Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Are Your Kids Active Enough?

Written by a contributing writer 

As a parent in the current cultural climate, you may have found yourself wondering whether your kids are active enough. Many of our little ones are engaging in more activities that don’t require too much movement. Video games, cartoons, and social media generally encourage your little ones to sit still, facing a screen for extended periods of time. This, of course, is fine every now and then. But you should be encouraging your children to engage in more high energy activities that will get their blood pumping and keep them active!

Research of youth participation has shown that both the way kids engage with exercise and the types of exercise that kids are enjoying is changing. While football and soccer still remain popular sports, they are decreasing in popularity, while more obscure activities like gymnastics, lacrosse, and track and field are on the rise.

Female participation is on the up and more kids in general are participating in organized sports. So, you don't need to worry that your kids will be disinterested in exercise. You just need to make sure you’re offering them the chance to engage in a type of exercise that they enjoy!

Hopefully, the infographic from Cisco Athletic below will give you some deeper insight into youth sports participation trends and can help to guide you on the right path to getting your kids involved! Exercise is important for all children, so do your utmost to help them reach their sixty-minutes-a-day target!

Infographic Design By Cisco Athletic

Saturday, July 13, 2019

$1, $5, and $100+ Prescription Glasses. Can You Tell the Difference? - Where to Find Affordable Prescription Glasses Online

I did a thing. I finally went to the optometrist and my suspicions were confirmed.  Years of working from home and staring at a computer screen for hours on end without looking away...has affected my vision.  Although I now wear these Blue Light Blocking Glasses while working, enough damage had already been done.  So, glasses for me it is!

Now, I did buy a pair at the optometrist's office. Luckily, my insurance covered most of the cost. But, the glasses still ended up being over $100 after insurance. The sales person also tried to sell me prescription sunglasses. And while I am a sucker for a cute pair of sunnies... I was not about to pay hundreds of dollars on a pair that day.

Luckily, my simply beautiful sister-in-law had already told me about Zenni, an online shop that sells prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses at affordable prices. So, I asked for a copy of my prescription to order some Rx sunglasses online. I mean...I NEEDED them, right? (Tip: Make sure you get your PD measurements as well if you're planning on ordering glasses online.)

After ordering from Zenni, I saw an ad for a website called Firmoo on Instagram. I did some light research and quickly realized Firmoo has a pretty good reputation. During this time, Firmoo had two specials going on.  One was a pair of glasses for $4.95.  Another was a pair for just $1. I ended up paying $20.80 in total ($4.95 frames, shipping charge, lens charge of $4.95, and lens coating charge of $4.95) with the "$4.95" deal. But with the $1 deal, I paid just $1 in total. Shipping, lens, and coating charges were included.

See if you can tell which frames were $1, $5, and over $100 from the pictures below.




And now for the answers

1. Over $100 Optometrist pair
2. $4.95 Firmoo deal
3.  $1 Firmoo deal

Ready to get take a look and see if there is anything that catches your eye?


I've only purchased sunglasses through Zenni so I can't comment on how the eyeglasses prepare. But I love the sunglasses. The pair of tortoiseshell ones do make me a little dizzy if I wear them for an extended period of time. So I tend to prefer the black pair that I own. Both are oversized.

Tip: I don't think the "try on" feature is very accurate. Instead, I relied on reviews and the photos posted by others that can be found on the product page and within the reviews. I love glasses that other people deem ridiculously huge. So if there are reviews that claim "These are just too big" or "I wish they were smaller", I know I'm headed in the right direction.


The Firmoo $1 deal sounds too good to be true. But it wasn't. I definitely recommend using this deal to try Firmoo. The glasses don't feel cheap and they don't make me dizzy at all.  The $1 deal is available to new customers here. Be sure to use promo code 1usdsa at checkout. Valid through July 31, 2019.

If you're seeing this post after July 31st, you can still get 50% off of your order. Go here and use code Candice0629970.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

How To Make Your Daily Commute A Little Less Awful

Written by a contributing writer

Image via Pexels

The single biggest thing that most of us dread about our working day? The commute. Even when you're your own boss you need to travel for business. And although there are definitely unique frustrations about a commute on public transport, at least you have the option there of sticking in headphones or immersing yourself in your Kindle to make the time go by quickly. When your daily journey involves a drive, switching off is not an option. And the frustration of the pure wasted time involved in sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic is enough to make you want to scream. However, there are ways that you can brighten up these bookends of your working day. It is possible to be more productive, comfortable and calm during that commuter drive, with a few essentials at your fingertips.

