Thursday, March 21, 2019

Everything But The Bagel Spice Mix - Review and Giveaway

Spices, seasonings and sauces are used quite often when Jason and I cook.  I think it's because we like to add a variety of flavors to our food. For example, pork chops can be enjoyed in a variety of ways if you dress them up with different tastes and flavor textures.   Pereg, the leading purveyor of all-natural exotic spices, has shaken up the standard salt and pepper routine with its new Everything But The Bagel Spice Mix.

What's great about this spice mix is that it can be sprinkled on just about any food.  It’s fresh, 100% natural, gluten-free, vegan, and OU and CRC kosher-certified, with no MSG, additives or preservatives. A 5.3 oz jar retails for $5.50.

I love that I'm able to recognize all the ingredients.  This spice mix is made up of Garlic, Onion, Black Sesame Seeds, White Sesame Seeds, Poppy Seeds, and Salt.  It's an optimal merge of flavors.  We've been using this spice mix quite frequently.  It's become a "go-to" when we want both flavor and texture. There's a dual flip-top lid, with one side having little holes for just a small amount of the spice mix to be poured out and the other side having larger holes for more.  Vegetables, meats, breads, and other foods have an even more delicious flavor with Everything But The Bagel Spice Mix.

Win It!

One person will win a jar of Everything But The Bagel Spice Mix.

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

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.
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My Recent Stint in the Psych Unit: Part 1

river view scenery near where I reside

“Don't blame your challenge but get up and look it as a bridge to your success.” 
― Bruce Mbanzabugabo

My life hasn't made much sense lately so it's likely this post won't either.  I'm not going to take the time to make everything cohesive.  It's a story of my recent journey into depression.

I'm not doing this for any pity or self-gratitude.  This is a part of my life and my blog is where I document my life.  

First of all, depression isn't new to me.  I was diagnosed with it several years ago.  Staying in the psych unit isn't new to me either.  Seventeen years ago, I was in there for three weeks.  Turned 25 years old in there.  Um, happy birthday, I think.  After about a year of being on meds, I weaned myself off and did quite well.  

Then my world was turned upside down when my mom died almost three years ago.  I'm not a stranger to death, but I was a stranger to losing my best friend.  My confidante.  That set me into a spiral of anger and hatred towards anyone and everyone, except God.  A good friend and supervisor noticed the change in my behavior and walked with me to get the help I needed, through a doctor.  And again, things were going good.  

I can't necessarily pinpoint why I spiraled out of control again.  My life is pretty darn good.  I have a strong support system.  I think it's a culmination of little things.  The fact that my mother's death date anniversary is coming up (April 13).  The fact that my son is moving 11 hours away.  The fact that I'm having a spiritual battle telling me I'm not good enough to be a pastor's wife.  Who knows.

All I know is that last Friday morning, in the very wee hours of the morning, I was done with it all.  DONE.  I didn't want to kill myself (my faith is too strong for that) and I didn't want to harm anyone else.  But, damn it, I wanted to die.  I REALLY wanted to die.  The urge was a strong current in my mind and I was spiraling down a rabbit hole.

I lost my shit and called my work for someone to come pick me up and take me to the hospital.  (I work as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher.  When I called, I gave no cares if they'd judge me or not.)  An officer ended up responding and took me to the hospital for admittance.  It was while I was walking in that the officer asked if I knew I was wearing two different shoes.  Nope, sure didn't!  It was a dress shoe on the left and an athletic shoe on the right.  I also didn't know how I got a black eye.  Or how I caused bruising on my left shoulder.  Or how I cut open my left knee.  Still don't know.
Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

As soon as I was sequestered in the hospital, I was stripped of most rights.  I voluntarily admitted myself but they were in charge from then on.  For my one phone call, I got a hold of my oldest daughter.  She and her husband came immediately after.  According to them, I was a blubbering mess.  I barely remember what all was asked of me or done to me.

Here's the real kicker, people:  My husband had no idea!  He was in bed asleep.  He didn't know until my daughter text to tell where I was.  And, even with that information, he wasn't allowed to visit or make contact at that time.  Looking back, that's my biggest regret.  He would have willingly listened to me and dealt with me.  He would have supported me and helped me through it all.  But I didn't want to be a "burden".  (Rather, I burdened him by blindsiding him.)  

