Blogmas | How Do I Read? w/ TILISMA

Hello!

I had meant for this post to go out a lot sooner than this, but I never felt it was right to publish until Christmas was around the corner, so, this is a two-in-one kind of blog post as I answer a question you’ve probably had on your mind since the start of the year, how do I read? The other is going to be about a brilliant company that makes these cute and smart gift ideas for readers and students!


Back in August, I published a new installment of “Photo Diary” based around on how life was going and of course, I included lots of pictures of our nine cats. I mentioned that I was loving to read outside with them, but most importantly it gave you an insight of how I actually read where the book is propped on top of something, for me to use comfortably. The interesting part is, this is just one way, I actually have a total of four different positions to read in my spare time. Besides the use of the bench I take outside, I find myself using any flat surface to help me do things mainly because its easier to control when everything is at an even ground.

I’ve been known to surprise many people when they come around while I am enjoying a book, because of the distance between the pages and my eyes, it has never been an issue for me because honestly I’ve learned to make it work; like with everything else, I adapt to my surroundings! However, the thing that is harder to master is keeping the pages open easily. It wasn’t until July that I might’ve found a solution to this insecurity.

I follow and love a great deal of BookTubers (people on YouTube who mostly discuss bookish things.) and I was on Chelsea Palmer’s channel, watching yet another haul but she started off the video with introducing her audience to these neat products, by the name of TILISMA and the only description worth explaining on how they look is imagine Batman’s bat knifes he throws at crooks on the run and the sharp edges would pin the person up against the wall. If you have no idea of what I am talking about, this is what they generally look like.

Chelsea was gifted with all of their products, and in the video she showed everyone how to use them. The objective was simple: the holders would be placed in one hand and one hand only. They were designed this way, so that the reader inserts their thumb inside a hole that is measured to the average size and while your thumb is there, you could hold down the pages with as much pressure as you want to keep them separate while the rest of your hand on the other side basically holds the book to your desired advantage point.

I thought these were super cool! I do struggle with holding a book open on my own, and apparently it doesn’t matter what kind of idea I attempt to help conquer this, I haven’t been able to find the perfect way to enjoy a book without worrying I am going to lose my spot or worse tear a page because I can’t move fast enough! The thing that stood out in my mind was that I didn’t just think an average person could benefit from this kind of product, but I thought people with disabilities could enjoy them as well!

I ended up spending a greater part of my summer trying to get in touch with the company to explain how much this would help others with physical disabilities, who have limited movement in their hands (or in my case, feet), but we continue to depend on somebody else or find heavy but small objects to keep the pages open. So, after explaining my thoughts about their revolutionary products (or “hooks” as I like to call them) to the TILISMA team, I was asked to have a member of my family measure out the size of my toe to see if they could figure something out for me.

Unfortunately, it took forever to them to come in, thanks to the drama about the mailing system! It wasn’t until early September that I received three medium sized packages; I had array of holders in their individual packages at my disposal and they were even cuter up close and personal as they did in Chelsea’s video three months earlier!


So, I was gifted with the standard Hazelnut holder that has little curves that make a slight “S” shape and it is gorgeous! Every item is unique in their own ways, but mine has both a darker brown color but it also has this thick stripe of beige like when you cut into a piece of wood and you see the white flesh of the inside, the difference here is that the product is completely smooth. You can’t tell that it was homemade or real for that matter either!

Recently, my cousin gave me all seven books of the Harry Potter series and at the time I wrote this post, I was using this hook to help me keep the pages open. The one thing I had an issue was not necessarily the hook because I had grown to enjoy the width of the actual hook-like wings on the sides, for they made the opening more stable for me. I didn’t feel like I was giving it too much pressure, but since the books had belonged to someone else, the spine’s collapsing on itself and you really have to be careful with how you handle each one, so I’m glad I had something like this to keep reading easy on me. 

The next one is again a standard holder, but could be work easier with heavy, thick books as the design itself is without dips unlike the one above. For me, I think of it like an eye, the circular shape of a cat’s eye is actually the perfect way to describe it because where the hole is would be where the iris sits. I like the fact that it is this deep and rich brown, almost like a brownie hue, and it is pretty sturdy as well. I don’t feel like it could snap whenever I apply a strong act of pressure in the spine of the book.

