Thursday, February 28, 2013

Soft Scrub Total All Purpose Bath & Kitchen Cleanser- Review and Giveaway

Soft Scrub is one of my favorite all purpose cleanser brands.  I don't have to put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into cleaning kitchen or bathroom facilities if I just use some Soft Scrub and a small amount of elbow grease.  The brand has come out with a new variety on its products, the Soft Scrub Total All Purpose Bath & Kitchen Cleanser.  The new and improved formula has more whitening power and less residue, for better rinsing.  That means better cleaning and faster rinsing for your tile, grout, sinks and tubs.  The all-new bottle and cap design improve dispensing, preventing spills and making for a more efficient cleaning experience. 

The new Soft Scrub has been put to the test several times in my home.  Part of that can be chalked up to the fact that as soon as I clean my home, it's guaranteed to be dirtied again the next day by the husband or kids.  The absolute worst is the bathtub and that's due to my husband's occupation.  As an auto mechanic, he rinses off a ton of grease and grime from his body every time he showers.  (Don't think the thought of using Soft Scrub on him hasn't crossed my mind!)

At any rate, messes are made on a daily and the new Soft Scrub Total All Purpose Bath & Kitchen Cleanser has made the hassle of cleaning a little easier.  Mainly, it's because the cleanser is effective at doing its job.  By pouring some Soft Scrub in my sink, toilet or tub and letting it set a few minutes, those implements are back to being clean.  And the pleasant lemon scent is a plus. 

This cleanser is pretty powerful so it's important to pour it out evenly onto whatever you're cleaning.  Otherwise, you may have white streaks showing where the Soft Scrub left its mark and ran down the surface.  Other than that, I'm pleased as punch with the effectiveness of this cleaning agent and the little effort it takes on my part.
Win It!

One person will two coupons for free any Soft Scrub product.

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

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James Bond Trip to Scotland Giveaway by VisitBritain & UrbanDaddy‏

In celebration of the recent Skyfall Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy release, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and VisitBritain have partnered with UrbanDaddy to create a luxurious and exciting giveaway, offering fans a chance to win a once in a lifetime James Bond experience!

The trip for two to Edinburgh, Scotland includes a three night stay at The Caledonian - A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, a Land Rover safari in Glencoe, Scotland (where Skyfall was filmed), a master class in blending your own whiskey at Glengoyne Distillery and more!

The sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia.  The Skyfall Sweepstakes ends March 3, 2013.  You only live twice, – so be sure and enter to win this incredible experience!

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

HydroPeptide Mask - Beauty Review

In my twenties, I was more concerned with other things than my skin and protecting it.  Once I hit my 30s, my skin started letting me know how much I neglected it.  I have to use moisturizers, lotions and other beauty products on a daily basis.  I'm no stranger to the gazillion trillion different brands or varieties of health and beauty products and have come to learn a lot about which ones work and which ones are a gimmick.  I'm willing to shell out the bucks on pricey beauty commodities....if they work.

One beauty product that I've been using recently is the HydroPeptide Mask 1.7 oz.  Placed in a pretty blue jar, this moisturizing mask features a rich blend of ingredients to nourish, hydrate and firm your skin as well as gently accelerate your skin's own "shedding" process for a more radiant complexion. The Instant Peptide Miracle Mask clears away dull surface cells and removes pore-clogging oil to reveal new, radiant skin.

I apply the HydroPeptide Mask once a week around my entire face, excluding my eyes.  I usually apply it right before taking a shower.  After about ten minutes, I wash it off with a wet washcloth.  While the moisturizing mask is on my face, there is a slight tingling sensation but it's not bothersome and hasn't irritated my skin.  The cream is white in color and smooth in texture, and it's easy to wash off.

The results from the HydroPeptide Mask weren't immediate.  I didn't notice much of a change in my skin until the third usage.  Despite the fact that it took some time to notice a difference, I can see that the cream has been beneficial to my skin.  It is much softer to the touch and doesn't seem as dull.  I can see where my face has a more radiant glow to it.  Although the price is somewhat steep, at around $46, I'd say this is a beauty cream that produces results and delivers on its claims, for the most part.