Since this post has went on long enough, I will create another in a few days to talk about my experience as an inpatient for Behavioral Medical Services.  Stay tuned for Part 2....
Photo by ThÆ° Anh on Unsplash

*Disclaimer:  If you're someone I personally know who is here to get the down-low, it better be nothing but support that I receive.  I've run my course of self-embarrassment and shame.  I refuse to let this define me.  And I refuse to allow someone to define me by this experience*

Marvel Fans: Apply for Marvel Movie Marathon Experience wants to pay you to partake in a Marvel movie marathon! The team is looking to pay one comic-loving couch potato $1,000 to watch all 20 Marvel films back-to-back before the Avengers: End Game's big debut on April 26th. Application are open now, and the most qualified candidate will be selected to take on this nerdy dream job next month.

Who: is a professional television provider comparison + informative tech "how-to" website.

Where: You can find more information along with the application form here:

Why: The goal is to hire a Marvel-crazed fan who can help generate excitement over the releases of the new Marvel movies this year, as well as give new perspectives and opinions on the series, thus far, with their comic insights and expertise.

What: They're hiring a professional Marvel nerd to watch all 20 Marvel Cinematic Universe films for $1,000. This means you can make some fast, fun cash while hangin' on your couch rewatching your favorite series (and taking some notes along the way). For the candidate selected for this role, they'll be sending a care package with every Marvel Cinematic Universe film on Blu-Ray along with an array of other fun Marvel-themed gear.

Closing date for entry is April 15, 2019.

I received no compensation for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Trips and Wins

Chippy, my best friend's dog who thinks he's a bad a**
He loves no one but his mother but actually let me pet him for a long time, for the first time.
We've finally decided we like each other.

It's been a short bit since I've done a Random Tuesday Thoughts post, so be warned I've got a lot of randomness.  If you have stuff to say that's neither here nor there, link up at Stacy Uncorked.

I've been on a fairly lucky streak with wins lately.  My name was drawn as a grand prize winner of a US Cellular promotion.  My win included a new Apple iWatch (Jason took it), Apple iPad (I'm using it), and free service for one year. 

Then I won a local FB giveaway for one free box of Halo Pops.  I darn near pooped myself when I saw that a six-pack retails for almost $7.  Unless they go on a major sale, I will only be eating them when I win them.

A couple weekends ago my husband went to a Pheasants Forever banquet in Iowa and won a gun.  I can't remember what brand it is but it retails for almost $600.  I'm pretty sure he spent at least half that amount at the banquet that night, but it's all good.

me and Alaina

While Jason was blowing money and winning guns at the banquet, I hung out with my bestie.  It had been a few months since I'd seen her.  Saturday she and I went to some random mani/pedi place.  Alaina got her nails done and I went for the paraffin wax pedicure. It was sweet, sweet heaven to my feet.  That is, until the nail file came out.  Those things make me want to crawl out of my skin.  It's a personal form of Hell.  I let the nice little lady know she could skip that step and move on to the next one. Are there any feelings or sounds that drive you mad?
Me, Alaina, Steve, Sandy, Kerri

Saturday night Alaina and I went to the local pubs.  There's no restaurants in her little town, so you gotta go to one of the two pubs to eat out.  I love bar food so that's no biggie to me.  I ate so much fried food my arteries were begging for a break.

If I've said it once, I'll say it again: I love Iowa.  I've never had a bad experience there and everyone I come across becomes an instant friend.

When Todd and Jason got back in town from the banquet, they hung out a while and listened to a couple guys playing music.  Todd even joined in on the lyrics.
Todd adding vocals to the music

Speaking of taking short trips, I took one to the psych ward late last week.  Got a full room and board for a few days.  I done boarded the Crazy Train and went on full mental breakdown.  I wasn't out to hurt myself or anyone else but I sure wanted to die.  But that's a blog post all for itself.

In a few days I will be joining Adam to help him move to the state of Virginia.  Shelby, my oldest daughter, will be going as well.  It's a 11 hour trip one-way so I'm not looking forward to the ride.  But I'm looking forward to spending time with Adam before he moves so darn far away.

What's your randomness for the week?
It's the first day of Spring!  Are you as excited as I am?

