Friday, August 31, 2018

Fellow Cat People: What's the Wound on My Cat's Head?


Trader Jimmy isn't a fan of the tutu trend!
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Don't proceed from here if you get grossed out by wounds.  The rest of this post contains pictures of my cat's gaping head.  You've been warned!

Trader Jimmy is almost three years old.  We got him a little over a year ago.  Not long after, a wound started appearing on his head.  Thinking it was a hot spot, I took him to the vet.  They prescribed antibiotics.  It healed, then happened again.  Took him to a different vet.  They shaved the area, prescribed antibiotics, and put cream on it.  

Neither vet gave a specific diagnosis for what's going on or causing this to happen.  I ended up taking matters into my own hands and purchased wound spray.  Every time the wound opens, I spray until it heals.  

I've personally never seen Trader Jimmy scratching at his head.  So he must be doing it when I'm not around.  He doesn't whine or cry about it but the spot is tender to the touch.  The area keeps getting bigger every time.  He's gonna have his brain dug out soon!


Do any of you have an idea of what could be causing this?  Why does my cat feel it's necessary to walk around sporting a gash?  I know it's not cuz I made him wear a tutu!

Sur la Table Labor Dale Sale: Up to 65% Off Site-Wide



SurLaTable.com is the place for an unsurpassed selection of exclusive and premium-quality goods for the kitchen & table.  Their selection of products is a true celebration of cooking and entertaining. If it’s in the kitchen or on the table, Sur La Table has it—from the everyday to the hard to find, even the unexpected.

Receive up to 65% off site-wide at Sur la table when using the code SHIPFREE18 at checkout.  This offer ends 9/3/18.




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

Appleseed's Labor Day Sale: 30% Off Site-Wide



Appleseed's offers classic clothes for women. Until 9/4/18, receive 30% off site-wide when you use code A8LABOR at checkout.

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

Fergus and Zeke at the Science Fair - Children's Book Review and Giveaway


Book Overview:

By Kate Messner, illustrated by Heather Ross

9780763678470 | September 2018 | 5-8 Ages | 48 Pages

 Fergus and Zeke love being the class pets in Miss Maxwell’s classroom, and they do everything the students do — listening at storytime, painting masterpieces during art class, and keeping their own special journals. But when it’s time for the school science fair, the mice aren’t sure just how to get involved. Lucy wants to time them as they run through a maze, but they want to do an experiment, not be an experiment. Then Zeke comes up with a great idea: since Lucy is training animals for her experiment, maybe he and Fergus can do the same thing! Unfortunately, the only animals available are the students themselves. Can Fergus and Zeke turn the tables and train Lucy in time for the science fair?

Don’t forget to check out the first book in the series, Fergus and Zeke.

My Review:

A book for early readers, Fergus and Zeke at the Science Fair tells of two mice named, well, Fergus and Zeke.  They are classroom pets and get excited when they learn the class is doing a science fair.  They want to participate too, especially after hearing what each student plans on doing.  

One of the girl students decides her fair project is going to involve the mice.  Fergus and Zeke go along with it for a while, then decide to turn the tables and make it into an experiment of their own.  

This book is a lighthearted story that brings science to light.  Readers are briefly introduced to science fairs and what they might entail.  I like how Fergus and Zeke decide their project will be to "train" a child, and what they do to make that happen.  It's a cute story about science, with silly mice added to the mix.





Win It!

One person will win a Fergus and Zeke at the Science Fair children's book.

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

I received book for review from Candlewick Press.  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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Final Winners for August

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the Go Organically (2 boxes) giveaway is #70, Kayla Klontz.

The winner of the Go Organically (4 boxes) giveaway is #30, abfantom.

The winners of the Teacher's Choice Educational Wall Clock giveaway are:
#49, Angela Saver
#46, Alissa Apel
#44, Edye Nicole
#73, Tandi Cortez
#29, Jeanna Massman.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to check out and enter the current giveaways, all listed at the top left hand side of my blog.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hallmark Cards Now Available at Dollar Tree


As much as an email or social media shoutout is great, I'm one of those people that still sends out cards for different occasions.  I think it's more personal and I know that people enjoy receiving something besides bills in the mail.  When gifting presents, I also include a card.  

A lot of times I will shop Dollar Tree for cards.  The store has a wide selection of cards available, at very affordable prices.  I'm excited to announce that Dollar Tree is now carrying greeting cards by Expressions from Hallmark and Heartline a Hallmark company.
Ariel birthday card I included with my great-niece's present.

There are over 6,500 Dollar Tree stores nationwide and starting today, August 30th, every store will carry Expressions from Hallmark cards for $1 each and Heartline a Hallmark company cards at 2 for $1.  With hundreds of new greeting cards to choose from, you can celebrate every moment with your friends and family without breaking the bank.  You can find more information about these cards at www.DollarTree.com.  

