Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Awakening of HK Derryberry - Book Review

I received book for review from Handlebar.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Quick Overview:

The Awakening of HK Derryberry is the inspiring story of how one man was willing to step out of his upper middle-class world into the life of a young, disabled boy with a dismal future. Little did Jim Bradford know the transformational potential of that friendship-for HK and himself.

HK Derryberry came into the world with the odds stacked heavily against him. Eventually it becomes apparent that buried beneath HK's severe disabilities is one spectacular ability. He is diagnosed with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM), which involves superlative powers of recollection that enable him to remember everything that has happened to him since the age of three. Less than one hundred people have been diagnosed with HSAM, but none of them have the physical disabilities of HK Derryberry.

My Review:

HK Derryberry is a boy who's a known pickpocket....He steals people's hearts.  I may not know him personally, but he definitely stole my heart.

The Awakening of HK Derryberry is a first-person account of Jim Bradford and his forging friendship with HK.  Several years ago Jim took an unconventional turn into to a restaurant for coffee, and that day forever changed his life.  It was there that he met HK Derryberry, a young boy bent over listening to the boombox.  Jim noticed that HK was disabled and learned that the boy spent many hours at the restaurant while his grandma worked.  Jim formed a friendship with this child and, throughout the years, became his mentor and best advocate.

HK had so many odds stacked against him, yet he flourished once he found a friend who invested time in him.  HK is blind and has cerebral palsy, yet has a remarkable memory and a positive attitude. If we were to take the courage and strength of HK and blend it in with the patience and kindness of Jim, this world would be a much better place.

HK Derryberry and Jim Bradford now work together as motivational speakers.  I'd be thrilled to attend one of their events someday.  The book about the two is been amazingly uplifting.  Although it chronicles HK's struggles, it's mostly tells of a child with special needs (now an adult) who was given a chance at life and exceeded expectations.

Update on Email Subscriptions for my Blog

With many thanks to Mimi, blog owner of Woven By Words, it was brought to my attention that there may be a glitch in my email subscriptions.

I did have two ways in which you could subscribe to my blog via email - Feedburner and Mail Chimp.  For now, I am ceasing subscriptions on the latter.  For whatever reason, Mail Chimp would sometimes redirect people to my old blog domain, which happens to be owned by a semi-sorta spam site of tattoos and half-naked peeps.  So, here's the bullet point rundown:

1.  I've gotten rid of Mail Chimp.  I hope I don't lose many subscribers because of that but it's necessary.

2.  Please subscribe to my blog via Feedburner.  There's a "subscribe to my blog via email" link at the left hand side of my blog where you can do that.

3.  Don't buy your domain from GoDaddy!  That's my personal experience, at least.  They're the ones who caused me to have to buy a different domain name in the first place.  My old domain expired a couple years ago, I wasn't notified, and I was bought out by a different "parked" site.  (Which, coincidentally enough, has GoDaddy ads!)  I hope I'm wrong, but it leads me to believe that GoDaddy is super shady.

Thanks to Mimi for pointing this out.  I hope you'll subscribe to me via Feedburner.  If email isn't your thing, there's also Bloglovin and Google+.

What's your experience with GoDaddy?
Through which avenues do you follow my blog?

Precious Moments: Little Book of Bible Stories - Review and Giveaway

I received product for review from Tommy Nelson.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Book Overview:

Teach your little ones how they are precious in God’s sight through Precious Moments Little Book of Bible Stories. Children of all ages are sure to enjoy these sweet illustrations and simple Bible stories about our loving God.

My Review:

To me, the Precious Moments® brand represents innocence and childlike faith.  I have a couple figurines in my home and have purchased some as gifts.  I love that the Precious Moments personification is included in a Bible Storybook.  

Precious Moments:  Little Book of Bible Stories is geared toward children up to age four.  It is a board book with a soft padded cover.  The stories are short and are written in a way that children can understand.  The Precious Moments illustrations are simply adorable.  For each story, there is a Bible verse, scriptural reference, and brief words of worship or prayer.  This is a wonderful keepsake book for any young child.
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One person will win Precious Moments: Little Book of Bible Stories.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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Friday, September 15, 2017

My Experience with Linzess (Prescription Pills for IBS)

First of all, I'm not a doctor (and don't play one on TV).  So if you have a medical issue, be sure to see your physician.  This is my own personal experience regarding IBS and Linzess.