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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

iPad All-in-One For Dummies - Book Review

Book Synopsis:

The iPad was an overnight sensation and now it's simply indispensable. Whether you use it for work, play, or everyday life, the new iPad is packed with even more features and power than ever. In this fun and practical guide, veteran For Dummies author Nancy C. Muir walks you through the latest features and functions, including what the new iOS6 software brings to the table. Go beyond the basics, get serious about using your iPad for all it's worth, and don't miss the ways to have fun with it as well. This book covers it all, and in full color!

•Covers the third-generation iPad, iPad 2 and original iPad and is fully updated for iOS 6

•Packs six minibooks in one full-color guide: iPad Basics, Just for Fun, iPad on the Go, Getting Productive with iWork, Using iPad to Get Organized, and Must-Have iPad Apps

•Explores the latest iPad and iOS 6 features, including Siri, Passbook, FaceTime video calls over cellular, a brand new Maps app, Facebook integration, and more
•Walks you through enhanced functions, such as improved e-mail with a VIP inbox and new iCloud browsing tabs

•Shows you how to use iWork and other productivity apps to dress up your documents, create stellar spreadsheets, add pizazz to your presentations, and maintain your schedule on the run

•Covers the best-of-the-best business, travel, educational, news, weather, and financial apps

Your world is just a touch away with iPad and iPad All-in-One For Dummies, 5th Edition.

My Review:

I recently won an iPad mini on a Twitter contest and was somewhat befuddled by how to use it.  I'd never owned a gadget like it before.  Although I can work a computer just fine and am keen on some technology, the iPad mini was a whole new ballgame for me.  The iPad All-in-One For Dummies book came just in time.

At 640 pages, the book is very lengthy but it is well organized by topic.  It covers everything from the basics to enhanced features.  It even includes a chapter on what to look for when buying an iPad, for the shoppers who are looking and don't have one yet.  This guide is written in a way that you don't have to read the whole book if you don't want.  You can skip to the content that is pertinent to you.  The wording is easy to understand and put in layman's terms.  I've read the book in entirety and found it to be very useful.  I'm going to keep it to look into for future reference when questions about my iPad mini may arise.

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.

Cash and Dial Body Wash Prizes in the Healthier Skin. Healthier You. Sweepstakes

Dial® is proud to introduce the Healthier Skin. Healthier You.® Sweepstakes featuring Dial® Coconut Water Body Wash!

One lucky grand prize winner will receive $1,000, while 250 second place winners will receive free Coconut Water Body Wash.  Sweepstakes ends March 31, 2013 and is eligible to residents of the USA who are 18 years of age or older.  You must "like" and be a fan of the Dial Facebook page.

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

Final Winners of February

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.  The winners have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or new winner(s) will be drawn.

The winner of the Baby Geniuses and the Mystery of the Crown Jewels DVD giveaway is #232, Shanta S.

The winner of the Shredz giveaway is #129, Darlene Y.

The winner of the Chuggington DVD giveaway is #410, Julia.

The winner of the Mally Beauty giveaway is #213, Darlene Y.
The winners of the Biore giveaway are #317, Emillie R., #370, Ariel, #270, Nicole M., #688, Peggy and #47, Steve W.

The winner of the I Am A Woman of God giveaway is #132, cassandra.

The winner of the Culturelle giveaway is #190, Gianna.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to check out my active giveaways, always 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.

History Channel’s The Bible Exclusive Blog App - #BibleSeries Walmart Gift Card Giveaway‏

The Bible Series premiers on History Channel March 3rd 2013 Sundays at 8PM!

From Executive Producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett comes The Bible — an epic 10-part miniseries retelling stories from the Scriptures for a whole new generation. Breathtaking in scope and scale, The Bible features powerful performances, exotic locales and dazzling visual effects that breathe spectacular life into the dramatic tales of faith and courage from Genesis through Revelation. This historic television event is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family! Where will YOU be 3.3.13?
Check out the Exclusive Blogger Countdown to The Bible Blog App for these cool features:

• Bible-Scene Quiz! The Bible Series brings stories from scripture to life for a whole new generation! The Questions is...will you recognize your favorite characters when you see them for the first time in the series?

• Clip Countdown! Countdown to 3.3.13 with a new clip from from The Bible unlocked everyday until the premiere!

• Tell 10 Challenge! Where will YOU be 3.3.13? The Bible proves that when talent and passion collide, the outcome is spectacular! Connect with Mark & Roma by sharing their message! And help spread the word about the premiere of The Bible on The History Channel 3.3.13 to 10 of your friends!

