By Crystal Crichlow
I was getting so tired of staring at a white, blank canvas day after day so I decided to spice up my walls a bit. At first I created a memory wall by sticking a bunch of family photos up with tape, but there were so many downsides to doing this, like damaging the walls and those precious photos. I soon discovered that people were getting their selfies printed on tiles and then sticking them to their walls. That's right, this narcissistic generation has just been elevated. It was the perfect solution to my problem so I decided to try Wallpics and Mixtiles to see if this new trend was really worth it and which one was better.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post.
Winner : Bend a knee Mixtiles. Wallpics has got you beat in style, quality and most bang for the buck. I would be happy to order more tiles from Wallpics whether they are on sale or regular price. If you want to be a part of the new "Instagram for your walls" trend then I highly recommend you check out Wallpics and get your wigs snatched. www.wallpics.com/
When it comes to online shopping, nobody can beat the giant that is Amazon in terms of customer service and delivery speeds. They even have same day delivery for most orders, but with such heavy competition one might think that other online sites would at least try to make an effort to keep their customers coming back. That isn’t the case for the sites that have made this list.
I love, love, love ordering my clothes from Forever21. They have great quality and their sizes are usually spot on, but orders can take anywhere from 7 – 14 days for delivery. This isn’t too bad, but whenever I contact customer service about the status of my order I usually get ignored or an automated response about their shipping policies.
4. Victoria Secret
I have ordered from Victoria’s Secret twice now and I can promise you that there won’t be a third. At least one item in the order is always in back order, which is usually the item that I want the most. I am currently waiting for an item I ordered on boxing day of 2017.
If you like waiting 2-3 weeks for acne treatment then go right ahead and order from Proactiv. There products might be good but their customer service reps are not helpful at all and their delivery speeds are pathetic.
2. Fashion Nova
Yes, they have very affordable clothes, shoes and accessories for students on a budget, but don’t expect your items to arrive in 2 weeks, try a month or longer and when you contact customer service they will blame it on customs. The ‘customs’ excuse is understandable but a complete lie. When my package finally arrived, they had an apology saying sorry for the slow delivery, but if my package was stuck at customs, how do you explain the note in the package? Did you drive to customs and tuck the note in the box (sarcasm), ship my package out later than you said, or are you all just a bunch of liars? Own up to your flaws. You will be respected more for it.
I have a complete blog post dedicated on this website, so I’m just repeating what I said before. Wish is the worst site when it comes to quality and delivery times. Delivery can take up to 3 months! Do I really need to say more?
Do you know any other sites that should be on this list or disagree with my choices? Feel free to share your experience or opinions in the comments section below!
I think I might be one of the few people who really, really enjoyed the new season of Daredevil. All across social media people are going off and even hinting that because of such low ratings the chance of season 4 happening is very slim and practically non-existence especially since its better counterparts Luke Cage and Iron Fist both got the axe. I think this is a big mistake and I am begging the Netflix powers at be to give us Season 4. Here's why I liked it!
I love a bad guy and I love to love a bad guy, but I also love to hate them too. Agent Poindexter had me on a roller coaster of emotions throughout the season. You couldn't help but feel sorry for him because of his past but then it was also hard to overlook all the crummy things that he did, like going on a murder spree and then killing a priest in a church. His story is one of tragedy and I think there's so much more that can be done with his story. He makes a great villain. I need to know more of his backstory. How did he get his ability? Where did he get it? Who were his parents? So many unanswered questions.
The Fight Scenes
Once again Poindexter was holding it down with his style of fighting. I loved that he could hit anything even if that thing or person is hiding behind a desk or a wall. I also liked the one-on-one fight scenes between Poindexter and the real Daredevil; a blind man who can sense your every move and a psycho who can't miss a shot. What a perfect cocktail of entertainment!