Grab A Cup To Go

One thing that is always guaranteed to start the morning off right and make traffic more bearable is a nice warm drink of your choice - whether it's the morning coffee you need to get your day started, a calming herbal tea or even an indulgent winter hot chocolate - invest in an insulated travel mug and you can take that beverage to go. Make sure that you purchase a quality container that is going to keep your drink hot throughout your entire trip. If you’re running late in the morning, you can even use it to hold oatmeal so you have something to eat when the traffic is stationary. Pack a drink and a cereal bar and you have breakfast ready to go at the wheel.

Keep Safe On The Roads

A safe commute is a happy one, so if you spend a lot of time in your car, then make sure that you have taken steps to keep your journey as stress-free as possible. Purchase a dashcam from a company like blackboxmycar.com so that you have video evidence if the worst should happen and a collision on the roads should occur. Make sure that you take your vehicle in regularly for servicing if you’re using it for commuting, and that the tires are kept full of air and the engine oil is topped up. During the winter months, make sure that you’re fully prepared for adverse weather conditions by investing in snow tires if you’re in a place that experiences deep snow, and stocking the boot up with bottled water, blankets, a shovel, a flashlight and a small first aid kit, as well as a back-up charger for your phone.

Calm It Down

It's easy to lose your cool in traffic, so make the journey more comfortable with a padded memory foam seat cushion and some back support if you’re sitting for long periods of time. If you struggle with stress and anxiety, a dashboard aromatherapy diffuser can do a lot to improve your mood on your journey to work. And if it's the sense of wasted time that stresses you out when your to-do list is bursting at the seams, then try finding a current affairs podcast to listen to or even a learning a language while you commute.

Monday, July 8, 2019

How To Travel With No Fear As A Business Owner

Written by Alex from The Berger Bungalow

Traveling as a business owner can be very scary. You are picking up and leaving your business in the hands of your employees, the other companies you work with, or for some small business owners, alone. Thankfully, there are many ways that you can log in and have remote access now and if you do it right, you will be able to travel with no fear as a business owner. Here are my biggest tips when it comes to doing so:

Schedule Your Trip Well In Advance

This provides your staff ample time to prepare for your absence and will give you the peace of mind needed to leave your business behind.

Preferably, scheduling your trip a year in advance will provide you and your staff time to prepare for your absence, while ensuring the business will operate smoothly. However, things happen and timing is not always ideal, but having at least a 6-month window before your travel dates will ease your fear as a business owner.

Prepare Your Employees And Customers In Advance

The key to ensuring your trip is indeed a pleasurable trip, is to prepare your employees and customers for your absence.

Train your employees on how to handle various problems and emergencies in your absence (e.g., internet connection goes out). Assign responsibilities to each employee for handling problems. In addition, be sure to write down contact information for outside resources so they can communicate those resources directly without needing the “go ahead” from you.

If you have customers you work with personally, be sure to alert them of your vacation schedule in advance and inform them you will not be able to work with them during your vacation. In some cases, it may be beneficial to tell clients you are leaving several days before you actually plan to leave in case they tend to procrastinate. That way you don’t have to worry about last minute questions or requests as you pack and prepare for your vacation.

Do Not Schedule Any Big Projects

It is important not to schedule anything to “go live” while you are away if you cannot manage it while you are gone. For example, if you have a huge presentation being sent out to your business email list, it is probably best to schedule it once you return from your trip. That way, if anything does come up, you will be able to figure out the problem at hand and fix it immediately.

Work With Great Companies

As a business owner, it can be very hard to pick up and leave everything behind, but if you work with great companies that help you run your business even when you are not there, you do not need to worry about it as much. For example, if you are an outdoor company, a sign shop, or an electrical contractor, you want Irvin Inc. to be in your corner no matter if you are in town, or away. Irvin, Inc. is the preferred supplier and one stop shop for LED lighting, solar lighting, digitals, billboard supplies, sign shop supplies, and much more. The companies that I mentioned above (outdoor companies, sign shops, electrical contractors, and other related businesses) partner with them because they trust them and know that Irvin, Inc. has already researched the manufacturers they work with. This means that when they get back in town from a trip, they do not have to do the research themselves - Irvin, Inc. has already done it for them and can lead them in the right direction when it comes to billboard supplies, signage lighting, outdoor & indoor lighting, and digital signage.