• Get Social! Tweet with the #BibleSeries hashtag to get excited about the premiere of The Bible on History Channel 3.3.13!

Win It!

One person will win a $15 Walmart Gift Card.

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

This post contains embedded widgets.  I received no products or compensation for this post.  History Channel is sponsor of post.  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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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chicnova - Apparel and Accessories Giveaway

Chicnova aims to play its role as a fast online women fashion spreader to bring the latest fashion trend to fashion lovers at every corner of the world. Their products include fashion clothing, footwear, bags, accessories, and jewelry.  They reveal the latest fashion trends and can satisfy all your individual fashion demands.

I'll be doing a review soon for Chicnova and have already put in my order for what I'd like.  One of my favorite tops is the Bird Print Mid Length T-shirt With A irregular hemline and Short Sleeves.  Along with the shirt, I will be doing a review on a gift box of socks.  I'm excited to wear the pieces and I'll let you know my opinions soon.

Win It!

One person will win a $30 Chicnova gift code.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open worldwide.*

I'll be receiving 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.
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Be Heard. Be Happy - Join Smiley360

Do you love to try new things? Haven't you ever tried a new product and thought, "This would be so much better if…" Well, as a member, you can provide that kind of feedback directly to the source. Your opinion matters. And as a fringe benefit, you'll earn status in the community, which has its own perks, rewards, and opportunities. It's a win-win situation, really. members get inside and exclusive looks at new brands, new products, and new online content.  I've been a member for some time now and have participated in campaigns for dental floss picks, hair color, side dishes and more. 

Be Heard.  Be Happy. Join Smiley360 for free!

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.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Random Tuesday Thoughts - My Menard's Obsession

Yep, it's another weekly edition of Random Tuesday Thoughts, hosted by Stacy Uncorked.  Post all your randomness and link up to play along.
We still haven't completely recovered from the snowstorm that hit us just a few days ago and now we're getting warnings that all hell is going to break loose again anytime now.  Last week it was six inches and now it's expected to be anywhere from 8-12 inches with sleet.  Phil the Groundhog is such a liar!  

The local grocery stores and Wal-Mart are out of bread, milk, and most brands of beer.  Because, you know, beer is an emergency staple. 
Speaking of snow, my 14 yoa son Logan dripped snotsicles and froze his arse off last week when we had the snowstorm so we could have a clear parking spot for our two vehicles.  I'd check on him every once in a while and tell him to come inside but he was adamant on clearing a path for us.  He even trudged on when the shovel broke in two pieces by scooping the snow up by hand into the shovel.  He has more of a work ethic than me.
Lo and behold, the bratty college neighbors must think angels descended from the heavens and blessed them with freshly plowed parking spots because they've parked in the spaces Logan cleared.  In other words, I'm still parking atop a two-foot snow bank because the neighbors are too lazy to clear their own spots out.

Meet my new grandkitty, Pumpkin.  My 18 yoa daughter adopted a him to keep her company at the apartment while her boyfriend is away at work.  Someday I expect grandbabies out of my firstborn but I'll settle with being a grandma to a cat for now.

Thanks (or no thanks to Shelby), my boys started hounding me to get another dog once they found out their sister had gotten herself a cat.  For one thing, we already have a dog.  And for another, Shelby and the cat don't live with us.  Logan and Adam pleaded with me, knowing that our dog Cisco JUST HAD TO HAVE a brother dog in the house to keep him company.

My husband did make a good point when he said that the kids are good about helping take care of the dog so, like a sucker, I caved.  We found a free dog being given away on Facebook and took a little jaunt up there to possibly bring it back with us.  I understand that younger canines need extra love and attention (the dog we have now requires very little work) but I think this one was "all jacked up on Mt. Dew".  It had me begging for Xanax mixed with Jager within the first five minutes.  The current owner was practically begging us to take it.  Needless to say, she'll have to keep on begging to someone else.  So yeah, we're still on the hunt for a dog.

I'm declaring a love for Menard's.  I can spend money there and get more than half of it back in store credit rebates, buying things I need.  And buying things I don't need. 

Menard's has been my most recent shopping obsession.  I scour their ads with an eagle eye.  The store opened up in our area in 2010 and I only went there once then, to purchase a set of solar lamps.  I received a $5 store credit by turning in a rebate and didn't go back. 