Kindness card to give to a neighbor, along with a bouquet of flowers

The quality of these cards are what you'd expect from Hallmark - superb!  I love that there's so many designs to choose from and even popular characters.  Avengers and Disney Princesses just to name a couple!  The cards come with an envelope and are at a great price point.  I'll definitely continue buying my cards from Dollar Tree.

I was compensated for this post.  This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.  The opinions within this post are of my own.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 137


I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 137.  If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

"We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus."
–Acts 15:11

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

BE PREPARED! The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather, and Everything - Book Review and Giveaway


Book Overview:

For kids the world can be a confusing and frightening place and finding a hero to trust is often a daunting task. Perhaps nobody knows that better than Frankie MacDonald.

Frankie is an autistic man who’s spent his life learning everything there is to know about his #1 love: the weather. With the unique set of skills that autism has blessed him with, a digital camera, and YouTube, Frankie has become the world's most beloved amateur weatherman with 99% accuracy in his predictions. He's become so popular and loved that his videos have received more than 10 million views on YouTube to date and he's racked up hundreds of thousands of subscribers who eagerly await each new video.

His book is BE PREPARED! The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather, and Everything and it's packed with delightful lessons and imagery for inquisitive young ones eager to learn about the weather. It is also part autobiography, part field-guide: peppered throughout are the heroic lessons Frankie has learned about how to rise above the challenges of bullies, skeptics, and the everyday world around us. In reading through this captivating new book, children and parents will quickly discover that everybody – no matter what their shape or size or unique life challenge – can rise above and “be prepared!”

My Review:

It wasn't until receiving this book that I discovered who Frankie MacDonald is.  Since then, I've checked out a few of his YouTube videos.  An autistic adult with a passion for weather, Frankie has quite the following.  He may lack development in some parts of life, but that doesn't stop him from being expressive and using his God-given talents.  Frankie taught himself to read weather models and patterns, and can accurately predict the weather a lot of times.  

In his book, BE PREPARED!  readers learn the story of Frankie MacDonald and his life living with autism.  Pictures of him growing up are included.  Lots of information is given not only on him, but also how the autistic brain works.  I found it to be very informative and interesting.  That's just part of the book.

Another part of the book talks about weather.  For instance, readers learn why there's seasons and which places in the world have the coldest weather.  As if that wasn't enough, readers also learn about bullies and gaming.  I know it sounds like this book jumps from one place to another, but that's not the case.  Everything ties together nicely.  I love how this book reflects on the life of someone with autism, discusses bullying, talks about the weather, and so much more.  Frankie MacDonald is quite the guy!

Win It!

One person will win a paperback book copy of Be Prepared: The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather, and Everything.

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

I received book 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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Wordful Wednesday - MaKynzee's Birthday


Because of my parent's age difference and remarrying a couple of times, I have more nieces and nephews than the average person my age.  And a lot of them have children of their own, giving me several great-nieces and great-nephews.  I'm close to most of them so there's no shortage of birthday parties at anytime throughout the year.

The birthday girl, with no shortage of gifts.

The most recently celebrated was for my great-niece, MaKynzee.  She turned six years old and had her birthday at the local gymnastics center.  I actually prefer parties there over a couple other "b-day spots" in town.
Madelyn doing a backbend.

The first hour was spent running, tumbling, jumping, and running the kids ragged.  The second hour was cake and ice cream, and watching MaKynzee open gifts.  

That's another family birthday in the books....until later today.  My granddaughter, Rahjae, turns 12 years old and I'm taking her out to eat.  Being given the choice to eat anywhere she wants, she's chosen KFC!  As she desires...

Two of my great-nephews, Alec and Harley.  

Do you have many nieces or nephews? 
Are certain months busier than others for birthday parties in your family?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Pure Biology Shampoo & Conditioner - Review

I shop Amazon from time to time but didn't know anything about Pure Biology until recently.  Pure Biology has become one of Amazon's best-selling skincare lines.  If their skincare products are anything like their shampoo and conditioner, then I'm on board!  Founded in 2016, Pure Biology offers nine products that are sold exclusively on Amazon.com.

The RevivaHair Shampoo and the RevivaHair Conditioner are what I tried from the Pure Biology line.  Both are formulated to reduce hair loss and increase the lifespan of hair fibers for prolonged vitality. 
With a light lemony scent, RevivaHair Shampoo and RevivaHair Conditioner can be used by both men and women.  Both the shampoo and the conditioner have the same exact design and packaging.  I'd prefer if one was more easily distinguished from the other. 

I've never had problems with a lot of hair loss but I have seen a reduced amount of stray hairs in the tub when I'm taking a shower.  It's enough that I believe the shampoo and conditioner are doing their job.  The shampoo and conditioner are both white in color and creamy in touch.  Just a couple pumps of each are needed for a complete clean.  The shampoo and conditioner, paired together, helps my hair look and feel its best.

