Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Are Organic Products Worth The Money? THESE Are!

Disclosure Statement:  This post wasn't supposed to be a promotional post. Yes, I was given a few products by a friend, but was not asked to blog about them specifically. That decision was my own. Similarly, all opinions here are mine and I do not feel in any way obligated to render favorable judgment on those products.

JJ's Wellness Products which she handed me today

I am not an “organic mom.” Kids who come over my house after school for snack get pretzels, chips, and probably a handful or two of grapes. “Where are all the organic foods?” a child may ask. “Back at YOUR house,” comes my cheerful reply. Still, if I can sooth a cough without over-the-counter drugs or take my make-up off with coconut oil, I will, more because those remedies are cost-efficient, rather than organic. 

My friend, JJ, IS an organic mom who goes out of her way to make sure her family is exposed to only the purest ingredients in all that she buys. The really cool thing about JJ however, is that she doesn't preach this stuff. She quietly lives it by example. Oh, she'll give you advice if you ask, but she isn't OBNOXIOUSLY organic. So when JJ quietly showed up at my car window during school pick-up today, handed me a bag containing a few products, and asked if I'd give her my opinion, not only did I say, “yes,” but I offered to blog about them for two reasons: 1) I was suffering from writer's block 2)  I like JJ and it would give her company some exposure. I only hoped, before I opened the products, that the exposure would be GOOD (oh yes, I have written quite a few honest, but unfavorable reviews, people, friendship notwithstanding!).

Calming Salve - clearly she knows my children

JJ's Wellness offers materials and seminars which, she says, enhance her client's health. The first product I tried was her Calming Salve; it's 100% non-toxic and boasts ingredients like beeswax, coconut oil, Vitamin E, and lavender/tangerine/orange oil. I dipped my finger in and spread some of the salve on my lips. The consistency is of thin wax, meaning you could kiss someone after putting this on and not be worried about leaving a big mess on the recipient's cheek. It smelled like tea and my nose picked up the hints of citrus. Part of me wanted to dissolve it in water since it smelled like herbal tea.  Because the salve is so airy, it goes on nicely over your lip stain. This product is something I WANT to put on, as opposed to other lip balms I HAVE to put on after my lips get chapped and bleed. JJ said her price point for a one ounce sample of this product is $6; I like that because again, with the lightness of this balm, a container will last at least a season or two.

One of JJ's Lotion Bars - Calming (ahhhhh...)

Product Number 2 is JJ's Handcrafted Lotion Bar. She gave me two samples of “Calming”, which are gluten and preservative free and made with, of course, only organic ingredients. The bars came on a lovely silver-looking tray and look more like white chocolate candy than lotion. The feel, as with the salve, is light. I rubbed a bar on my hand and, once more, a gentle tea-like fragrance wafted up my nose. Because the lotion is not greasy, it was easy to resume typing on my keyboard without making my computer slippery. JJ told me she designed these lotion bars for mothers who wanted to moisturize their babies without having to dip their fingers into jars of lotion or squeeze goo into their hands. Unlike other lotions which, after using them, have me frantically searching for the nearest piece of cloth to wipe my hands on, JJ's product makes moisturizing self-contained. I'm keeping one in my kitchen for use after washing dishes and on my bureau to use as part of my morning routine. 

JJ's price point for the lotions is $6 per bar. Although I think that's a little pricey, I can see one bar of the lotion lasting a month easily.  If you were to nab a pretty soap tray from the Dollar Store and pack it with one or two of these bars, it would make a really nice teacher's or coach's gift for the holidays, as would the salve on it's own. These products would also be great, practical stocking stuffers.

For more information on JJ's products, visit jjswellness.com. I'm bookmarking her website because not only are her products great, but honestly, the site contains a lot of cool information from a woman who knows all about wellness but doesn't make you feel stupid or inadequate if you don't.

Again, for FTC Purposes,  Disclosure Statement:  This post wasn't supposed to be a promotional post. Yes, I was given a few products by a friend, but was not asked to blog about them specifically. That decision was my own. Similarly, all opinions here are mine and I do not feel in any way obligated to render favorable judgment on those products.

Thanks for reading!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

5 Activities Your Family Can Do On Thanksgiving

We have an extremely small family consisting of me, my husband, and our two kids. Add in one 90-year old mother-in-law and Thanksgiving can get rather...boring quickly. My mother-in-law is very demanding, so on major holidays we need something to dilute the intensity of the time we spend together.