Things changed in December 2012 when I decided to browse the store and really see what they have to offer.  I've been hooked since.  Most recently I purchased utility mats for my kitchen, Happy Nappers, tools for my husband, and other odds and ends.  Last week I even used the $5 rebate check from July 2010 and was able to use it.  The rebates don't expire!  It's the small things in life that make me happy.
We are a blended family with six kids.  Take those kids and add half-brothers and sisters into the mix and you've got enough to start a small school.  We are reality TV ready!

Emma, my youngest step-daughter, became a half-sister the other day to a little guy named Jaxton.  I think she'll make a good big sister.  I actually like her real mama so there's no hard feelings there.  I can't say the same for the other girls' mama but I'm sure that feeling is mutual.  Don't Emma and Jaxton look darling in their crocheted hats!
Happy RTT!

Cash and Soft Scrub Prizes at the One Surface at A Time Sweepstakes

Soft Scrub® is proud to introduce the One Surface at A Time® Sweepstakes featuring Soft Scrub® Total All Purpose!

One lucky grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and a year's supply of Soft Scrub, while 250 second place winners will receive free Soft Scrub.

Sweepstakes ends March 22, 2013 and is open to the 48 contiguous United States. 

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

Merci Chocolates - #MerciAwards Review and Giveaway

It's time to roll out the red carpets because award season is here!  One of the highlights at these annual star-studded evenings is listening to the emotional and meaningful thank you speeches.  As you watch the grand speeches, it's important to remember that giving someone a meaningful thank you isn't just a once a year gesture.  Giving a meaningful thank you is a heartfelt way to show those important to you that you truly appreciate them every day.
There is no better way of expressing heartfelt gratitude than with a gift that speaks for itself: Merci Finest Assortment of European Chocolates.  I've never heard of them until I got the chance to sample them for review.  The delicious selection of rich European chocolates made from the finest ingredients available, provide indulgence and variety. With flavors like Cream Truffle, Hazelnut-Almond, Praline-Creme, and Dark Cream, merci will delight the palate.  Because I'm thankful to several people in my life, I shared Merci chocolates with a few who are near and dear to me. 

While my mother, husband, and kids were in the room and nibbling on Merci chocolates with me one day, I took the opportunity to give my own meaningful thank yous. I may not be the star in an awards show but that didn't stop me from giving a speech letting them know why I was thankful for them. For starters, I thank my mother because she brought me up in a loving and nurturing environment. She's ensured that I've always been cared for and she's always shown genuine concern for me. I thank my husband because he didn't give up on me in the beginning and he's taken on me and my kids. He makes me laugh and shows what real love should be like. I also thank our six kids because they've shown me how to see the world through their eyes and because they've given me treasured and cherished memories. I also thank God for His blessings and almighty grace.

Of course, I could thank several more people for how they've shaped and molded me but those are first and foremost. Being able to share Merci chocolates with loved ones and delight in showing my appreciation for them was a special moment for me.  And now that I've tried Merci Chocolates, I'm thankful to know they exist. 

Win It!

One person will win a Joy of Thank You Red Carpet Kit that includes:
four elegant champagne flutes
festive popcorn containers
sheet of tips to help you share meaningful thank yous and toasts

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

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.
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Escape the Stall

Chances are, you know one of the nearly 1 in 200 Americans who suffer from the debilitating pain and constant disruptions that come with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The physical and emotional toll it takes can be devastating. IBD causes inflammation in the digestive and intestinal tract, and it can affect anyone—men, women and children. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America was created to help those with IBD cope and to find a cure.

Award-winning actress Amy Brenneman (best known for her roles in the television series NYPD Blue, Judging Amy and Private Practice) is a proud supporter of CCFA and has suffered from ulcerative colitis herself. Amy is starring in a new public service announcement, ESCAPE THE STALL, which features the feet of everyday people where they spend far too much time: in bathroom stalls.

People with IBD can’t wait. With help, we can bring IBD out of the bathroom and help those afflicted get back to being themselves.  I encourage you to visit for more information and resources on inflammatory bowel disease.

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

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends Cereal - Review and Giveaway

Honey Bunches of Oats has come out with a new flavor of cereal, Tropical Blends.  The 10g whole grain cereal has crispy mango flavored flakes combined with real coconut shavings and coconut flavored granola clusters.  Its healthful aspects include nine essential vitamins and minerals, and 60% daily value of iron. 