The end of The Defenders showed Matt seemingly die in an explosion along with Elektra, but this is a superhero show and no one ever stays dead. He rises from the ashes and ends up fighting to regain his powers as well as his faith. I like Matt Murdock without Elektra. I found her extremely annoying and now that she's gone Daredevil can go back to being the Season 1-no suit-vigilante Daredevil that I couldn't get enough of.
I loved the season. I don't care what anyone says, so if you want to go off, go off.
By Crystal Crichlow
What makes someone a hero? Is it like in the movies? Does the hero have to be a god or possess some superhuman ability that makes them special? I like to believe in the impossible, that heroes are made of flesh and bone and guts. I like to believe that anyone no matter their race, religion or country of origin all have the ability to save a life especially if that life is their own.
It's not true that people are born bad, it's just not. Something happens inside, something so dark it turns them bad, makes them snap. So today I want you to look in the mirror and tell me what you see looking back at you. What lies behind those eyes? If you see darkness then I'd say to you that the light cannot shine until it is dark and that's when it shines the brightest. Don't be afraid to let it consume you. Think about all the good you can only find in dark places, like the stars and the moonlight. Yes, the dark can be a good thing and never is it permanent. When you're at your lowest, when the darkness starts to suffocate you until you can't breath anymore, think about how a single candle can defy all that blackness. Kick and punch and scream at the top of your lungs until your vocal cords are sore if you have to. Be a candle in the dark. Be your own hero.
In the movies heroes are broken and beaten down until they are dust, but then what happens at the end? They rise from the ashes and defeat the darkness.
So why not keep going even when there is nothing left of you? You're already in pain. You're already beaten down by the world. Don't give up. Keep going and get your reward so at least you didn't suffer for nothing.
It's been a while since I've posted anything on my personal website but that's all about to change. First, I would like to thank the thousand of visitors I receive each day across all of my sites, but managing so many websites has become quite challenging.
I've decided to merge my personal blog skippingstonessite.wordpress.com/ to www.crystalcrichlow.com. I am sad to see it go but I believe this will make things easier for me as well as for all those who were loyal enough to flip back and fourth between my sites. Going forward, all book reviews will be posted to http://www.pillarofsaltbooks.com/ but eventually this too will be merged to my main site.
Thanks for your loyalty.
I think it's important to look back on your life, to see where you came from and how you ended up where you ended up. Maybe it'll give closure or maybe it'll just be a stepping stone to move past the past. Or maybe it'll do nothing at all.
I was born on a small island; a land with a buttery sun, golden sand and mighty sea. My parents married young and were probably too young to be having children, but there they were with three kids in a house with no lights and no running water and very little food. They did what they could, I'm sure they did, and from the stories I heard as a kid, they were happily married. I try to remember those times, the times when they were happy, but there's nothing there. All those memories are dust just like their marriage. I can remember little things. I remember playing with my brothers, carefree and full of impossible dreams. We use to be the best of friends and I guess all siblings start out that way, but it isn't necessarily how it ends...in the end. I also remember that one time my dad took me fishing. He made a homemade fishing rod out of a can and on that trip I accidentally dropped it into the sea. He never took me again. I remember the walks with my parents. The trips to the beach. It was good for a time even though our living conditions were not but good things never lasted, at least not for most people cursed into a life of misfortune. My entire childhood was one of silence and isolation. Besides my brothers, I never had any friends. I spent all of my Primary school days not speaking. All day, everyday, I never spoke a word. Looking back now, that should have been the first sign but no one noticed or maybe back then they weren't equipped too. They thought I was just shy, but I think I was just scared, and I don't know why. I was anxious, always looking over my shoulder for some unseen evil. I'm still the same to this day. I mean, I talk a lot more but I'm always checking for the unseen. Always worried. Forever alone.