Warning:  I will be talking about poo.  So hang on to your "oh shit" handles and come along for the ride.

Before I tell you about my experience with Linzess, I want to tell you about the battle I went through prior to taking it.  I've suffered with severe stomach problems for close to 20 years now.  I noticed it not long after I had my gall bladder removed (some people say the two are linked).  I could go three weeks without pooping, and my stomach was so round and hard it looked like I was ready to give birth.

Mind you, I've never been a skinny girl.  But being asked when I'm due is a blow to the ole' self-esteem.  I mean, I guess you could say I was pregnant.  I felt like I was due with ten turd babies that were clinging for dear life.
my insides "before"

When it was time to take a deuce, it wasn't a normal routine.  It was an all out death match.  I'd get super clammy and have cold sweats.  Goosebumps would form on my arms, and I'd double over in abdominal agony.  And there was no waiting.  When the Turds of Torment decided to finally come out, it was a NOW OR NEVER situation.  I can't tell you how many times I've stopped at the side of the road on an interstate and ran into a ditch to poo.  Or how many times I've begged my husband to stop at a stranger's house so I could run into their bathroom, then explain details later.  (He never would!)  I'm no stranger to hospital visits either.  There never was much they could do, but the pain meds were enough to get me through at the time.  My mother passed away in April 2016 from a small bowel obstruction. (That was enough to scare the shit outta me!)

At any rate, I've went to doctors and was finally been diagnosed with IBS and borderline Celiac disease.  I started taking Digestic Herbal Supplement in 2016, after I had been given a bottle for review.  It is amazeballs but was costing me $40 a month.  A little too steep for my pocketbook!

Fast forward to earlier this year:  The gastrologist put me on Linzess, which are prescription pills for IBS treatment.  It's been my miracle drug.

Linzess comes available in three doses, and I take the highest one.  I take one pill a day half hour before supper.  Since taking the pills, I don't have problems "dropping the kids off at the pool".  I still don't dookie every single day but I'm much more consistent.  All the agonizing symptoms have gone away.  I no longer feel like I'm dying a slow death.  Granted, I can hear my food digesting somewhat loudly after I eat but I'm all good with that cuz I know it's not gonna get stuck in my insides.  Sometimes the poo isn't solid; There's days when it's the Hershey's Squirts.  But it's not so sudden that I can't walk, rather than run, to the nearest restroom.

I have a fairly decent insurance plan so it costs me $13 for a 30-day supply of Linzess.  According to the papers, insurance saves me over $400.  If you have good insurance and struggle with IBS, I highly suggest that you talk to your doctor about Linzess.  If it does anything for you like it does for me, your gut will thank you.

my insides "after"

Do you suffer from IBS or Celiac disease?
Have you ever taken Linzess?  Or, what steps do you take to relieve the symptoms?

Tangled the Series - #JAKKSToys Review and Giveaway

I received products for review from JAKKS Pacific.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Rapunzel Secret Journal

JAKKS Pacific is excited to launch toys and other products to relive the adventures of Rapunzel.  From an intricate dress and a customizable bag to a stylized bow and arrow and a secret journal, JAKKS Pacific line of products, inspired by Tangled The Series, will have every kid wanting to seek out adventure.  I have two great-nieces that are big into Tangled the Series and who proclaimed me the best auntie ever when I presented them with two toys from the line.  They've played and played with the journal and adventure bag.

For up-to-date Disney Tangled The Series information, follow #JAKKSToys on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  And, don’t forget to tune into the Disney Channel for the latest episodes of Tangled The Series.

Rapunzel Dress
Kids can look just like Disney’s princess, Rapunzel, in her iconic dress inspired by the new Tangled The Series on the Disney Channel. The Rapunzel Dress is perfect for kids ages 3 and older, in sizes 6 to 8, and is available at retailers nationwide at a retail price of $29.99

Rapunzel Adventure Bag
Kids can customize their Rapunzel Adventure Bag with charms to look just like Rapunzel’s bag from the new Tangled The Series on the Disney Channel.