Honey Bunches of Oats is a popular cereal in my household and we've tried most all flavors available.  The new Tropical Blends flavor elicited split opinions among us.  Personally, I didn't care for the coconut shavings in the cereal.  I like coconut but didn't gel well with having it with my breakfast cereal.  The different textures were taste bud overload for me.  My husband, however, liked the uncommon flavor combinations and crunchiness. I didn't downright dislike Tropical Blends, but have more favor towards the other varieties available.  I will give kudos to Honey Bunches of Oats for creating a cereal unlike others on the market, with Tropical Blends.
Win It!

One person will win two coupons for free Honey Bunches of Oats cereal (any flavor).

*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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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Neglected But Undefeated - Book Review

Book Synopsis:

Growing up in Jamaica, Jonathan Burkett feels loved by his grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins and, most of all, by his grandfather. Little did Johnny know that this little childhood bliss is to end soon when a visitor from America takes him to live with his family. In the land of the free, the young boy finds himself trapped in a world that's been turned upside down.

He finally meets his real mother, but instead of joy at seeing his son, from whom she's been separated when he was just a baby, she stares at him as if seeing someone else and cringes at the sight of him. Instead of showering him with love and kisses, as a loving mother should, she showers him with beatings and death threats. Instead of cooking meals for her son, she serves him a plateful of insults. Instead of tucking him to bed at night, she continually kicks him out of her house so he ends up sleeping in friends houses, at the park, or on the streets.One heartbreaking moment in the authors life was when, after several plots to get him arrested, he straightforwardly asks his mother if she loves him. She looks him in the eye and simply answers, No.

This autobiography will grip at your heart as the author pours out his very soul, flooding each page with painful echoes of the past that will not die down while kept bottled up. In time, he realizes that his own grief has been passed on to him by his mother, who experienced incredible anguish at the hands of his biological father.

About the Author:

Jonathan Anthony Burkett was born February 1, 1987. He is a bright outstanding writer inspired by many, as he continues to struggle in life. Devoted for achievement in his lifetime, he is willing to take any test. He told himself, that he would never give up no matter the trials and tribulations. He decided to write to help him move towards a bright future for himself; and because he knows that's what his Grandparents want for him.

Jonathan Anthony Burkett life changed dramatically the year 2005 after he had survived a surgery that, he was told would better his life. Miraculously it did, along with his mind about life. A young man now, dedicated towards achieving goals in life, without his GED/High School Diploma, he had now looked at himself as in the world.

Having the urge now to get himself back into school to get either his GED/High School Diploma, Jonathan held back from it because his mind was to blocked up with all of the problems that he was having still in his life. After days of thinking about how he was going to handle all of his living problems, he had gotten the idea to just find a good job, and to save up until he was able to provide everything that he needed, so that he may feel uplifted and then ready to strive for success. However, mistakes were made and jobless he became once again. That’s when he remembered what he had told himself, what he wanted to do if he survived his surgery, and that was to share his life story with the world for many to see how merciful our father God is, to his children.

In the future Jonathan will be of course writing more books along with having goals on becoming a scriptwriter, songwriter, actor and more things that he loves to do as doors begin to open up for him.

Patiently Jonathan is still waiting, for if it was meant to be, victory will be in one of his open doors that he, will someday walk right through.

My Review:  

Most of the time, when you read a book like Neglected But Undefeated, it's written by someone who's older in age.  That's why I was surprised to learn that the author is only in his mid-twenties.  I'm surprised because, for such a young age, Jonathan has already experienced more in life than most of us ever will.  And his experiences aren't of the good kind.  

Jonathan, as a young child, lived in Jamaica with his grandparents.  He seemed rather happy there and writes of a deep love for them.  For a reason that's not clearly written, he is made to move to America and live with his mother and the person who he thinks is his father.  Jonathan's mother makes it very clear that she despises him and beats him relentlessly.  The relentless torture that he had to endure caused him seizures and caused him to have behaviors that aren't necessarily normal.   

This book, told firsthand, explains the brutality and feeling of being unwanted.  It also explains Jonathan's thought process and how being unwanted affected the rest of his social upbringing.  Jonathan's mother isn't the only one who cause him grief; he was taken advantage of by many people.  Reading the book, it's clear that Jonathan isn't completely innocent in some of his behaviors.  However, it's also clear that no person should have to endure what he went through.  