I think my parents divorced when I was 3 or 4 years old. They don't even remember or maybe they don't care too. Their stories about why they split up differs, and I guess there are truths somewhere in both. What I got from all the stories is this: my father had an affair that ended with a child. After the divorce my mom stuck around for a while, but she didn't see a future on our happy little island. She wanted more. Mom wanted better. I guess that was the reason she chose to leave us behind and start a new life overseas. Time was different as a child, but I felt like years before she finally brought us with her. Still, all I cared about was that she left us behind. But she left us in good hands, so I guess I should be grateful, right?
My gran gran cared for us until I was 12 years old. It was a rocky start. A lot of back and fourth bickering between her and my dad, but those moments with her were some of the best times in my life. She never smiled, but she was strong and protective and fierce and funny when she let her guard down. If anyone tried to hurt us in anyway gran gran was murderous. I remember being bullied once in primary school, but it was a fleeting moment. Gran stomped that out with her size 11 foot when she found out. I remember her giant hands around the collar of the kids shirt as she brought her face to his. She said, "I want you to see her but don't see her from now on." Those were her exact words. No one bullied me again. They were all scared of gran gran. I couldn't blame them either. In a country with mostly Afro-Caribbean people, a six feet tall white lady must have been frightening. When she died I think all of me died with her. There is rot around my heart. Her absence hit me so hard in the gut that I fell and never got up. Right up till the end she use to call me every Sunday with the rest of her kids. I never missed a Sunday call...until it was her last. It still haunts me to this day. I remember her number flashing on my screen and then swiping the call away. I told myself I would call her later or text her when I got home but I never got the chance. That was my last chance. She was gone. No more Sunday phone calls and stories about her time as a child. No more staying up past midnight watching Everybody Loves Raymond on her yearly visits. No more advice on life, or wise words of wisdom. It's been almost 4 years since she died but I still remember her laugh. I remember her voice. I remember her face. I remember her. I will always remember her.
Losing a loved one in death is such a painful experience. Maybe that is why I am still here even though everyday I feel hollow. When I look in the mirror there is nothing behind my eyes. I try and I try and I try to hang on even though my fingers are slipping and the blood from my fingernails is running down my arm and the weight on my shoulders is a planet. I keep going to work even though I lose my soul everyday. Even though at the end of every shift I am emotionally broken. People are always saying to quit and find a new job but it's hard to do that when your skin isn't the "right" colour. That's what they tell you, isn't it? They say it so much until it sticks and it's all you believe. They say if you don't look a certain way you don't matter, so you take whatever you can get just to survive, just to put food on the table and a roof over your head. My job is another planet on my shoulder. It is a cold place with no heart and no soul. Everyday I anxiously have to make quota and after 4 years of this rate madness my everyday life feels like I also have to make quota. I shower too fast, shovel food in my mouth until I am choking. My thoughts run a thousand miles an hour. Everything in my life is now about making rate. I don't know how to slow down, not just in my day to day actions but also in my mind. Even as I type this my fingers are flying over the keyboard. I cannot slow down. I will never know peace again. I hope my gran gran found peace. I hope I find it someday too.
Family is suppose to mean power and love. When the world is against you, your family is suppose to stand right beside you. They're suppose to strap on their armour and join you at the front line, ready to battle, ready to lead each other to victory. But my family is not like that and I suspect most aren't. We failed gran gran and now we continue to fail each other. Recently my family and I were homeless, hopping around from motel to motel, living out of our cars while our other family members were nice and warm in their houses and apartments. We were never offered a floor to sleep on, no emotional support or a phone call just to see how we were doing. We got nothing. I thought blood is suppose to be thicker than water. But that's a lie. A myth. When they needed us we were always there, but when it was our turn everyone just ghosted. I suppose that was my fault. I should have asked, but not everyone can, can they? Not everyone has the strength to crawl to safety, or to reach out for the life boat when they are drowning. My head is barely above water. Deep-sea creatures are snapping at me feet. I keep looking for someone to save me but it is just a damn waste of time. I know that gran gran was looking for someone to save her. No one did. I know she suffered with anxiety and depression her whole life, and in the end I know that's what killed her. It could have been prevented. It should have. The signs were there. Everyone thinks that once you have a family of your own, you can just turn your back on the ones that gave you life or grew up with you or shared your trials and your suffering, but that's not true, it's just not. Starting a family just means you can add on to the one you already have. You're adding to that power, to that army, to that love.
