Thursday, February 27, 2020

I Might Become A Grandma...But Maybe Not

I took this picture right after the tech left the room.  Told Shelby I'd send it to her.  Pretty sure I won't be doing that now.

Technically, I'm already a grandma.  I have two granddaughters, 13 yoa and 4 yoa, via marriage.  I love them wholeheartedly.  But, when I found out my daughter is pregnant, I was over the moon.  I was going to finally see one of my kids go through the natural progression of pregnancy and was excited to be a part of it.

Shelby called me on February 16th to give the news.  She asked if I wanted to go with her to the first ultrasound that following Friday.  No hesitation, I said yes!  The ultrasound tech first took images from the abdomen, then chose to further the exam internally through the vagina.  The tech never did show the screen to Shelby.  I was nosy and jumped my happy butt up next to the tech so I could see the screen.  I saw the little dot that was to be the baby and tears started welling in my eyes when the tech confirmed that I was right.  I got to see my grandbaby!  It became real.  Like really real.

We waited a few minutes in the room while the doctor looked over the sonogram pictures.  She then called us in to her office.  It's funny how something can be so exciting one minute and devastating the next.  The dr. told us the baby was measuring at 9 weeks, but there was no heartbeat.  I'd like to say I stayed strong for Shelby but I wasn't.  I cried and cried right along with her.  I know people who've miscarried but it became super personal for me at that point.  I felt the anguish, grief, anger, and sadness.  I cried for the baby that wouldn't be and for Shelby (my baby) who was going through such a traumatic experience. 

The dr. was beyond fantastic with her calming words and explaining what was to come.  She talked to Shelby about the whole process of actually miscarrying and said it would probably happen over the weekend. 

The weekend came and went.  Nothing happened.  We went back to the dr. this past Monday and it's all a standstill right now.  Shelby's HCG (pregnancy hormone levels) had doubled within the last few days and she still hadn't expelled the baby from her body.  It boils down to one of two things: 1. The miscarriage is taking longer than usual and it should happen soon.  2.  The baby is actually viable and the first ultrasound was read wrong.  I would be over the moon if that was the case.  I'm praying and hesitantly hoping.  We find out on Monday, when another ultrasound will be done.  I think waiting is the worst.  Is my daughter pregnant with a baby that she's waiting to miscarry at any moment or does she get to be a mommy. 

Photo by Nynne Schrøder on Unsplash

Like I said, this is the first time I've been so up close and personal with someone who may miscarry.  I have a few questions that maybe you guys can answer:

1.  If you've had a miscarriage and knew it was going to happen, how long was it from the start of finding out to the actual process?

2.  Have you experienced higher-than-normal levels of HCG?  If so, what was the reason (other than viable pregnancy)?

3.  Do you know anyone who's had their ultrasound read wrong and the results came back different one time to the next?

4.  Please pray for my girl.  As her mother, my heart breaks for her, and for the baby that might not be.

The Adventures of A.R.I.: My Robot Friend - DVD Giveaway




Release Date: March 10, 2020
Studio: Lionsgate
Rating: G
Runtime: 86 minutes

A heartwarming adventure for the whole family about finding friendship in the most unlikely of places, The Adventures of A.R.I: My Robot Friend will arrive on DVD, Digital, and On Demand March 10 from Lionsgate. This out of this world family adventure received the Dove Seal of Approval for All Ages and “provides the rare lesson of compassion being transferred to others through action”.  The Adventures of A.R.I: My Robot Friend DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $14.98.


OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

In this funny, thrilling family adventure, a boy named Noah finds a broken A.R.I.-9 robot at his dad’s tech job. After he accidentally reboots "Ari," the smart, playful robot comes to life. Then, when Noah brings Ari to school to show his friend Bethany, they are amazed to learn he can turn invisible — and even fly!  But Ari’s angry creators want to steal his circuitry for a new droid.  When they send a signal that puts the robot into battle mode, will Noah’s new best friend become his most dangerous enemy?


Win It!

Five people will each win The Adventures of A.R.I.: My Robot Friend on DVD.

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

I received DVD for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 201

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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 201. 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.

The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead.
–Psalms 10:4

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Wordful Wednesday - St. Louis Mural Mile


While in St. Louis recently, Jason and I went with two of our friends to check out The Mural Mile.  Located along the Riverfront, the project had more than 250 graffiti artists from around the country add their own designs to this Mississippi River floodwall. 



I appreciate street art, as long as it's not damaging or vandalizing someone's personal property.  We walked up and down the floodwall, picking our favorite pieces. A person could spend several hours taking pictures and posing with all of the artful pieces. 