Thanksgiving carries a lot of pressure when you're hosting!

Directed activities are great because they take the focus off individual issues and place everyone's attention elsewhere. Also, since I do the majority of the work on Thanksgiving, they give me a much-needed breather! So here are my favorite

5 Activities For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Bingo – A favorite with Nana, this site has free, printable bingo cards. Use pennies or candy as markers and it's a blast for kids of all ages.

What's Missing – Grab a tray and place Fall and Thanksgiving-related objects (candy corn, different leaves, a pine cone, an acorn, etc.) on it. Have players look carefully at the tray for 30 seconds. Take the tray away and see if they can guess which object is missing. 

Hidden Pictures – Print out these sheets and invite everyone to spot the hidden objects in the Thanksgiving picture.

Balloon Volleyball – Blow up a balloon, clear some space, assign teams, and play volleyball with the balloon. This is a great way to channel some of the energy of active kids and is one of my favorites! Okay, so the 90 year old can't play, but when the balloon comes near her she can swat it. 

Bring Out The Board Games And Playing Cards – You know all those board games the kids ignore in favor of their electronics? Now's the time to bring them out! Grab Sorry, get ready for some Trouble, and cut the deck of cards for a rousing game of War.  You can even have a tournament!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it's something we can ALL celebrate, no matter what religion we belong (or do not) belong to. Games are fun for everyone. 

Give the activities above a try, have fun and deflate some of the intensity of the holiday!

This is pretty much what I look like the night of Thanksgiving - I'm pooped!

I've written quite a few Thanksgiving posts. Read them, won't you?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Buy It Once - Use It In 4 Ways! Another GREAT Multi-Purpose Product

I'm not a fan of adding chemicals to my laundry to make it smell nice, but when I received a free coupon in the mail for Purex Crystals Aromatherapy scent beads, I figured “why not?” I have a teen boy and on those rare occasions when he totes his skanky laundry down to my machine, it takes MULTIPLE washings to get rid of “funky boy odor.” 

Purex Crystals Aromatherapy come in new-agey scents labeled “Energy,” “Well-Being,” and “Serenity.” Since I do my grocery shopping in the morning and my coffee hadn't kicked in yet, I chose “Energy” and used the crystals when I did my first load of laundry later that morning. They imparted a nice, citrus fragrance to our clothes. So, I got to thinking (yes, the caffeine had hit), 

What Else Can Purex Crystals Aromatherapy Be Used For?

Here's what I came up with:

  1. Sprinkle them in the bottom of the garbage can. Not only do they make the garbage smell better, but they actually make the whole kitchen smell like citrus.

  2. Use them as air freshener. I grabbed a nearly-gone container of air freshener I'd gotten from the Dollar store and filled it half way with the Purex Crystals. The top of the container made sure our cat never had direct contact with the product; alternatively, you could use a jar and just poke holes in the top to let the scent through.

  3. Use them in place of candles. I filled a old, washed baby jar with the Purex Crsystals and placed it on a candle warmer (I put my keys near it so I don't leave the house and forget to turn the candle warmer off).

    Update:  A friend pointed out that if you sprinkle the crystals on the carpet and then vacuum them up, the carpet AND vacuum will smell fresh!  AWESOME!

I love buying products and finding multiple purposes for them! If you've got Purex Crystals Aromatherapy around the house (or another brand of “scent boosters” in the house), experiment with them and see what you come up with! 

For more information on this product (and note that I was NOT compensated in any way – even with a coupon), click here.  

Thanks for reading!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

10 Ways To Deal With Your Teenager's Mood Swings

My son was the most agreeable, mild-mannered kid...until he hit puberty. Then, over the course of the next three years, he turned into a monosyllabic behemoth who only wants to play with his friends on the computer. As much as I love him (and I do, COMPLETELY), I only know he's alive when 1) I hear the toilet flush 2) he comes down to the kitchen to forage for food.

After a LOT of reading (books, on the Web) and talking to other parents as well as a few counselors, here are

10 Tips To Deal With Your Teenager's Mood Swings

  1. Don't take it personally. This is not about you, it's all about your teenager. Between hormones and the pressures of school and extra-curricular activities, these kids are tornadoes of emotion.  They're not provoking you deliberately:  they can't help themselves!