Anxiety or depression is not a choice. It is not a switch someone can turn on and off at will. It is a curse. A plague. A festering sore. People who suffer with it scream in silence. They pray for help or medicine to cure. Most of the time nothing works. Nothing helps. Other times it feels okay for a while. It feels like maybe you can breathe again, but it is just hanging out below the surface, waiting for the slightest nudge to drag you under again. It is like gangrene. It spreads and spreads, rotting you from the inside out.
I guess what I'm saying is, you can help. Stop telling people they will get over it if they try because they do try, every damn day. Stop treating them like they are weak because how can they be weak when they are carrying planets? They fight to survive everyday and they are winning. The stigma surrounding mental issues is the reason people do not get help. Just because you don't understand something doesn't give you the right to make people feel like they are looking for attention, or overreacting or crazy. The problem is that no one cares. That's what needs to change. That's what needs to get better...or no one ever will.
Everyone thinks that the perfect job is to work from home and though it does have its perks, it is not a very easy job to find. A lot of people wonder, how achievable is it? I wanted to experience this new trend for myself. Yes, I work from home on occasion running my blogs and various social media pages, but this is all independent and not part of any company. I wanted to know if it is as easy to get into as everyone says or if it's like chasing after the wind. I must say that they are some great companies, like Endy or Amazon that offer great pay, benefits and their application/interview processes are quite easy. Then they are others that I have discovered which are completely unnecessary and make no sense at all. These three companies, which you're probably better off avoiding altogether (personal opinion) are Jus Brands, Luxy Hair and Mixtiles. FYI, Luxy Hair has some great potential in terms of pay, and the people over there are super nice so I wouldn't count them out yet.
RATED FROM BAD to WORST:
When a company asks you to send them a “bomb cover letter,” you know you’re dealing with children or adults who are taking the forever young slogan too literally. They’ve also taken discrimination to the next level. They don’t let something as basic as skin colour get in the way of their hiring practices, instead they won’t hire you based on the texture of your hair. It was literally in their job posting ad. If you don’t have curly hair you cannot apply. Luckily, I have curly hair so I wasn’t the one being discriminated against and yet their hiring policies have left a bad taste in my mouth. I wish I hadn’t applied, but I did and two months later I’m still in the dark. Most companies have the decency to let you know that they have selected other candidates for the job, but not LUS Brands, they couldn’t care less that you’re probably out there refreshing your inbox hoping to be put out of your misery. I’m guessing my cover letter was not “bomb” enough for them. I don’t know if their products are any good. I was actually curious to try them, but I’m far too petty to bother. I’ll take my curly hair elsewhere.
Where to start? The application was super confusing. In addition to answering fake customer service questions and concerns you had to take 2 really weird personality tests and send them back the results. Why would a company trust some random personality test that was probably designed by some high school student on a dare and then use it as a tool to hire people? Since when are online personality tests a Hail Mary in figuring out who people are? Whatever happened to good old fashion interview questions? I’m all for this technological era, but this practice for finding the right candidate is so lousy and so beyond incompetent that you left me at a lost for words. Whoever the CEO is of Luxy Hair needs to revamp their entire interview process to something that actually makes sense. Applying here will certainly get your wig snatched!
This is by far the worst of the worst. By visiting their website you can apply online by filling out an application which includes a bunch of fake customer questions. Your task is to respond to these customer concerns like you are actually working for their company. After a few days you may or may not receive an email inviting you to a video interview via Skype.