I was saddened for the boy who went through a childhood that no one should have to endure.  I was very angered by the fact that the abuse wasn't stopped when it should have been during the several opportunities that arose for it to stop, and I was gladdened by the fact that Jonathan is a survivor and credits the heavenly Father for getting him through the pain.  The book doesn't necessarily tell how Jonathan is doing now, other than to say he's doing better but still struggling.  It's my hope and prayer that Jonathan be blessed and that his book can be an inspiration to others who are in an abusive situation. 

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.

It Took A Visit to the Hospital To Prompt Me

I don't do doctors (in the romantic sense or otherwise).  I avoid them like the plague.  Not because I don't trust them (unlike dentists and car salesmen whom top my list of mistrust).  But because I have better things to do with my time than wait hours in a doctor's office, get poked and prodded, be told they don't know what's wrong with me, and find a huge bill in my mailbox a week later. 

I don't even have a regular physician.  The last time I saw a doctor regularly was when I was in a car wreck nine years ago and jacked my knee.  Once that was healed, I quit going.  I know, I know, I'm not the poster child for health.

Within the last six months, I've been having extreme stabbing pains in my  upper stomach.  At first, I chalked it up to my digestive issues.  I don't dookie on a regular basis.  (TMI!)  And when I do, it's usually met with horrible gut-wrenching pains, nausea, and the runs.  I've had that problem for over fifteen years and tried to get a diagnosis for it back in the day but gave up when I kept getting the run-around.  It's a pain I've learned to live with. 

After a few bouts of the upper stomach pain that felt like a thousand knives taking turns stabbing me, I came to the common sense conclusion that it's something entirely different than my digestive issues.  Wednesday morning I came home from work with the notion that I could get a good day's sleep.  Boy, did my plans change!

Less than an hour after laying down, I woke up with pains that were a 12 on a scale of 1 to 10.  My husband demanded that we go to the hospital.  His words: "I'm tired of this, you being in all this pain."  I think what he meant was "I'm tired of this and you're a pain."

For the first time in ever, I was impressed with the local hospital.  I got right in and they started me right away on an IV and pain killers.  I still had pain but was higher than a kite and didn't care as much.  I had a doctor I could understand and who explained things to me in layman's terms.  In the end, I still got no definite answers.  But I at least got a cool Snoopy band aid.

In a couple of weeks I will be going to see a GI doctor in the hopes that I can get a diagnosis and find out what the heck is wrong with me.  I actually called and made the appointment today.  Wish me luck!

Blasted By the Snowstorm

There are some things I just can't stand and snow is one of them.  I don't care how "pretty and white" it looks as it covers the ground, I can do without.  We had one snowstorm late last year and my fingers were crossed it would be the one and only for the season.  Fingers weren't crossed tight enough...

Right now we're in the middle of a snowstorm again and it's expected to be a lot of accumulation, as if it isn't enough already.  Oh, how I dream of spring!

Do you like snow, or abhor it as much as I do?  Have you had much of it this year?

Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Friends Forever - DVD Giveaway

Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Friends Forever on DVD March 5

When the very formal Berry Bitty Buggy Derby is revived, the girls are unfamiliar with the traditional behavior for the event. Blueberry starts off as the resident expert, but eventually gets so obsessed with manners she does more harm than good. In the end, the girls work together and learn the true meaning of being BFF's or Berry Friends Forever.

This feature will highlight some of the “berry” best manners that Strawberry and Blueberry would approve of! Your kids will learn how to be on their "berry" best behavior everyday with this fun guide!

Keep Your Elbows Off the Table

While the origin of this table manner is still up for debate, it’s “berry” polite to keep your elbows off the table while eating! Resting your elbows on the table while you eat makes you prone to accidental spills and other mishaps, while remembering to keep your elbows off the table ensures that food, utensils, and drinks remain on the table and out of your lap!

Always Use Your “Inside Voice”

It’s easy to get excited when talking about something you love and are excited about, or when having fun with your berry best friends, but it’s important to always use your “inside voice.” If you’re invited to a formal event like the Berry Bitty Buggy Derby like Strawberry and her pals are, you’d have to do your best to not yell to show your excitement!