Don't Take Me Along for the Ride



Sleep, sleep, oh glorious sleep!
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

There may be days where I'm awake for 15 hours, take a couple hour nap, then am back up again for quite a while.

Other days I'm awake for 4 hours and I'm ready for a nap. 

A 1-hour nap is almost always mandatory the hour leading up to me heading into work at night.

I think you get it - I like sleep.

Usually this isn't a big deal.  My nap time is my husband's "me" time. 

When it becomes a problem is when I'm driving for an extended period or riding as a passenger.  Especially if the sun is beating down just right.

Case in hand:  I used to work an hour away from where I lived and actually worked day shift at that time (unlike night shift now).  Almost EVERY. SINGLE. day I would pray to the good Lord that I'd make it.  No matter how much sleep I got the night before, I'd almost always doze off on my way to work.  There'd be times I'd try so hard not to sleep that I'd start to hallucinate.  I had no doubt a car crash would be my demise. 

Windows down with wind blasting my face - Did it!
Air conditioner on full blast - Did it!
Music up at full volume - Did it!
Full-on conversations with myself - Did it!
Slapping my face and pinching my cheeks - Did it!

It is by the grace of God that I ever made those work trips back and forth.  Where I work at now is only ten minutes away one-way so I'm good. 

Remember reading about my monthly three-hour trips to Iowa?  Those are killer.  Halfway through I have to stop and take a short snooze.  Doesn't matter if it's a day trip or in the dead of night. 

Being a passenger isn't much better.  Jason usually drives long trips and he's fully aware that he will get no conversation from me.  My head hits the seat and I'm usually done for.  Short rides don't bother me but ones that hit around the 45-minute mark get me almost every time.

*Footnote: Lesson has been learned.  I either pull over and take a short nap if I have to drive far or somebody else drives with the pre-warning that I'm not gonna entertain them.  I'll be too busy sleeping.*

Anyone else have problems staying awake in a vehicle - either as a driver or a passenger?

Shit Happens - @GamesAdultsPlay Review and Giveaway (18+)


An exciting new line of adult party games released this August at Gen Con 2018.  Games Adults Play is a collection of hilarious party games aimed at players 18+.  There are several games available, with Shit Happens being one of them.

For most of us there's a point in life (or several points) when "shit happens".  Depending on the severity of the circumstances, we roll with the punches or freak out.  May as well make a game of it by playing the Shit Happens card game!
Shit Happens is a card game for two or more people, and includes 200 Shit Happens situation cards.  Due to its content, this game is rated for ages 18 and up.  The object is to be the best at ranking shitty events from the least worst to the absolute worst.  This game is a way to lighten the mood and have a fun time with good friends.  It's not overly strategic or challenging, but it is fun!
Play starts with each player getting three cards each.  The remaining cards form a draw pile. Players then place their cards face up on the table in front of them, ranked by the numerical order of the Misery Index.  When it's your turn, you have to draw a card from the draw pile and read the shitty situation but not reveal the misery index number.  The person to your right has to determine that card's proper place among the three cards you have laid down.  If you guess correctly, you win the card and it remains face up with your other cards.  If you guess incorrectly, the player to the left can take that card by guessing.  Play continues clockwise until someone guesses correctly and wins the card.  The game becomes a tad bit harder each time correct guesses are made and more cards are added.  The first player to accumulate 10 Shit Happens Situation cards wins the game.
Each situation on a card is rated with a Misery Index Number.  Interestingly enough, those ratings were determined by a panel of people with actual psychiatric experience.  In other words, they know their shit!  Factors for the rating include anxiety level, emotional trauma, and long-term psychological damage.

Some of the situations on the cards are fairly minor while others are more extreme.  Some examples are: bleach in eye (47.5 Misery Rating), lose your laptop (47 Misery Rating), struck by lightning (93 Misery Rating), and gored by a bull (90.5 Misery Rating).

Win It!

One person will win a Shit Happens card game.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA, 18+.*

I received game 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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Monday, August 27, 2018

Influence Future Products with Influenster - #ReviewCrew2018

Delicious and good-for-you Bear Naked Granola I received in the past from Influenster for review.

I'm been a member of Influenster for over five years and have received merchandise for free to test and try out. It's a legit company that lets you share what you do and don't like about products. Go ahead, check it out.  And, if you want to test products and give your opinion, join me in Influenster.

Influenster is a free -to-join community of invited trendsetters who live to give opinions of products and experiences. Influenster creates links between brands and members to reward participation and influence future products. Active members of Influenster get exclusive access to deals, promotions, and swag from brands that thrive off the input (the good, the bad, and the ugly -- they just want to know what's up).