The video interview was very frightening. I wasn’t sure where to look, how to smile, where to put my hands…should I sit on them or not? Was my mic working? Can she even see me? Am I blinking too much or not blinking enough? I was never asked anything about my previous customer service experience, in fact, the interviewer spent the entire time talking about herself. I didn’t really mind. She actually made me feel a little more at ease despite the F bomb she dropped. After the interview I had to fill out and send back more mock questions, which again wasn’t too bad. I was so proud of my responses too. I sent them off the same day all wrapped up in a pretty little bow. One week went by and I didn’t receive any news on whether I got the job or not so I sent a follow-up email. The email went ignored for another week or so. All in all it took more than 3 weeks before I heard anything back.
They are not looking for people with experience as mentioned several times by other people across the internet. If you think you can bring experience to the table, think again. They’re only serving vibranium (fictional). So, unless you’re from Wakanda and have access to this special metal, don’t bother applying. Experience doesn’t mean anything at all to them. Yes, I know I sound salty, but I’m more confused than anything else…and, well yes, maybe just a little salty. The online reviews are pretty negative regarding their products and hiring policies.
This is just my take on these three companies. No one likes being rejected. That shit cuts deep, but it is what it is. I’m a firm believer that things happen the way they are suppose to. It went the way it was always going to. I just thought I would share my experience with you lovely people who are thinking about applying. I am in no way telling you that you should not apply. By all means whip out those fingers and start whacking away on that keyboard for the job of your dreams. Just don’t set your expectations too high no matter what experience/precious metal you think you bring to the table.
Keep looking if working remotely is something that you are passionate about. It is a job that I would highly recommend to people suffering from anxiety. There are some good ones out there and it will take a great deal of patience to find.
Do you have a similar experience with these companies or another one? Don’t agree with me? Sound off below!
Good luck with the job hunting, readers
Title: The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle
Author: Stuart Samuel
Release Date: July 18th, 2017 by www.jupiterscientific.org
Rating: 5 Stars
There are 3 things a child can take away from reading The Adventures of Thomas the Turtle, though I'm sure there are more depending on your perspective.
1. Listen to your parents - Thomas is warned not to go to a specific area in their pond, but he is overcome with curiosity and forced into an adventure that separates him from his family.
2. Wild animals belong in their natural habitat. Leave them alone. Thomas meets a couple of kids whose first instinct is to take him home with them as a pet, which would separate Thomas from his family forever.
3. Pray. To teach a child to pray in times of trouble is to teach them that there is hope and to never give up. Believing in a higher power sometimes is all it takes for some people to get through life and to not give up even when things are at their worst. We should teach our kids that while thy're still young and before it's too late.
This is a beautifully illustrated book that teaches children a very valuable and practical lesson about nature, animals and listening to their parents.
Let's be real for a moment, the book world does not look at self-published books the same way they do books that are traditionally published. Most of them are overlooked and sometimes poor editing mistakes can be a turn off, but there are some and by some I mean a lot, that are worthy of praise and attention that they'll never receive because of that self-publishing stigma. Here are a few of my faves!
5. The Dragonfly Door by Margaret Millmore
This books isn't YA but there's something about time-travelling stories that I can't say no to.
"Most people would envy Frank Mann for living off a trust fund in beautiful San Francisco. But Frank was directionless and spiraling downward – lonely, drinking heavily, getting into brawls. He was sitting at a bar when above the gleaming bottles he first glimpsed the thing that would change his life forever.
“It was the largest dragonfly I’d ever seen. Its wings were silver and its body a luminescent blue-green, almost metallic. I swear it was looking right at me.”
But it wasn’t looking at him. It was looking for him. Because it wasn’t a dragonfly at all, it was a door into the future. And it was sent to find Frank Mann for one specific reason: because only he could save mankind from extinction.