It costs nothing to visit the art and some of it makes for great photo backdrops.  Based upon observation, I'd say it's much safer to visit during the daytime.  Definitely a fun time!

bareMinerals Beauty of Nature Collection - Review




bareMinerals launched their new Limited-Edition Beauty of Nature Collection in late January.  The collection features a mix of fan-favorite formulas as well as limited-edition shades, allowing you to create a dewy glow with pops of luscious color.

I've always loved experimenting with makeup, trying out different brands and varieties.  bareMinerals is one of my favorites. 



Although I'm not qualified to explain how to flawlessly apply makeup, I think I'm fairly well-versed in which brands are worth the buy.  I'm really liking the new bareMinerals Beauty of Nature Collection, especially the eyeshadow palette.  The six new island-inspired shades range from Sandy Beach (light) to Palm Leaf (dark).  bareMinerals makeup isn't weighty, and gives my face a nice polished look.

I'll continue to be a consumer of bareMinerals products, and am pleased with how the company continues to revamp their makeup with new formulas, new shades, and new packaging.


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.

Check It Out: Savings.com #WinJCP Giveaway

Win a $50 e-gift card from JCPenney.

Savings.com is giving away ten $50 JCPenney e-gift cards!  Giveaway ends on Friday, February 28th at 11:59 PM PT. 

JCPenney offers all sorts of services in its stores, including salon and optical services, photography, home services, custom decorating, and more.  Sign up for the JCPenney Rewards loyalty program which is jam-packed with exclusive member only benefits. You'll get a $10 reward when you join the program, birthday gift, bonus events and special coupons & offers. You can also earn rewards 2x faster when you use your JCPenney credit card.  Save an Extra 15% when you open up and use your JCPenney Credit Card.

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

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

My Experience at St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station


sign at the outside entrance

Considering I'm an enthusiast for sea and ocean life, I was excited when the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station opened in December of last year.  I've never been to an actual aquarium so I can't compare this one to any others, but my experience was a positive one.

Jason's birthday was February 15th and, to celebrate, we took an overnight trip to St. Louis with another couple and two of their grown kids.  I received two free tickets to tour St. Louis Aquarium and we spent some time exploring the new establishment.


large clock aquarium

The 120,000 square foot aquarium is located in the former mall area within St. Louis Union Station.  It does not boast to be the biggest but it does boast to be hi-tech and interactive.  The aquarium tickets are timed so it's best to purchase them ahead of time online.  This helps ensure minimal wait times.  It also helps space out the crowds. 

Our party had ticket times of 1:30 pm.  Once we first arrived, we entered a lobby with a giant aquarium made to look like a clock.  The walls and ceilings had different scenery that changed frequently.  At one time, it looked like we were looking at the galaxy and, another time, we were surrounded with images of dolphins. 

one of the moving scenes from the train ride

When it was time to get started, our group boarded an interactive train.  It was an actual room with bench seats and entirely covered with screens.  A short, action-oriented film played that took viewers through parts of St. Louis and underwater.  Once the "ride" was over, people were on their own to explore the aquarium itself.  From the local streams and rivers to the depths of the oceans, we encountered many beautiful species of sea, ocean, and lake life.  It ranged from the somewhat common fish of the Mississippi River to the sharks and sting rays of the deep ocean. 

Would you stick your hand in a tub of fish to feed off your dead skin cells?!

Two of my favorite interactive exhibits involved the stingrays and the doctor fish.  A large, open tank of stingrays gave viewers the opportunity to put their fingers in and "pet" the creatures.  They actually seemed quite happy to get all of the attention!  The red garra, also known as the doctor fish, are used in pedicures and other skin treatments to remove dead skin cells.  Patrons got to experience this at St. Louis Aquarium.  I stuck my hand in the tub and the fish immediately latched on like leeches!  I had probably 50 of them on my hand at a time.  It was a weird feeling but really neat.



It was fairly crowded when we walked through the aquarium but we were patient and waited our turn.  I suggest that other guests do the same.  Everyone is there to have a positive experience and linger a bit to get the most for their money.  Lines move fairly quickly, but you do have to wait a short bit if you want to get an up-close view.


There's been mixed reviews on whether the price of admission ($25) is worth the visit.  I've read people saying that they are in and out of the aquarium in only 30 minutes.  And, that's quite possible.  If you go in there and briskly walk through the place without stopping to look at the fish or taking time to experience the interactive elements, there's a good possibility you won't be in there long.  If you go about it stopping to see what the place has to offer, you'll be in there a lot longer.


Once finished, you will enter into the gift shop where you can purchase snacks, souvenirs, and photos.  During your visit, you can also enjoy the many amenities available at Union Station, including shopping and dining, The St. Louis Wheel, a miniature golf course, ropes course, and much more.  Those tickets can be purchased separately. 