Rapunzel’s Adventure Bag comes with a bag, one journal charm, one Pascal charm, one frying pan charm, one flower charm, one lantern charm, one feather charm and one sun charm.  The Adventure Bag is recommended for kids ages 3 and older, and is available at retailers nationwide at a retail price of $12.99.

Rapunzel Bow & Arrow
The Rapunzel Bow & Arrow Kids will let kids recreate Rapunzel’s adventures as well as create their own with a stylized bow and arrow set inspired by the new Tangled The Series on the Disney Channel.  The Rapunzel Bow & Arrow can shoot up to 20 feet, and the set comes with a bow, three arrows, and one quiver.  The set is ideal for kids ages 3 and older and will sell at a retail price of $19.99 at retailers nationwide.

Rapunzel Secret Journal
Kids will love keeping all of their secrets safe with the Rapunzel Secret Journal.  Kids can get creative with the invisible ink pen, and just like Rapunzel uses the “crystal" black light to reveal invisible ink, they can too!  The journal comes with a secret drawer, a black light, an invisible ink pen, marker, stencil, three sheets of paper, two sticker sheets, one Maximus hair charm, and of course only one key plus three AG13 batteries are also included.  The Secret Journal is perfect for kids ages 3 and older, and sells at retailers nationwide at a recommended retail price of $19.99.

Rapunzel Adventure Bag

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One person will win a Rapunzel Adventure Bag.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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Rimmel London Insta Range - Review

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
I'll be the first to say I've never been an expert at applying makeup. I know how to put makeup on my face but it never turns out model perfect. With that said, I do like to experiment with makeup and Rimmel London is a brand I've come to love.

Rimmel London has introduced its first selfie-ready Insta Range for the Picture Perfect Look. The new line-up features easy-to-use products to correct, conceal, contour, and fix your complexion so you can pass the smart-phone challenge – both under the flash and in daylight. Have fun expressing yourself through selfies … with total confidence. #instaselfie

Insta Conceal & Contour- This palette camouflages and enhances the different tones of your face and allows you to sculpt the angles, creating a naturally flawless complexion and defined features. Apply on top of foundation and blend.

Available in 3 shades  (Light, Medium and Dark) to complement the different tones around your face which allows you to Highlight, Conceal and Contour

Insta Conceal & Correct- Address and conceal your skin’s different tones and imperfections with this color-correcting kit for dark circles, redness and dull-looking skin.
Peach neutralizes dark circles
Green covers redness on the skin
Lilac cancels out dullness

Again, I'm not a makeup expert and can't say I've achieved my desired Picture Perfect Look.  But, with these two Insta products from Rimmel London, I have noticed an improvement.  Dark circles under my eyes are the worst, and the Conceal shade helps get rid of that.  I have redness on my nose a lot of times and the Green shade definitely helps.  There are illustrations on the back of each palette that show where the shades should be applied on the face.  The Insta Range is now a daily part of my makeup routine.

popchips® Galaxy Puffs Star Wars Themed Snack - #jointhepopside Review and Giveaway

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
I won't purchase merchandise or food based mainly on a character or celebrity endorsement. I don't have a lot of purchasing sway that way. But I know kids tend to gravitate towards edibles that feature popular characters and colorful graphics. I have no problem buying such food products as long as I believe in the actual food or drink itself, not just the packaging.

One snack option that is sometimes available at my house are Popchips, crunchy potato snacks that are heated in a pressurized chamber and then quickly released.  They're flavorful and airy with a crunch.  I was excited to recently try Galaxy Puffs for the first time when they were sent for review.  Galaxy Puffs are from the same company and, like popchips, they are never fried and contain only real ingredients.

Earlier this month Popchips launched Galaxy Puffs nationwide, just in time for Force Friday II and the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi release. The product will be available as an everyday item for the duration of the company’s three-year collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm.  Galaxy Puffs are offered in one flavor - aged white cheddar - and feature Star Wars shapes.  Galaxy Puffs are available in two sizes, and offer parents a fun choice for kids' lunches or snacktime.

While my kids are older, they still enjoyed these Star Wars themed Galaxy Puffs.   We liked the packaging and fun shapes.  But, most important, we liked the crunch and flavor of this snack.

Win It!

One person will win bags of popchips® Galaxy Puffs Star Wars Themed Snacks.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
a Rafflecopter giveaway