  2. Be there for your teen. I don't just mean emotionally, telling them they can talk to you about anything. I mean physically; the more opportunities they have to encounter you, the more comfortable they'll be in talking to you. Case in point: when I'm up late, Junior will sometimes invite me downstairs for a snack during which we'll cuddle on the couch. We don't have to talk, but on more than once occasion, he's confided in me about something bothering him. SWEET!

  3. Model what to do when you're having a mood swing. When I get really frustrated or moody, I remove myself from the situation for a bit until I cool down. My son has done the same thing, waiting until he composes himself before talking.

  4. Invite your teen to be a part of things. One of my son's favorite phrases is “I don't wanna.” That's acceptable sometimes, but not others. When there's a family adventure or one of his sister's gymnastics meets, he is required to attend just as we attend his marching band competitions. It's what WE do as a FAMILY. 

  5. Teach your teenager to express herself and identify what she's feeling. I get frustrated when my kids don't listen and I tell them that. Give them the language (“torn,” “bittersweet,” “lonely”, “irritated”) to express themselves without resorting to name-calling or profanities.

  6. Give your kid space. Running after a moody teen does not good. Let them sort it out and be there for when they have.

  7. Provide outlets for teenager's physical and emotional energy. Exercise is essential for everyone, especially kids at this age. Encourage your kid to join a sport, individual or team, so they get moving.

  8. Encourage your child to eat right. I've had my son accompany me to the grocery store to pick out healthy foods he'll eat. This way I'm not cooking meals he has no intention of eating while he nukes a burrito. 

  9. Get them help. If you suspect your child is depressed, drinking, or into drugs, don't hesitate to contact a professional. 

  10. Give your teen unconditional love. Even when they're at their most annoying, they still need you.

I'm not religious, but I suspect that the “surly years” are Nature's way of pushing our kids away. They're SO nasty, you want them out of the nest! 

As I write this, I can hear my son talking with his friends over his computer. Every once in a while I hear a note or two of the kazoo and am reassured that he's still the sweet, goofy kid I've known his whole life. His mood swings? They're normal. And puberty? We'll get through it together.

Thank you for reading!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Weather Up & Down? How To Prevent Your Kids From Getting Sick

Mother Nature has menopause, here in the Northeast, and I am NOT complaining! In a state that saw Hurricane Sandy and some significant snow storms as early as mid-October, we are LOVING the 70 degree weather we've had this week. Still, we did have colder temps last week and more seasonal weather is on the horizon.

So how can you keep kids healthy in the face of Mother Nature's mood swings?
 Here are some tips:

1.  Dress them in layers. It can be 40 when they leave for school and 65 when they get out. Plus, they have recess for a good hour in the middle of the day. Layers are essential so they can adjust their clothing with the temps. My daughter wears a camisole top, then a short-sleeved shirt, and carries a little jacket. She dons leggings which she rolls up to form shorts in case she's too warm.

2.  Pack back-up gear in the car. I carry an extra, slightly heavier jacket for her in the trunk and gloves just in case the weather is significantly colder at pick-up. I also stock blankets in the back seat so she can bundle up in the mornings while we're waiting for the car's heat to go on.  My 15-year old?  He's on his own.

3.  Make sure the kids are hydrated. This would go without saying, but when I ask my kids how much they drink, they usually tell me they forgot to fill up their reusable water bottles. I carry bottled water they can grab as I taxi them around (or in the case of my son, seltzer) so I can watch them drink water.

 4.  Watch them take their vitamins in the morning. Just today, my son found his multi-vitamin on the table where he'd forgotten to eat it at breakfast-time. Watching him take his vitamin would have ensured he'd had the proper amount of nutrients to combat germs during the day.  Oops.

5.  Keep hand sanitizer out in the entryway when they get home and remind them to use it. Kids are not the best hand-washers and in the course of the school day, they've touched lots of surfaces that have been sneezed and coughed on. Reminding them to clean their hands when they first walk in the door, especially before they eat, will keep germs at minimum. 

Using these tips, I'm hoping no one gets sick for quite a while and that their immune systems are able to fend off the latest strain of cold/flu.

Warm weather is fun – being sick is not. Stack the odds that YOUR kids will remain healthy.