I received free tickets in exchange for this 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.

Check It Out: Savings.com #WinSouthMoonUnder Giveaway

Win a $50 e-gift card from South Moon Under.

Savings.com is giving away five $50 South Moon Under e-gift cards!

Giveaway ends on Thursday, February 27th at 11:59 PM PT.  Five (5) winners will receive a $50 e-gift code from South Moon Under. 

--------------------------------
South Moon Under has a wide selection of women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories as well as home and beauty products. There is also a Gift section that offers select men’s products.  Get a 15% discount on your first order with South Moon under their email sign up. 

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

Saturday, February 22, 2020

"Wastin' Away with National Margarita Day - #MargaritaDay

I will receive product in exchange for this 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.

Enjoyin' a margarita at a local Mexican restaurant

Today is National Margarita Day.  Or, more like marga-need-a.  Over 3 quarters of Americans enjoy drinking margaritas.  I'm one of those Americans!  My favorite is a blended strawberry margarita with a sugared rim.

To celebrate, head to your favorite Mexican restaurant to enjoy one of the great pairings, tacos and margaritas. Invite your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, your boss, or even me!. With margaritas and tacos, it’ll be a party

If you'd like to find out about other awesome February Holidays, click here: https://nationaltoday.com/february-holidays/

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Heck Of A Valentine's Day - 2020


Another Valentine's Day in the books!  For the first time in umpteen years, I asked Jason that we not exchange gifts.  We were going on a weekend trip the next day, so I figured the money would be best spent on that.  We kinda sorta listened to each other.

Jason and I spent a couple hours getting our taxes done, which is no fun in and of itself.  It's the first time we've had to go to someone rather than do it for free online.  Luckily, the tax preparer was pretty chill and didn't make it a horribly arduous task.  



When I returned home, there was a tray of chocolate covered strawberries and a Reese's Holiday Gift Set on my coffee table.  Jason had purchased the strawberries from a friend who made them as part of a fundraiser.  And not with just ordinary chocolate, but with Godiva chocolate!  That same friend gave me the Reese's set as a gift.


Earlier in the day, before taxes were done, I went with a friend to the mall to help her purchase a Valentine's Day gift for her fiancee.  While there I found a stress ball and a V-Day card "from the cat" to give Jason.  So, technically, the ball and cat weren't from me; They were from WowWow.

Not necessarily Valentine's Day related but, y'all, I found Jersey Shore pasta sauce and marinara sauce on sale for .99 cents.  I think I've watched the show maybe twice in my life but I know a good deal when I see one!  

For curious minds, I've already tried the pasta sauce.  Worth the clearance price but wouldn't be happy if I would've paid full cost.  Needed to be thicker and more robust. 

What about you?  How did you spend Valentine's Day?

Save Nationwide with ValpakRx: Free Mobile App - #ValpakRx

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Valpak have a new tool that they're excited about - ValpakRx.com. ValpakRx™ is a free mobile app and prescription discount card that helps users nationwide save every month by finding them the lowest price on prescriptions at their local pharmacies.

ValpakRx™ has negotiated a discount rate with a national network of drugstores and retail outlets.

More than 35,000 stores have partnered with ValpakRx™
The average savings is $61 per prescription.
Free for anyone to use.
No personal information collected.

At least 80 percent of the time your discount card will save you money because the cost will be less than the pharmacy’s retail price.

Sometimes insurance doesn't cover a certain drug or you can't afford your medication due to a high deductible. This is where ValpakRx can help.  The actual amount you will save varies depending on which pharmacy you use and which medication you buy. Use the prescription price lookup feature to get an idea of what your medicine will cost at different pharmacies in your area.


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

Calico Critters Cute Couple Set - Review and Giveaway




Calico Critters is a line of miniature animal figures with homes, furniture, and accessories that are sold in playsets.  The globally popular series, first introduced in 1985, features beautiful, richly detailed animal figures that live like humans with a focus on “Nature, Family and Love.”

The Calico Critters Cute Couple Set that’s made just for wholesome dates.  These beautiful and richly detailed critters are part of globally popular Calico Critters Town Series.  Join Stella Hopscotch, the stylish Hopscotch Rabbit and her boyfriend William Cinnamon as they hold hands around town! Love is in the air as William Cinnamon gifts his adorable girlfriend Stella a large rose bouquet on their lovely date.


I have a small collection of Calico Critters and playsets in my home.  The young'uns like to play with Calico Critters when they come over.  The Cute Couple Set is, of course, cute.  The couple have an elegant royal look, and the plastic bouquet has a handle so it can be held in the hands of the rabbits.  These are perfect to add to a Calico Critters collection or for imaginative play.