“Founded more than two decades ago, Irvin first made a name for itself servicing the largest and most respected powerhouses in outdoor advertising. Two products for billboards laid the foundation for a family-owned and operated business dedicated to one mission: offer quality solutions at fair prices, grounded in integrity and commitment.”

President and Owner, Denise Irvin Cannon has a 20-year track record in administrative management, vendor relations, product management, results-driven sales techniques, customer relations, and innovative marketing. She is the sole reason when it comes to the success of the operations side of Irvin, Inc. She says, “The people of Outdoor Advertising are the real drive behind my passion. I am continually amazed by the creativity of those that push the limitless boundaries of one of the most relevant mediums on the planet. But my heart is with Operations. I like to say we support the “non-sexy” side of the Outdoor Advertising and Sign Industries – those folks in the trenches who make good advertisements look great and challenging sign and lighting installs look easy.”

Irvin, Inc. is just one example of my point - work with companies that you trust so that when you are out of town and your customers (or employees) need help or recommendations, you have them at your fingertips.

I hope this article helped you learn how to travel with no fear as a business owner. No matter how large or small your company is, you should be able to live your life to the fullest!

*Sponsored Post

Thursday, July 4, 2019

How To Balance Being A Mom And A Teacher

Written by Alex from The Berger Bungalow

I see that there are quite a few teacher-mom followers around here, so I wanted to write a post specifically for you! Let me just start out by saying that each and every one of you are rockstars and you are doing a great job at balancing everything. Just in case you need a bit of motivation and help on how to balance your life even more, I have a few tips for you:

Make It Easy On Yourself

There is a lot of guilt that surrounds working mother, one of which is not being able to make elaborate home cooked meals 5 nights a week. After a long school day, your energy is drained and the last thing you want to do is come home and whip up a 20 ingredient Pinterest recipe. No. You need quick and easy meals that your children will eat. It is survival mode during the school year. That might mean boxed Stouffer's Mac and Cheese will become your new best friend. Or maybe you are one of those people who like to meal prep on Sundays for less stress during the week. Whatever your preference may be, I have two helpful tips that will save your sanity when it comes to food in your home. First, online grocery shopping with Walmart or Amazon Prime. This will save you multiple trips a week to the grocery store, which you really don’t have time for anyway. Second, there is nothing wrong with picking up some fast food for dinner when you have to juggle extracurricular activities during the week. Picking up a pizza after soccer practice is not a crime.

Now onto the other two struggles of being a working parent: housekeeping and laundry. Laundry piles up like it is nobody’s business. Honestly, it seems like I am never not doing laundry. Then on top of that, I have to keep the house in order. How on earth can one person manage to do all this, while working? The truth is, it is not possible. Your family is a team and therefore, when the children are old enough, each member should be given specific responsibilities.

It Is Okay To Say No

This is a hard one for me. I find my purpose in contributing and helping others. However, it is very important not to overextend yourself. In the end, you are not only hurting yourself but also those you signed up to serve. It is important to understand your limits. You need time for yourself. You need time to devote to family. And you need time to devote to work. The key is finding a schedule that provides you time for each. Do not sign yourself for every possible committee only to realize your family time has been compromised. The most important work you do takes place within your own home. That means, when you get home from work, it is ok to turn off teacher mode and turn on mom mode.

Establish Personal Boundaries

I cannot stress the importance of this one enough. It is very important, as a teacher and a mother, to establish boundaries when it comes to communication with students’ parents. You are a parent first and a teacher second, meaning you can’t be answering emails all night and setting up lengthy parent meetings after school hours. It is essential that you start off the school year at a pace you are able to keep up. Inform parents that you are also a mother and therefore, will either answer emails during school hours or within 24 hours. Ensure you start off the year by managing communication with students’ parents in a way that is healthy for you and your family.

Schedule Time For You

Oh yes! This one is key for a successful balance.

I know some of you might have laughed when you read that. How in the world are you supposed to schedule in “you time” when you have work, family, and a million other things to manage? Well let me tell you, just as simply as you schedule a doctor’s appointment, you can schedule “you time.” Write it down on your “to do” list! Make it a priority. It could be as simple as going to get a pedicure, or going to Target with some girlfriends while your husband watches the children.