Thanks for reading!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Taking A Bite Out Of The Greed This Halloween

Halloween has gotten SO complicated! When I was growing up, it was about home-made costumes, running around the neighborhood with your friends, and, yes, getting candy. Mom took my brother and me around for a bit, we scored some sugar, and then came the REAL FUN: seeing what we'd gotten and trading for our favorites.

We approached these negotiations like leaders of countries discussing world peace. 

Since becoming a parent, however, and in maybe the last ten years, Halloween has become MASSIVE.  Costumes are upwards of $40 for just ONE day of trick-or-treating, some houses are decked out in macabre displays which (I think) gratify gore, and kids just seem a lot greedier.

Some children arrive at my house like desperate drug addicts, aching to score more of that almighty drug, SUGAR.

 (And, no this is not a diatribe on the dangers of sugar.  Not from this Snickers-lover!)

A few years ago, I got fed up with my daughter's candy craze. After getting so much candy that I had to carry it, I announced it was time to go home. Her eyes grew wide as her friends gave her sympathetic looks. “But why,” she wailed.

"Because it's time to give back," I replied.

As I guided her back to the house, I explained that it was time for HER to give to other kids. Our block was teaming with children and I wanted to show her that part of the fun of Halloween was seeing how other kids are dressed and the joy on their faces when THEY got candy.

It was only seconds after we got into the house that the doorbell rang. Her pout turned to a smile as she opened the door to a witch, a baseball player and a tiny Hulk. Her generous side exploded as I had to stop her from giving the kids WAAAY too much candy at a time. 

At the end of the night, she announced, “Mom, I liked trick-or-treating, but giving out the candy was more fun.” That's my girl.

This year we'll expand on the giving aspect by donating a portion of her candy to Operation Shoebox which sends heat-resistant candy (chocolate melts) to the troops. Sure, the local dentist buys it back and some charities give it out to the homeless, but the latter doesn't make sense to me: why give candy to people who can't afford dental care. Besides, we've talked before about how much the troops sacrifice for us. 

This year, we REALLY give back.

Halloween has gotten complicated. Giving has not. 

When WE take the frenzy out of the holiday and show children how to embrace their inner generosity, they learn that giving IS a really pleasurable experience.  

Maybe almost as pleasurable as sugar!


And as always, thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

How DO You Clean A Re-Usable Straw

I love re-usable water bottles and those souvenir cups you get at theme parks.  Heck - I still have a water bottle from the water park we were visiting when we found out that my daughter was waiting for us in China 9 years ago!   

But, for the life of me, I could never figure out:


I'd run them under blasts of water and then get so mad when the straws wouldn't come clean that I'd throw them out.  Yes, in the grand scheme of things this is trivial, but it drove me crazy!  


1.   Fill a lasagna or large, shallow pan with hot soapy water.  Add the dirty straws and, to make sure the straws stay submerged, place a serving spoon on top of the straws.  Let them sit for about 10 minutes.  

2.  Take the straws out of the water and place under running water for a few seconds.

3.  Grab a chenille pipe cleaner (yes, the ones your kids use for crafts) and push it in and out of each straw to get it clean.  Run the straw through hot water again to rinse.


I even bought a small package of pipe cleaners at the Dollar Store and keep them in my kitchen, not only for straws, but for any other cleaning jobs that require scrubbing in tight spaces.  


Another of life's little problems solved! If only they were all that easy!


Thank you for reading!  Please come back and visit me soon!  

How to Get Mold Out of a Straw

32 Shares & Saves
Cups with a plastic top and straw may prevent messy drink spills; however, the straw interior often becomes clogged with mold, especially in hot weather. Replacing your straw with a disposable one may be a bad idea if the hole in your cup's top is unusually sized. Permanent straws made out of glass can shatter if they are dropped, and metal straws may give your drinks an unpleasant aftertaste. It is fairly easy to get mold out of the plastic straw that comes with your cup using pipe cleaners that you can buy at any crafts or tobacconist store.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Dish
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Thin cotton cloth
  • Fill your kitchen sink halfway with hot soapy water, and place the moldy straw into the water. Lay a heavy dish on top of the straw if necessary to keep it submerged. Let the straw soak in the soapy water for about 10 minutes to loosen the mold.
  • Remove the dish and straw from the soapy water. Run clear warm water from the faucet into the straw to push out any larger pieces of mold. Drain the kitchen sink of the soapy water.
  • Wet a pipe cleaner made out of chenille or terry cloth with warm water. Ensure that the pipe cleaner is as straight as possible, then push it through the straw in and out several times to remove any mold that remains within. Use a larger pipe cleaner or one wrapped in a non-pilling cotton cloth if the first pipe cleaner is too small to clean the straw effectively.
  • Rinse the straw, pipe cleaner and cloth repeatedly under the sink faucet with warm water, and continue to push the pipe cleaner through the straw until there is no mold remaining inside.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_8162732_mold-out-straw.html

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Tricky Birthday Party Question: What Would YOU Do?