A century from now, the world seems cleansed of pollution, relieved of conflict, liberated from want. Earth appears lush and beautiful, a renewed Eden. But there’s trouble in paradise— a deadly virus that is destroying all of earth’s agriculture. Unleashed in our time, its catastrophic power only emerges a century from now. And to create an antidote, the scientists of tomorrow must obtain a sample of the virus from today. That’s where Frank Mann comes in.
However, success will not be as easy as stepping through the dragonfly door. An evil future sect will try to thwart him. The time travel device itself could fail and strand him, and unnerving encounters with his own future wife and their great-great-grandchildren might skew history altogether. Frank just wanted something to live for – something a little more modest than saving humanity. But that’s what the future asked of him and now it’s time to answer the call."
4. Gateway: Pioche by Jeff Dawson
This book is also not YA, but like I said before about time travel books...Anyways, this book is surprisingly detailed, intriguing and gave me goosebumps for a very long time.
"June 2016—Stanford, Ca. GRADUATION for Muki, Abdul, Larry and Judith. Six years of cramming for finals and pursuing double master’s degrees has finally paid off. It's time for them to enjoy the fruits of their labor. A trip to Las Vegas and the blackjack tables before entering the word of commerce and research.
Their good fortune at the tables doesn't go unnoticed by the local mob boss, Nathan Francisco, who decides, "What money comes to Vegas, stays in Vegas." Instead of enjoying their winnings, the graduates become engaged in a hair-raising, life-threatening pursuit through the sleepy town of Pioche, Nevada. Eluding their pursuers, they wind up northeast of town at an abandoned military complex. Not wanting to tempt fate, they decide to stay put for a day and explore the complex.
What and who they find could unravel the truths surrounding the most debated conspiracies of the past—who shot John Fitzgerald Kennedy, what happened to Judas Iscariot after betraying Jesus, did America really land on the moon in 1969. And finally, will Judith Anderson be able to purge her family’s ties to the Third Reich when she comes face-to-face with her great-grand father Martin Bormann?
Prepare for the most riveting tale of time travel!
Note: This book contains strong language. Not recommended for children under 13. "
3. The Game by Shane Scollins
Probably one of the most underrated books out there. Seriously, if you haven't read this book yet what are you waiting for?
No matter where you are, they’ll find you, and put you in “The GAME”.
Candice Laguna’s life is being systematically dismantled, by an unknown force, for a reason she can’t imagine. But she is about to become the unwilling star of a reality game competition the likes of which has never been broadcast to the world.
Just when things get darkest, a mysterious man snatches her from the grips of doom. He is a man who is not what he seems, and not who he says. He has no name and his motivation to help Candice is not what it seems to be.
But his selfishness has good intentions, he just wants to know who he is and where he came from. And getting to the man orchestrating this reality game is the only way to find the truth.
THE GAME is a mystery/thriller with an unpredictable paranormal twist. It has action and adventure and plays up the everyday exploitation of reality television obsession gone wrong.
2. Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles Book 1) by Ripley Patton
Is this book a movie yet? It should be!
Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.
How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.
Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.
1. What We Left Behind (Zombie Nightmares Book 1) by Peter Cawdron
Nothing gets me more excited than a great zombie book. I never say no to reviewing a zombie book even if it's not YA. What We Left Behind was absolutely delicious and I ate (see what I did there) it all up in one sitting.
"Everyone has a different term for zombies. I call them Zee because that's the term my mother used before she turned, speaking about the whole horde as though it was just one individual. Grammar has no place in the zombie apocalypse…
Hazel is a regular teenager growing up in an irregular world overrun with zombies. She likes music, perfume, freshly baked muffins, and playing her Xbox—everything that no longer exists in the apocalypse. Raised in the safety of a commune, Hazel rarely sees Zee anymore, except on those occasions when the soldiers demonstrate the importance of a headshot to the kids. To her horror, circumstances beyond her control lead her outside the barbed wire fence and into a zombie-infested town. “Five, Four, Three, Two—count your shots, Haze,” she says to herself, firing at the oncoming zombie horde. “Don't forget to reload.”