In addition, “you time” includes couple time for you and your spouse. Alone time with a spouse or significant other is necessary. It must be a priority! So go ahead and schedule that on your “to-do” list alongside “you time.” Time spent alone could be as simple as sitting out on your back porch after the children are in bed or as fancy as hiring a babysitter and going out to a nice dinner.

Lesson Plans Made Easy

As a mom and a teacher, I am sure you know how little time you have leftover. How are you supposed to take out even more time in the evenings to grade papers and make lesson plans? Well, luckily, you do not necessarily have to with the help from Teaching Point. Would you like to have an expert teacher provide all of your lesson plans and prep work for you? Think about how much time that would save in the long run! According to Teaching Point, decades of research shows that a better-prepared teacher leads to improved student achievement. While this is great, it’s just hard to be really prepared when you go home to a house of kids, as well. That’s why I think Teaching Point is so beneficial! If you are a teacher, I would highly recommend talking to your school system about purchasing TEACHINGpoint for all of the teachers. It is much less costly to help better prepare a teacher than recruit more teachers, so they would save on recruitment, development and retention, graduation rates, and college and workforce readiness, as well.

“Teaching Point is impact committed, mission driven and dedicated to serving the educational community by addressing the issue of the unequal distribution of highly-qualified and highly-effective teachers – without moving them around from school to school. Teaching Point is a provider of teacher training solutions through a patented and registered program that offers 3 distinct levels of professional development support:

  • Subject-specific instructional support materials (details posted below)
  • Subject-specific mentoring teacher access
  • Subject-specific university hosted online courses to assist teachers in their efforts to be highly-effective and, where necessary, certify teachers in additional subject-areas

Teachers with new assignments have different needs. Some may be technically qualified to teach a subject, yet as they have never taught it before, will benefit from instructional support materials and/or access to a subject-specific mentor. Others new to a subject assignment (or those unavoidably assigned out-of-field) will benefit by taking the university hosted online course for continuing education credit as a practical way of working toward recertification credits (the online courses include the materials and mentoring).”

*Sponsored post

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

4 Lessons To Learn From House Hunting

Written by Alex from The Berger Bungalow

House hunting is fun and exciting, and it also has the potential to teach kids life long lessons (and maybe it will teach the adults some lessons, as well!). Then again, every single situation that you go through in life has the potential of learning and teaching lessons - it is just how you look at the hand you are given on that specific day. During house hunting, however, there really are so many amazing lessons that you can teach your kids during the process. It can be stressful, yes, but make it an educational time period, as well. Here are four lessons to learn from house hunting:

Finances Are Extremely Important

The first lesson that you can teach your children, or child throughout the home buying process is that finances are extremely important. It is very hard for children to see the true meaning and value of hard work and money until they have to figure it out for themselves, but as a parent, you want your children to be as educated as possible, in order to avoid going through tough times (which most everyone has to do at least once in their life - especially with finances).

The home buying process is the perfect way to show your children how being responsible with your money and your credit score is very important. Start from the ground up and show them. Start by explaining the down payment and teach them about saving money and why it is important to not only save for a down payment, but also for emergencies, as well. Then, you can teach them about credit scores and how it can affect interest rates (and life, in general). Your FICO score will reflect if you are maxing out your credit cards and/or making late payments on your bills. Another important financial aspect of the home buying process is your debt-to-income ratio. If you only teach your children one thing, this would be it. Talk to them about debt and how to be realistic with how much they can afford because money does not grow on trees and racking up your credit cards is never a good thing.

There are many other financial steps that you will go through during the home buying process and if you are able to work in a few other lessons for your children to learn from you, that is even better!

Being Open Minded Is Essential

Being open minded when you are house hunting is essential, but it’s also very important for everyday life, as well. Things are going to come up and life very rarely goes as planned, so keeping an open mind and being flexible is important, in order to succeed in all aspects of life. Simplify Your Day says, “Keeping an open mind is one of the most difficult things to practice.

It means you are open to everyone and everything that comes your way, allowing yourself to embrace different possibilities, opportunities, people, views, suggestions and interests.