In the midst of planning my daughter's 10th birthday party, which means going in to school to lead a craft, orchestrating a family luncheon, AND dealing with all the details to insure that Lily's actual party is a rousing success, I received this email this morning:

Dear Linda,

I hope all is well. Someone just asked me to carpool to Lily's party and I realized that Maggie never got an invite. I assume it was an oversight as the girls have been playing a lot at school. I know Maggie would be upset if she was not there as she enjoyed having Lily at her party in June.


I paused in the midst of a gulp of coffee.

That email unearthed a lot of feelings:

  1. Shock that someone would actually have the NERVE to question why her kid was potentially left off the guest list.
  2. A little bit  of sadness that the kid would be hurt that she hadn't been invited.  Interestingly enough, since she wasn't even on Lily's first invitee list, apparently Lily doesn't consider Maggie a close friend.
  3. The question of whether parties are, in fact, tit-for-tat endeavors.

I posed the question to a friend of mine. He took the “inclusion” line, as in, if you can't invite everyone, don't invite anyone at all. That seems silly, since there's no way in hell I can afford to invite EVERY kid that Lily knows from gymnastics, school, Sunday School, Student Council, etc. If I did that, my kid would never have a party. Inviting her entire class is silly since she doesn't like everyone in her class and, Maggie isn't even in Lily's class. 

Then I asked some friends. They unanimously JUMPED on the “too bad for Maggie – she's going to have to learn she doesn't get invited to EVERY event, won't get EVERY promotion, and will have to learn to deal with disappointment” soap box.  Interesting perspective.

Finally, I asked myself if I would ever send an email like that. 

The answer is “no.” Honestly, I would never have the gall to ask why my child wasn't invited to something!  If my child doesn't get invited to something, that saves me one more present to buy. Lily, in talking about it with her many times, understands that people don't get invited for LOTS of reasons including the fact that some people have family parties without friends invited, many of us have monetary constrains, and sometimes you're just not close friends with people you used to be tight with.

Delilah, being the savvy mom I know she is, is well aware that if you don't get an RSVP for an invitation, you call and/or email the parent for a follow-up. The fact that I didn't contact her told her that Maggie wasn't invited. 

Could I invite one more kid? Our venue set a base number of attendees at 20; if I go above that, the cost increases. Could we pull it off? Sure, but then it wouldn't be fair to all the OTHER kids we didn't invite.

So I took a deep breath and crafted the following response to Delilah:

Dear Delilah:

While Maggie is certainly a close, cherished friend of Lily's, due to a  limited budget, we were unable to invite her. I hope you understand and that the girls can continue to be friends.


Knowing Maggie and Lily, they'll continue to play together. If Maggie brings it up, Lily will explain that we just couldn't invite any more people.

I suspect that Delilah's email was prompted by her own sense that a wrong was committed and that she holds the “we invite you to a party, so you have to invite us” or tit-for-tat view of parties. And perhaps she doesn't want to deal with Maggie's disappointment at not being invited.

Bummer.  It's her issue not mine. 

Disappointment is a part of life that many parents are shielding their kids from. Lily has had to deal with it and now Maggie will be learning a life lesson. As for me, I'm going back to the hustle and bustle of my daughter's “birthday weekend.” 

What would you have done had you received an email like that? Please – let me know!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

What To Bring To A Marching Band Competition When You're A Spectator

My teenager decided to join the Marching Band this year and I'm thrilled! Not only is he having fun, but he's getting exercise, making new friends, is learning military-style discipline, and is using the $600 clarinet we bought him years ago. But the world of Marching Band, football games and competitions is new to me. If it's new to you, too, here's what I've learned:  

What To Bring To A Marching Band Competition When You're A Spectator

  1. Cash – Schools do not take credit cards. Admission thus far has run the gamut from $8 per adult to $12 per adult with kids' rates much lower, so pack cash. Also, the Host Band usually sells snacks to raise funds for the band; it's always nice to buy a snack or two to support them.