Always Use “Please” and “Thank you”

Always remember to say, “please” before asking for something, and “thank you” when someone does something to help you. Using “please” and “thank you” isn’t just a way to be polite when asking for something, but it’s also a nice way to decline someone’s offer. Let’s say a friend offers you a snack at their house, but you’re allergic to the food – what do you say? “No, thank you!”

Knock Before Entering

If someone has the door to their bedroom, the bathroom, etc. closed, you should always knock and ask for permission to come in before entering. In general, people shut doors when they don’t want company, so if you want to be on your “berry” best behavior, you should always knock!

Chew With Your Mouth Closed

No matter how yummy your food is, always remember that those you’re eating with don’t want to see your chewed food hanging out of your mouth! Even though everyone enjoys tasty food, it’s important to chew food with your mouth closed so that you don’t accidentally gross out your dining companions. Chewing with your mouth closed also helps you keep from dropping chewed food on your clothes and the table. Another “berry” good tip: don’t talk with your mouth full of food either – it’s considered polite to finish chewing and then speak!

Win It!

One person will win Strawberry Shortcake:  Berry Friends Forever on DVD.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dry Idea AdvancedDry Fresh- Review and Giveaway

My skin has issues. By that, I mean it's dry in areas, sensitive in places, and itchy in spots. I don't have a formal diagnosis for the whats or whys, but products will either work wonders on my skin or leave me wanting to climb a wall of madness.

My underarms are particularly sensitive. I've found only a few antiperspirants and deodorants that will actually work most of the day without causing my pits to break out. Dry Idea is the only brand I've been using for a while now and it's one of the few roll-on deodorants that don't irritate my skin.  Most recently, I was able to review the newest antiperspirant and deodorant from Dry Idea, Dry Idea AdvancedDry Fresh. 
The new Dry Idea AdvancedDry Fresh brand antiperspirant and deodorant offers enduring odor protection for up to 72 hours and has Pulse Activated Wetness Protection to keep you dry all day long.  It is also formulated with Vitamin E for silky smooth application. 

Not only does this antiperspirant and deodorant not break my skin out, it also works pretty well in keeping me from embarrassing sweat odors. Because I'm conscientious about body odor, I apply Dry Idea AdvancedDry Fresh a couple times a day.  
Dry Idea® roll on contains no water, which leads to its signature dry feel. Dry Idea® antiperspirant roll-on uses a unique combination of ingredients to block sweat without the use of water. With all Dry Idea® formulations, the less you apply the better. Only a small amount is needed to provide ample protection. Plus, smaller applications dry more quickly, lessening possible transfer to clothing. Dry Idea antiperspirants form a seal in the pore, stopping sweat and helping to keep you dry and smelling fresh all day. The Dry Idea AdvancedDry Fresh I've been using is has a light fresh powdery scent, which I like because it doesn't interfere with perfumes or spritzes I apply throughout the day.

Win It!

Two people will each win two coupons for free Dry Idea roll-on, gel, or aerosol product. 

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

I received products for review from Dry Idea.  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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Baby Skincare Giveaway on Mustela's Facebook Page

Mustela®, the number one baby skincare and stretch marks brand in Europe, is partnering with Ergobaby™ for a fantastic giveaway contest from February 19th – March 5th!

The giveaway, valued at over $250, will include an assortment of Mustela® favorites perfect for winter skincare and the original Ergobaby™ carrier in Night Sky.

Readers can enter to win by visiting the Mustela® USA Facebook page:

The complete giveaway package includes:

· Ergobaby™ original carrier in Night Sky

· Mustela® Bebe Hydra-Stick

· Mustela® Hydra Bebe Body Lotion

· Mustela® 2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash

· Mustela® PhysiObebe No-Rinse Cleansing Fluid

· Mustela® Cold Cream with Nutri-protective

· Mustela® Soothing Comfort Balm

· Mustela® Facial Cleansing Cloths

· Mustela® Stelatopia Lipid Replenishing Balm

· Mustela® Massage Oil

· Mustela® Stelatria Purifying Recovery Cream

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wordful Wednesday - A Night Away

Saturday me and my husband, along with my 13 yoa son, met up with my sister, her husband and 8 year old son for a night's stay at Hannibal Inn in Hannibal, MO.  Adam and Ozzy were two peas in a pod.  They swam together, relaxed in the hot tub, ate junk food, played pool, and competed on their tablets.  The adults had a decent time as well but I got the most enjoyment out of watching the two cousins hang together.
I brought plenty of junk food for the boys to munch on.  Unfortunately, they didn't get any of the chocolate chip mini muffins.  My husband consumed all 20 of them!