You need to be unprejudiced, without stubbornness and flexible at all times. I try to practice this in every situation and it makes life a hell of a lot easier and less complicated. Better yet it is fun to practice. Trying to understand someone’s point of view, even when you disagree or don’t like the person very much, can change and free your mind in a way you would have never expected.

I don’t claim to master this skill, but I do see great improvement and it makes me feel powerful having the ability to change my way of thinking and not to get stuck in a mindset that makes me frustrated, angry or helpless.

Keeping an open mind is one of the best tools I use in simplifying my life.

It doesn’t mean I believe or accept everything, but I do listen, observe, feel and try to comprehend every situation on my path. It has given me, saved me and helped me many times. Try it yourself.”

Life Is Easier When You Work With Others

Unfortunately, in school, working with others is not always an achievement, but in real life, working with others is a very important skillset that most everyone needs to learn. For example, in a professional setting, you will have to learn how to work with others, especially in a collaborative environment (which most workplaces are navigating to). This goes for other things in life, as well, such as house hunting, or even selling your home. It’s not just yourself doing the work. More than likely, you will need to hire a team - a team of professionals and when you do so, you need to be able to work with them and rely on them, when needed. A team such as Erin King Jax Historic Realty makes that a bit easier to do because Erin King really knows the ins and outs of the real estate market in Jacksonville, Florida. For example, if you are selling and buying a home at the same time, this is called a contingent transaction and according to Erin’s website, this requires high levels of skill and project management to make it happen. Erin King is an expert when it comes to contingency transactions and can not only guide you through the process, but he can help take a lot of stress off of your plate. Erin offers coaching sessions online that are completely free, with no obligation, where he helps you learn how to make this complex set of transactions work for you.

Erin King is a Best of Zillow® REALTOR® who specializes in Jacksonville’s historic neighborhoods. “Erin, who previously worked in financial services and holds an MBA with an economics focus, brings a deep understanding of buying and selling historic homes. He enjoys sharing that knowledge with clients, from how to fit a 21st century lifestyle into a historic home and where to seek financing for renovation with a home purchase, to accurately pricing homes in Historic Districts such as Riverside, Avondale, Ortega, Springfield, Murray Hill, and San Marco. Erin, who prides himself on close attention to detail and quick response to clients, has put together a support team of contractors and other professionals who help transactions go smoothly.” This means that when you work in a collaborative environment with Erin, to find the home of your dreams, you are not only making the process easier for yourself, but you are saving a lot of stress along the way, as well!

Don’t Put All Of Your Eggs In One Basket

Last but not least, do not ever put all of your eggs in one basket. Buying a house is never a guaranteed thing until you officially sign the paperwork and get the keys. Until then, everything has the potential to fall through, so do not put all of your eggs in one basket. This is a great way to look at life, as well. You are dealt your cards and it is up to you to make the best out of them, but always be open to change and never be stuck in one type of mindset. I am sure you all have heard the phrase “don’t put your eggs in one basket,” and that is because it is a great life lesson, no matter who you are, or what you are doing.

*This is a sponsored post*

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Instagram "Collabs" - What Happens Behind the Scenes and How to Avoid Being Taken Advantage Of

This topic is a little..."off-brand" for this blog.  But, it's something I talk to my friends and family about from time and time and their reactions seem to vary from intrigued to shocked. The question that usually starts the conversation to begin with? "How do you even make money through social media or your blog?"

To start off, my blog and social media accounts are not highly monetized.  Not at all. I didn't start this blog with the intent to make money from it. And I don't want to promote anything that seems sketchy just to make some cash. But I do accept sponsorships that "fit the blog's brand", seem interesting/useful/innovative, or that I know you all will want to see/hear about. I'll also participate in "collaborations" (I work with a brand, may be given free product, but am not paid) that fit that same bill.

When I first started my blog, I did a lot of the outreach for collabs.  I contacted brands I was interested in working with and promoting. As the years have gone on, I am fortunate enough to do very little outreach and have brands contact me daily. How does that happen? Honestly, I think it's because I have a long-standing relationship with COVERGIRL and I'm pretty sure they entered my information into large PR databases like Cision. (Thank you, COVERGIRL!) I also have learned to sign up for different third-party agencies (who act as the middle man between brands and "influencers") along the way.  It's very simple and a lot to explain all at the same time. But basically, that's the gist of it.