  2. Water And Food – Yes, I know I said to support the Host Band, but these competitions can get expensive! And the food they sell isn't always the most nutritious. I pack a bag with dinner (sandwiches, chicken nuggets), water, and dessert (apples, cheese, grapes). This way, my husband, daughter, and I are getting healthy food and if my daughter wants a snack later, at least she's had a good dinner. 

  3. Stuff For Siblings To Do – Competitions can last many hours and the show doesn't always captivate younger viewers. Keep them entertained and ensure that YOU get to watch the show by bringing a coloring book and crayons, books, etc. 

  4. A Blanket – The Northeast gets COLD in the fall and there's nothing like snuggling under a nice, warm blanket while you're watching the bands perform.

  5. Stadium Cushions – I've talked to other band parents who are touting expensive stadium cushions complete with backs on them. As the person sitting behind those people, I can tell you that those seats hang over the bleachers and are a pain for the person behind you. I just ordered these cushions from Amazon and I expect they'll keep our tushies from turning into buttsickles.

  6. Extra Warm Clothes - As I said, these events are LONG and temperatures drop.  Bring that extra sweatshirt, wear warm socks, and snuggle under the aforementioned blanket.

Obviously, it's important to remember your manners at Marching Band Competitions. 

Spectator Etiquette means:

  • Support ALL of the bands, not just yours. Applaud and cheer when they do a good job (and applaud even if they don't – they're trying, after all).

  • Don't leave or enter the stadium while a band is performing. It's disrespectful and distracting. 

  • Avoid unnecessary talking during performances. Show some respect for the performers!

  • Silence your cellphone or set it to vibrate and NEVER talk on your phone while a band is playing. It's just downright rude!

  • Don't obstruct the view of others. Everyone wants to watch.

  • Don't let younger children play in the stands or distract other spectators. If your child can't sit still or behave, take them to another area.  And remember that YOU'RE responsible for watching YOUR child.

  • Support the Host Band financially (within reason) by visiting their concession stand.

Lastly, ENJOY THE SHOW! Each time I go to a competition, my breath is taken away not only by my son's band, but by the music, choreography, costumes, and flags! These kids put hours and hours into their performances. They work hard and as parents, we've worked hard to support them. These competitions and games are the fruition of their hard work and dedication.


Have I missed something? Please comment! 

And as always, thank you for visiting my blog!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Do This BEFORE You Purchase From Amazon Local

Buying from Amazon Local is a great way to get discounts services in your area. It encompasses everything from deals at restaurants to beauty treatments to steals on merchandise and travel. When you buy something from their website or through their app, Amazon Local sends you a voucher which is redeemable for the goods or services you bought. Recently, however, I learned something the hard way: 

Research the company the voucher is for BEFORE you buy

A company that rents kayaks didn't want to honor my voucher. Had I done my research, I would have learned via Trip Advisor that this firm was notoriously unprofessional and had reputation for bad service. Thank goodness that I'd called the day before I went, spoken to the owner, physically showed up to the place, and was lucky enough to catch the owner's associate on-site. After a LOT of complaining and cursing (my daughter learned a few new words that day), he decided to honor the voucher. Still, had I known that this firm was so rude and unreliable, I never would have nabbed the deal. 

Was it Amazon Local's fault that this guy ran a bad business? NO. In fact, I love the way  the vouchers contain a What You Need to Know section for redemption instructions, merchant and ticket provider contact information, purchase limits, expiration dates, etc. I did, in fact, follow up with Amazon Local; their representative explained that merchants have to go through an application process in order to team up with Amazon and:

if a you try to work it out with the merchant and still can't Amazon Local will issue a refund. 

Sweet!  The rep also assured me that notes from our conversation to the business team so that if this business does try to partner with Amazon Local again, they'll have feedback to give him. 

Amazon Local has some phenomenal deals that can save you a ton of money. 

As in all cases, however, it's “buyer beware” and in this case “buyer research FIRST” before you click on the “Buy” button. 

Have you had any outstanding or horrible experiences with Amazon Local?  Let me know!

And as always, thanks for reading!