Adam and Ozzy hanging out in the motel room.  As far as an overall rating, I'd give the inn 3.5 stars.  I've stayed in better and I've stayed in worse.

Swimming in the pool

Relaxing in the hot tub

playing pool

another game of pool

Engaged in their tablets

Happy Wordful Wednesday!

Men Don't Pee Straight - Book Review

Book Synopsis:

Chock full of male stereotypes that every spouse, girlfriend, and mother has always recognized but never fully realized, "Men Don't Pee Straight" provides a humorous outlet for the irksome habits of that man in their life.

Short but sweet, these cartoon illustrated pages take male stereotypes to a level of ridicule that is sure to bring a smile - especially for those who can smile at their own quirks.

About the Author:

Rick Dean is a true study of human nature.

By carefully blundering through one relationship after another, he has achieved an astonishing level of understanding and experience with how not to maintain a relationship.

He enjoys sharing that depth of acumen (or at least what he would like to believe is a depth of acumen) with literature such as "Men Don't Pee Straight."

On the more serious side, Rick Dean earned his bachelor's degree in engineering with a minor in philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University. He pilots his own aircraft for a number of humanitarian organizations such as AngelFlight, GraceFlight, and various Haitian relief efforts.

My Review:

My husband's chronological age is 36 but his maturity level is that of a 17 year old.  Rarely does he see the seriousness in things and it doesn't bother him if the toilet paper is hanging from the roll or strewn all over the floor.  For all his unorthodox ways, I still love him. 

My husband fits 9 out of 10 stereotypes of guys.  I don't think he's a pig; he's a man's man.  I accept him for who he is and he accepts me for who I am.  Men Don't Pee Straight is a humorous book that points to the inner workings of men.  For instance, the book points out that men like to scratch and they have short attention spans  (both hold true for my husband).  This book isn't to be taken seriously and it pokes fun of the male gender in a lighthearted way.  It features cartoon drawings and checklists that the ladies can fill out when they notice their men partaking in behavior that most women just don't understand.  Less than fifty pages long, this book garnered a few laughs and nods of the head from me.

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.

Monday, February 18, 2013

OASAP - Fashion Accessories and Apparel Review

Latest Street Fashion
OASAP is a global online store dedicated to high-street fashion by offering various kinds of women’s apparel, bags, shoes, jewelry, accessories, and beauty products. OASAP was founded in 2011 and has grown to become a leader of high fashion. They update with new products every day and offer free shipping worldwide. OASAP's mission is to make you close to the planet's most cutting-edge fashion, no matter where you are or what class or age group you are in.

I've received a few things from OASAP in the past and there's a vast selection of merchandise to choose from. I can almost guarantee you'll find several pieces you'll fall in love with. Products are easily searchable by category type but I'd like to have the feature to be able to narrow down by size. Because there's so many shoes and clothes, it takes me a while to weed out what would and wouldn't fit me.   I'm a bigger girl so several clothing pieces don't fit me, but I have found a few that fit my size. 

Most recently I reviewed the Elegant Office Lady Blue Dots Shoulder Bag with Metal Edge.  The shoulder bag features white dots on a blue background and a trigonal flap with metal edge.  With the metal embellished adjutable strap, it can be carried over the shoulder or by hand.  There is a silver charm attached with a symbol on it, although I admit I'm not sure what the symbol stands for.  Inside there is one zippered compartment.  I carry a lot of items with me so I don't use it as an everyday purse but it's perfect to take with me when I want to go out and carry only a few belongings.  The shoulder bag is well crafted and has a magnetic snap closure on the front. 

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.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Happy Valentine's Day

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day!  Me and my hubby went out to eat at Mi Jalapeno, an authentic Mexican restaurant. 
My husband's favorite, a tall glass of cold beer

I had a strawberry margarita.  Let me tell ya, one of those was plenty enough for me.  There was no shortage of tequila in it. 

Jason bought me a teddy bear, a balloon and a card.  So sweet. 
Nothing says last minute like waking up at 7:30 in the morning and running to the grocery store to buy me a gift.

On another note, my boys' school held a money raiser where students could purchase Crush soda and anonymously send one to their "crush" in school.  Boy of my boys received one.  Hope they weren't from the same girl!