As a contributing member of Influenster, you get the chance to share your knowledge and know-how with other like-minded people. You also get exclusive discounts on products and services based on the Expert Badges you unlock. You’ll have access to content and sales based on your influence and area of expertise. As an active influencer, you’ll have the chance to get invites to Influenster programs so you can try the latest and coolest products catered towards your lifestyle before anyone else. Members who participate actively on Influenster and engage in programs increase their opportunities to receive rewards.
Energy Gummies I received to review from Influenster.

This post contains a referral link.  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.

LÄRABAR Kid Brownies - Review


LÄRABAR® is known for the Original Fruit & Nut Bar™, and now they've rolled out its first bar made especially for kids.  LÄRABAR® KID™ is baked with using 9 or fewer pantry ingredients.  There are currently two flavors available - Chocolate Brownie and Chocolate Mint Brownie. This is the first LÄRABAR that has used buckwheat flour (a gluten-free substitute for white flour) creating a fudgy, baked, real-food brownie alternative. 


Each box of LÄRABAR Kid has six individually wrapped brownies.  The squares fit nicely in a lunch box and are a good size for about three bites.  There are nine ingredients that make up LÄRABAR Kid and they're all recognizable.  The difference between ingredients in Chocolate Brownie and Chocolate Mint Brownie is that the first has sea salt and the latter has peppermint oil.  The other ingredients that make up the flavors for both brownies is cane sugar, coconut oil, water, chia seeds, cocoa powder, buckwheat flour, honey, and semisweet chocolate.

Although LÄRABAR Kid is geared towards, well, kids I think they're a tasty snack for about anyone.  My college son was particularly fond of them and had a few after afternoon runs.  I liked both of them as well.  I could taste the texture of the chia seeds which threw me off a little but they don't take away from the taste.  

Which of the two flavors of LÄRABAR Kid would your kid most like?


I received products for review from LÄRABAR.  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 AM: The Names of God for Little Ones - Children's Book Review and Giveaway



Book Overview:

God is the Creator, the Healer, our Savior, and our Friend. And it is through God’s names that we understand His character. Now little ones will understand how great our God is by learning His names and all the ways He cares for them.

Written by bestselling author Diane Stortz and illustrated by Diane Le Feyer, I AM: The Names of God for Little Ones is a great companion to the bestselling Bible storybook I AM.

My Review:

About three years ago I took part in a Bible study and learned that God has many names.  My personal favorite is Jehovah Jireh, meaning "The Lord will provide".  Saying that name aloud brings me a sense of peace.  

A board book with a padded glittery cover, I AM: The Names of God for Little Ones has a different Godly name for each page spread.  Some are generic titles, such as Friend or Good Shepherd.  Others are more specific names given to God in the Bible.  For instance, there's Elohim (Creator) and Jeohvah Rophe (The Lord who Heals).  

For each of the names of God, there's a Bible reference and scripture for it.  There's also a short prayer.  I personally think this is a perfect book to read with little ones a page at a time.  It will give readers the opportunity to discuss what the names mean and how they apply to God.  The illustrations and words teach children that God is many great things with many great names.


Win It!

One person will win an I AM: The Names of God for Little Ones children's book.

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

I received book 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.
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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Quick Date at Knight's Action Park




Many years ago, when my brother was in drug rehab and he got day passes, our family would head up to Springfield, IL and spend the day at Knight's Action Park.  Back then, the place seemed larger and more magical.


Jason and I ended up going there last week.  I won two free tickets from a radio station and I was ready to relive the excitement from years ago.


Sadly, the excitement wasn't there.  It's not a bad place and I'm not putting it down.  But, in my mind's eye, it used to be bigger and had more wonderment.  I visited a water park in Iowa in July that was a lot bigger, so Knight's Action Park paled in comparison.  

Jason standing under a mushroom waterfall. That was the extend of his excitement.

Jason's not much of a "water guy" anyway so he wasn't about to go on the thrill rides.  Maybe it would have been more exciting if I would've had someone else with me that was more into it.  Or maybe not.

The "toilet bowl" that took my breath away.

On the plus side, I bet there was a total of ten people there.  The place was practically deserted.  We walked around the area several times, rode the Lazy River, and I went down the "toilet bowl".  I don't know if it's age or what but I damn near died.  Or at least it felt like I did!

We spent less than an hour and a half at Knight's Action Park.  We wanted to do the Bumper Boats but couldn't find them anywhere, even with the maps.  It was a date with the hubby that didn't last long but we still had fun.

Three More August Winners

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the Dinner for Dinos children's book giveaway is #12, Lauryn Rescoe.

The winner of the ICB Golden Princess Sparkle Bible giveaway is #17, Antoinette M.

The winner of the Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller giveaway is #30, Nancy.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to enter the current active giveaways, all listed at the top left hand side of my blog.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.