Since my contact information is available in PR databases, most of the more legitimate sponsorship or collaboration offers come through my email. Now, I still get sketchy ones that come to my email. And I do get legitimate offers in other places. But, generally, PR companies and brands like to contact me through email.

Every now and then, however, I receive messages through my social media DM's or comments asking me to DM an account for "collabs." Some of them are 100% on the up and up...others are a little questionable. Most of the time the brand wants me to promote their product but will give me something like 20% to 50% off. So I still have to purchase the product in order to promote it. And they may throw in an affiliate link with a commission percentage. I normally pass on those unless it's a product that I would (or already) buy at full price.

But recently, I've been seeing an uptick in [mainy instagram] companies offering a product deeply discounted in exchange for posts. But the thing is, they are selling these products at incredibly inflated prices. The first time I noticed it was with a sunglasses company (if you know me, you know why I get contacted by and consider collabs with anyone selling sunglasses).  They had a ton of super cute sunglasses and were offering me 60% off. Whaaaat. I am always down for some cute sunnies.

I went to their website and noticed the prices were around $70 or $80. And then recognized a pair (hi, I'm obsessed with sunglasses)... that I had seen on Amazon for about $12. So I started to do a deeper dive. I read reviews on the company located on third party review sites and what I suspected was unfortunately true. They were buying cheap sunglasses wholesale from China and selling them for much more than they were worth.

Since then, this has happened over and over again. And it's usually through Instagram. To the point that now when I get a collab request from anyone on Instagram, I usually research the company before I even respond. I can imagine that influencers who are much bigger than I am but don't yet have "people" to sift through requests for them, probably don't have the time to research every request they are interested in and may end up promoting something a little sketchy unintentionally.

So I'm giving you guys the "heads up" on what to look for.

1. They usually leave a random comment like this on a picture. 

I know they found me through one of the hashtags. The reason why this is odd is that MOST brands will either take the time to go to my bio to find my email and contact me that way. OR they at the very least send me a DM.

2. The conversation is usually a little...off

Now, this is something you won't be able to see as a follower. But I wanted to include this for anyone just starting out in blogging or social media. Typically when brands contact influencers, they don't do a lot of back and forth before getting to the pitch. It's usually one message that goes something like "We love your blog/account/youtube etc. and think your followers would be interested in our product" and then they get straight into their company and what they have in mind as far as collaboration goes.

3. Their followers are all or mostly accounts with little content and/or most of their likes come from these empty accounts

If they have a ton of followers that have little to no content and little to no followers...it's a red flag. Everyone has some bots that follow them. I don't know why, but bots do just start following influencers, celebrities, and public accounts. But when a company has MOSTLY followers that look fake... there is a good chance they paid for their following.

4. All of their content was posted on the same day or not too long ago

If it's a brand you've never heard of, they aren't big anywhere else, and they have thousands of followers but their first piece of content was only posted a day ago... ehhhh.  Now, this could be a brand that has had an account for years and decided to hit restart and redo their image, wipe their account of content, and start over. But, it's not very common and it is still something to watch out for. Also having most of their content posted on the same day throws up a red flag since most brands will post a little bit each day or each week... Not all at once.

5. Their products don't seem to match the price

With things like sunglasses and clothing, it's hard to tell if the quality matches the price without actually seeing the product in person. But jewelry is a little easier. If the website doesn't list what the jewelry is made out of (examples: 925 sterling silver or 18K gold) then it's most likely alloy or another cheap material. And not worth $40.

You can also check this by doing a simple google search of the product name or reverse image search the product photo found on the website/ social media account. Most of the time you will find the same exact product (sometimes the same exact image) listed on wholesale websites and Amazon for 75%-90% cheaper.

*Bonus* They are following ... their other accounts?

This was new for me. I normally don't check who the brand is following. But this particular account was only following 3 accounts. So why not? Who were they following? Themselves. Yep. They have 3 more accounts for the same company. I'm assuming they have multiple people doing "outreach" via Instagram to influencers and that each person has their own IG account for the company...but that's not how things normally work (normally a company has one account or one main account and one PR/outreach account.... or their PR department contacts you through email). I can't know for sure if that's what's going on...but that's what it looks like to me.

And lastly, reviews are your friends! Check the comments on the companies' social media and search "[company name]+reviews" or "[company name]+scam" on google before giving them your coin.