One of their cuter items is this heard shaped holder. This was my mom’s favorite because it was a nice surprise to the whole thing! By the way, my mom was the only one I had shown what their products looked like, in order to gain advice on my idea several months ago, but I left this one out of the talk, because I wasn’t sure if I would receive one or not.

It is basically an outline of a heart in the wood with a hole in the middle to insert your finger through to keep your place. As much as I loved the design of this, I cannot use it myself because for me it’s too bulky, which I found to be odd, but so far I haven’t found a book where I can sit it comfortably so that part sucks; for now though, it is part of my decoration on my bookshelf.

Do you remember when I said in the beginning about how I had to have someone measure my toe? Well, there was a smaller version of the first standard hook stuffed inside a little box – but the big difference to the others is that it fits over my toe!!

I must have a really small toe considering how big the hole they carved out takes up a lot space of the design. I am still shocked on two things: the first is being the material being strong enough to withstand the large gap in the middle, and next, is it was as soft as the others and slides off so nicely! I love it so much that I tend to forget to put it away after I’ve stopped reading, and I literally just wear it around my family. Don’t worry, I try to hide it from my nephew because we don’t want him damaging it nor getting his fingers stuck either!


I wanted to say something special for the team of TILISMA before I go. Thank you so much for creating these little things. They are clever and so easy to use! I know you probably never thought someone such as myself would message you out of the blue like I did, but thank you for not only being patient but also working with me to (hopefully) reach a even bigger audience for you in the future!

If you would like to purchase any of the products featured above, click here to be redirected to their Amazon page. The reason why I did not link each one with the holder is because you might need a different size so I figured it would be much easier for you, to search through the various hooks and find the size you need on your own.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and I think if you are buying these for someone else, they will feel very appreciated that you thought of them. Here are some of my other photos I (and my dad too!) took of them so you can have a better idea of what they look like in real life.

If you decide to try out any of their products, please let me know because I would love to hear your thoughts about them as well. And if you have used any of the products, what were some of your first impression of them? Do you believe others that stuffer with limitations in their hands/fingers, could use them with ease? Why or why not?

snowflake

Blogmas | The Christmas Day Tag!

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Howdy!

I think every Blogmas I’ve done, I always have some kind of Christmas tag in the lineup. I’ve never planned on any of them, by the time the season rolls around, they just appear at the right time, so I just end up doing them anyways!

I found this one while on Twitter. A fellow blogger Nina posted her link through the many retweet accounts and it came up on my newsfeed. When I first read it, I quickly realized that I hadn’t done it before and that it was all about what goes on Christmas day. I thought it would be fun to kind of guess what’ll happen that day a few weeks in advance, and maybe I’ll find out everything I said in my answers was right. Sometimes I like placing bets on myself, keeps things entertaining on those boring gloomy days!

It is a tag, but I am opening it up to anyone who wants to do it. If you end up answering the questions below, I would like to read your posts! So, please link it back to me at the end, okay? Have fun!

What time do you wake up?

It varies with every year honestly, but it is always very early! I’m not saying we get up at like three or four in the morning–when I was little, my sister and I tried to make this happen on more than one occasion; it actually happened once, we were proud of ourselves!–but we tend to get up around sevenish. When my grandparents lived in town, this was our usual schedule: wake up at 7am, play for 10 minutes and then rush to get ready to go to nana and papaw’s by 8am. This might be the way, Blondie and Brandon do it this year, but I could be wrong.

Where will you be spending the day?

So, since we no longer go to my grandparent’s house, it’ll just be my immediate family gathering at our new house! I am actually really excited to celebrate it here, we were jipped last year but we want to make up for it.

What will you be wearing?

I have a really cute pajama set, they are white with little Cardinals sitting on tiny branches and red leaves. It is made of velvet, so they are comfy and warm – perfect for Christmas I think!

What games will you be playing?