Second Act - Blu-ray Review and Giveaway


Jennifer Lopez (Maid in Manhattan, “Shades of Blue”) returns to the big screen and proves it’s never too late to pursue your dreams in the hilarious and relatable romantic comedy, Second Act, available on Digital and coming to Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand on March 26, 2019 from STXfilms and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. From the director of 50 First Dates and Get Smart, Second Act is a heartfelt comedy that will inspire and empower audiences of all ages to reach for their biggest dreams. With an honest and moving performance from Jennifer Lopez, the film also features Lopez’s latest single “Limitless” and  stars an incredible supporting cast including Leah Remini (“The King of Queens,” “Kevin Can Wait”), Vanessa Hudgens (The Princess Switch, High School Musical franchise) and Milo Ventimiglia (“This is Us,” “Gilmore Girls”).

Maya (Lopez) is a 40-year-old woman struggling with frustrations of not having achieved more in life. As an experienced, quick-witted, perceptive employee, she is passed over for a promotion solely because she doesn’t have a college degree. Until, that is, she gets the chance to prove that street smarts are as valuable as book smarts, and that it is never too late for a Second Act.


Connecting with Milo Ventimiglia – See how Jennifer Lopez and Milo Ventimiglia connected on and off screen in this behind-the-scenes piece.

The Empowering Women of Second Act – Get an inside look at how the women of Second Act empowered and supported each other.

Friendship On and Off Screen – See how real life best friends Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini had fun on set and how their real chemistry played on screen.

Working with the Ones You Love – Get a behind-the-scenes look at how the whole cast had fun while filming Second Act.

My Review:

I won't go into a whole rant about my personal feelings regarding higher education.  But I will say I think that too much emphasis is sometimes placed on a person's "learning" score rather than the "life skills" score.  In some fields a person can do well with a career, without having all the credentials.  That's the case in point with Second Act.

Jennifer Lopez plays Maya, an employee in a discount chain store.  She comes up with strong ideas with how to make the store more marketable but gets passed on a promotion to someone that has a higher education.  With the help of her friends (who are also co-workers) Maya puts on a fake persona and starts work as a consultant for cosmetics.  She has to prove she has what it takes to make it to the top, all while hiding the fact she doesn't have the actual qualifications to be in the position.

This is a good movie to watch at home when you're ready to enjoy a couple of hours of diversion, or to watch with your gal pals for "girl power" inspiration.  Jennifer played the role of Maya quite well, and I loved watching Leah Remini play a mother in unconventional parenting fashion.  The side story line of adoption not only tugged at my heartstrings, but was a welcome piece to show the powerful feelings of adoption and how it affects people.

Win It!

One person will win Second Act Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.

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

I received product for review.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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Join #ChildrensHospitalsWeek to Change Kids' Health

This week, March 18 to 24th, is Children's Hospitals Week.  This week is about shining a spotlight on the 24-7, around-the-clock charitable needs of children’s hospitals,” said CMN Hospitals president and CEO John Lauck. “Without additional funding, children’s hospitals do not have the resources they need to care for the more 10 million kids treated each year. We need to do more to fill this gap in pediatric health care funding.”

To raise more funds for children’s hospitals, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) and its community of supporters are activating during #ChildrensHospitalsWeek.

Join the movement:

Watch and give during the annual #ChildrensHospitalsWeek Live-athon at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 20. Similar to CMN Hospitals’ trademark telethons, this live fundraiser, hosted by Allison Holker and Stephen ‘tWitch” Boss, features inspiring patients, celebrity supporters and corporate guests. Watch live on Facebook and Twitch.

Create a Facebook fundraiser. A simple how-to can be found here.

Join Dairy Queen® Free Cone Day on March 20 at participating non-mall Dairy Queen® and DQ Grill & Chill® locations.

Eat pancakes at IHOP to support children’s hospitals. One dollar from every purchase of OREO® Oh My Goodness pancakes will support local children’s hospitals.

Round-up your change on purchases made at Love’s Travel Stops to support local children’s hospitals.

Donate to your local children’s hospital.
I received products in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Darn Good Yarn: BOGO Silk Medley Scarves


Dress boldly and colorfully with one of Darn Good Yarn's silk medley scarves.  Handmade with 7 strips of bright sari silk, each one of these scarves is unique.  If you have favorite colors be sure to let them know in the notes section at checkout.  

Each scarf is regularly priced at $59.99 but, right now, you can receive two for the price of one!  Just click on the link to receive the offer.

This post contains affiliate links. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.