world.

Should that stop you from living your life?  Absolutely not! But it should make you aware to take precautions with the things you value, or that could potentially cause you embarrassment or anger if shared.  Be smart about your security and your private information.  Hopefully this horrible situation will give people cause to think about their actions and their internet security and how they choose to share and store private information and pictures.

Maybe my kids will take some of the lessons I tried to teach them about internet security and sharing private things with people to heart.  If anything good can come from this unfortunate situation I hope it is that people (including my kids) will be more aware of how little security the internet has, and be mire cautious of the information and photos they choose to share.

Roasted Smashed Potatoes

 Do you all ever get in a dinner rut?  I do!  It seems like we eat the same thing over and over.  I try to look for new things to make, and when I do sometimes the family loves it:  Potato soup, and sometimes they don’t: yellow tomato pasta. To be honest I ended up tossing part of the pasta after everyone refused to eat it for leftovers.
So I was really excited when I saw this recipe on my friend Pam’s Facebook wall.  I saw it during one of those times I was browsing Facebook, aka “the time sucking website”, and this popped up!  It looked intriguing, and I decided to give it a try.  I wasn’t sure when I would make them, but the other day when Karol suggested she make her famous ribs for dinner, I thought, this would be a perfect side dish!
To be honest I adore potatoes.  Nothing soothes my soul quite like mashed potatoes, with or without gravy.  However, potatoes really aren’t very good for me, so I limit my intake of them.  So when I find a recipe that uses just three ingredients and I can soothe my soul without the added calories of butter and milk, I am in!  Now just to be perfectly honest, I did make some of these “loaded” and added shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, crumbled bacon and scallions, but they are just as good plain!

ROASTED SMASHED POTATOES

8-10 small red bliss potatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Adjust the oven racks to the top position.

Boil the potatoes in water for 10-15 minutes or until fork tender. Place on a prepared baking sheet. Some recipes tell you to smash them with a potato peeler, or between two kitchen towels.  I used the bottom of a drinking glass.  Worked great!!

Place the smashed potatoes on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the potatoes on the top rack for about 20-30 minutes, turning them over gently with a spatula 1/2 way through the cooking time, so about 10-15 minutes.

Top with cheese, or any baked potato item you love.  Or just eat them plain.  My favorite part were the crunchy bits, and my kids devoured them!  They are even good reheated, although not so crunchy.

smashed and ready to go in the oven

smashed and ready to go in the oven

 

Out of the oven.  Cheese on some, sour cream on two.

Out of the oven. Cheese on some, sour cream on two.

 

ready to go in my mouth!!!

ready to go in my mouth!!!

smashedpotato3

Just cheese.

Just cheese.

 

Super easy and delicious side dish that can be made in about 45 minutes, but require very little time in the way of “making” them.  Most of the time is spent boiling and baking, so you can get other things done at the same time!

ENJOY!!