We don’t really play any games, at least not with my parents. Nolan will probably play with his cars for the “short” time before we unwrap presents. I don’t think my parents, mainly my dad, to have my little nephew wait even five minutes to dig into the gifts under the tree! He’s always been awful about that, but he has turned into a big softie when it comes to him.

What will you be eating and drinking?

So, during Thanksgiving, my mom is the one that tends to do the bulk of the cooking but dad is in charge of the turkey and gravy. However, when it comes to Christmas, this is where he tends to shine the most. He loves making big Christmas breakfasts.

We usually have any way you take your eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, sausage and cinnamon rolls. Sometimes he makes me breakfast burritos or quesadilla, but if he doesn’t, my go-to is the potatoes with ketchup, plus two or three cinnamon rolls for good measure!

As far as beverages go, we never have anything fancy. Nolan will probably drink apple juice and the rest of us will have milk, which seems like the perfect breakfast to me.

What will you be watching?

Okay, since dad gets up pretty early to cook everything, he usually takes over the remote and turns it to TBS for the 24 hour broadcast of “A Christmas Story”. Here’s the funny thing about that, I haven’t watched it all the way through since I was in middle school!

Now, after all of the festivities die down a bit, I have a full afternoon of NBA basketball games. I like to think it’s a Christmas gift to myself because it’s usually all of the teams I normally watch during the season playing on that day. Last year, I only missed one game, because I was so exhausted and because the Lakers were having an awful bout of games, I figured I wasn’t going to miss much and I think I was right too. I might end up recording them all and watch at my own time, but who knows!

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What do you hope to find under the tree on Christmas Day?

You’re allowed to laugh at this answer, but I haven’t really asked for much this year. My mom said she has gotten me something that will be signed “From Santa Claus” on Christmas day, but the only thing I really hope to see is a giant pillow.

I sleep with three pillows at the moment! I have my childhood pillow down at the bottom because I can’t get rid of it for the life of me, plus two extra ones I’ve had to include because of my neck. So, I am hoping for one, hard, giant pillow to solve all of my problems.

Who will you be spending day with?

I am spending the day with my parents, Blondie, Brandon, Nolan and our dog ChiChi (and yes, she has a stocking and is getting her own gifts!). I feel like it could be chaotic because of the excitement in general, but since Nolan is walking now, we can’t just place him in his high chair and have him unwrap his presents there. I have a feeling, he’ll be attempting to help everyone with their gifts!

When will you be opening your presents?

It’ll depend on whether or not we eat breakfast first, but like I said, I don’t think it’ll take my nephew long to convince papaw that we need to do this first, but you never know – although when it comes to these two, I’m hardly ever wrong!

snowflake

Nail Polish Haul

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Howdy!

As I mentioned in my last Christmas post, I have so many nail polishes that I got as presents that I ended up putting them in a separate post! I have a total of 17 polishes between the two brands I was given!

 Wet n Wild:

I guess Blondie wanted me to get into the package without any issues because they were absolutely no plastic on the items when I unwrapped it. They probably did that to be able to lay the DVD on top! The whole set is a bucket with toe dividers and a nail filer! I actually won’t use the dividers because I can spread out my toes on my own, one of the perks of using my toes to grip everything! I also gave the filer to my nana since she tends to use those more than anyone in our family!

The polishes that came inside the bucket are all “solid” colors. She managed to find a set of polishes without any glitter, which seemed lucky because everytime I see these things they always put a couple of glittery ones! Another thing that puzzled me was that they never put a clear polish to help the others set on your nails because I know everybody says that the colors doesn’t chip off so easily once you apply the top coat.

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My nana is really into pink and nude shades so these four were right up her alley! I think my favorite of this batch is the first one on the left, it’s called “Wet Cement” and the first thing my nana called it when she pulled it out of the bag was “concrete” which means the same thing, right? It’s a nice gray that isn’t too dark or light, it’s a nice medium. I’m actually planning on using that one with the one right next to it and that is called “Undercover”, it’s a dull pink; not obnoxious or anything, very subtle. The next is what I consider a true “nude” shade, its name is “Private Viewing” and this might be used more by my nana because she tends to be gravitated towards them by some reason! Lastly, we have the lone baby pink called “Sugar Coat” which just sounds cute! My mom thinks this would be good to wear at my sister’s wedding this summer!

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These might be used the least between the two of us. Out of all of the polishes though, these three have clever names! I actually love figuring out what companies call each one, because some can fit them like a glove or not.

The purple-ish shade is called “Through the Grapevine” and even though this picture is a bit blurry, it does show the color as a lighter purple, I think it has hints of pink. I wouldn’t consider it as a grape color, because I think they’re darker most of the time but this was actually my dad’s favorite! Next is of course a ruby red, the title on the back is “I Red A Good Book”. I always categorize a deep, almost bloody red as a seductive color! I don’t know why, but I just do! And finally the last in the package is “I Need A Refresh Mint” and this is another one that I feel doesn’t fit its name right, mostly because when I think of mint as a color, it’s always a light green.

According to my nana, these polishes are very smelly! She said that if it wasn’t so cold on the day she painted her nails, she would have needed all of her windows down. So I might have to resort to having one of my parents paint my toes!

Secret Lace:

These were the set of polishes that my Aunt Laurie and Uncle Mike got me for Christmas. They came in a cute, baby pink pouch that zips up in the top and honestly we could stuff the others in it because once I took out the plastic that had them standing in the middle so you could look all around at the different shades, there’s a lot more room to store more of them inside!

Unfortunately, these polishes did not provide names on the back or the label, so I’m forced to describe them to the best of my ability, so forgive me! It also has more than the 7 colors I was given in Blondie’s present.

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These are the bold colors, they all tend to look good for fall/winter but they are all genuinely gorgeous! Okay, we’re going to start from left to right again.

This one is a black, I think. It has some glittery notes throughout but it’s not bad. I think we’re going to have to try it out to see what it exactly is for sure! The next is a true royal purple, this might be another favorite of my dad’s if I ever get a chance to wear this year! We both love our purples, but I tend to draw the line at the lavender shades! It looks like a navy blue in this picture but it is definitely a purple! Anyways, next is a yellow shade. My nana already has a nice, bright yellow but this looks has a light mustard-y hue to it.

And next is a “white” shade that has a tint of blue/gray/green inside it. It’s not totally white, there’s something in it giving a different tone altogether we’re just not sure what it is yet! I think everybody’s in agreement that this next polish is the most interesting one, it has a copper and burnt orange effect to it! It could be a good fall shade to wear! The next is a very deep red, I think it would better to consider this one a bloodier shade of red than the previous!

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These were the four glittery polishes! Last year, I found a nice gold, glittery polish from Sally Hansen and it has the shiny notes throughout the actual color, it’s not actually glitter speckles sprinkled in the formula like these are, and honestly these are the hardest to remove despite the fact they make your nails look pretty!

I realize now I should have added this first color along the other solid colors but I had a whole system that kind of got messed up whenever I took these pictures, so anyways it’s here with these guys instead! It does have some glittery essence to it, but not like the other three beside it. It is a nice, ocean-y blue that my nana might use throughout the summer! And then we have pink glitter, if you hold it to the light the pink looks like a purple, so it can be confusing on what it actually is! The other two are very easy to figure out. You have a nice gold glitter that might add some pop to the other yellow polish, same goes with the blue glitter as well!

What colors do you like out of the 17 polishes I have listed above? Are you Team Bold or Team Glitter?

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snowflake

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Let’s Get Crazy

So I have two more full weeks and then two a couple days after that until my birthday. I’ve been told by my mom that we might celebrate my birthday a weekend before or after since she has to work that day because it just so happens to be a weekday. Surpringly I happen to like Tuesday’s. My horscope always says Tuesday and Wednesday are my good days, I still think it should be Tuesday and Thursday’s just because of The Vampire Diaries.

I want to have a fun birthday, since last time I got all my gifts but no cake. I also didn’t have a party at my nana’s like we always had. My 19th birthday sucked. Nothing was the same, it was like everybody forgot the party. I would love to have a party this year. Even though I’m not turning 21 this year, I do get to lose the “teen” at the end of my age. Yay for me! I hate being called a “teen” it seriously gets on my nerves!