Win It!

One person will win a Calico Critters Cute Couple Set.

*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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 200

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

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 200. 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.

"God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh."
–Luke 6:21

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

St. Louis Weekend Trip

ordered chicken strips for my first time there

 My husband's birthday was February 15th so he and I went out of town with two other friends to St. Louis for the weekend.  We left on Saturday morning and came back Sunday evening.  Gotta say, we had a lot of fun!

overhead view of lobby at Drury Inn

Jason and I ate at a Chick-fil-A for the first time ever!  I don't understand the overhype but admit it was pretty good.  Then we all went shopping for a bit.  We stopped at Michael's, TJ Maxx, and Target to throw some money down.  Then, we ventured to St. Louis Aquarium.  It opened on December 25th of last year.  There's been a lot of mixed reviews about the place, but we all enjoyed it.

Tasha enjoying the food and drink during Kickback at Drury Inn

Saturday evening we stayed at the Drury Inn - St. Louis Southwest.  As far as hotel chains are concerned, Drury Inn is my overall preference.  They're always clean and updated.  Kickback time of free food and adult beverages in the evening is a big bonus.  The only downside to this stay is the gajillion trillion 7th graders from a school trip running all over the place.  Oh, the energy!

school of fish among a shark at the aquarium

Sunday we headed to St. Louis Mural Mile.  It's a floodwall that expands over a mile long and it's covered in grafitti. Most of it is actual grafitti art, with just a few areas that were slander or "vandalism".  It's a great place to visit, to see local talent for free.  Judging by the trash of the surrounding area, I'd say it's best to go during the daylight.

me and Jason doing the "prom pose" in front of a mural

City Museum was our next stop.  I loved it; Jason didn't.  You definitely can't be afraid of heights or claustrophobic.  There's so many tunnels, slides, nooks and crannies that you could spend hours in there.  And, we did!  (Of all places for the school kids from the hotel to visit the same day as us, it happened to be the City Museum!)

Our trip ended up back home in Quincy with a delicious meal at Kelly's Tavern, a local eatery with Irish decor.

Have you ever been to St. Louis?  What's your favorite place to visit while there?
City Museum was "electrifying"!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Petmate: $10 Off + Free Shipping On Orders $60+

$10 OFF + FREE SHIPPING On Orders $60+ with code FURRYQ1 at Petmate.com 1/16-3/31/20.

From now until March 31st, you can receive $10 off + Free Shipping on orders $60+ at Petmate.  Use coupon code FURRYQ1 at checkout.

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

Our Agency Won The Golden Bucket



working the night away

Every year there's a competition among first responders as to who can raise the most money for the Salvation Army's Christmas Campaign.  Whichever one wins receives The Golden Bucket for the year.  This year, 9-1-1/EMA raised the most.  We got The Golden Bucket! (I'd like to say I helped but I'd be lying.  I slept while some fellow co-workers did the work. So, it's them that get the kudos.)

Each agency gets a full day to go out to a specific location and try to bring in money.  Agencies included are 9-1-1/EMA (Emergency Management), local police department, local fire department, and local ambulance service.  Our agency is the smallest but we came away with the most money.

A small ceremony was held at our agency and the announcement was on the news.
#NotBragging #ButBragging

Spoil Your Baby with Safe & Effective Skincare Products - Giveaway


Show baby a little extra love this year on Valentine’s Day! Spoil them with skincare products that are both great for their delicate skin as well as effective.

Boudreaux’s Maximum Strength Butt Paste  will ensure baby is happy and comfortable all day and night long with its ability to start soothing irritation on contact. Boudreaux’s Maximum Strength Butt Paste has a thick barrier of protection that helps seal out any wetness but is gently enough to use daily. Plus, it is Amazon’s #1 best seller in diaper creams!

Heighten baby’s skincare routine this February 14th with a must-have from Baby Magic! Baby Magic’s Baby Lotion is infused with wholesome ingredients such as Camellia Oil and Marshmallow Root to hydrate and nourish baby’s skin.

Win It!

One person will win Baby Magic Baby Lotion and Boudreaux Maximum Strength Butt Paste.

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

I received no compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Be Prepared for Disasters with Be Prepared Emergency Essentials


Weather-based and other natural disasters are increasing in frequency – and severity.  The result is more and more people impacted and even displaced by extreme weather and natural disasters.  Along with 72-hour emergency kits, FEMA recommends that families be prepared with a 2-week supply of food, water and other essentials (https://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/f&web.pdf). 

Be Prepared Emergency Essentials ranks as a national category in providing the highest possible quality preparedness products.



While other emergency food options fall far short of nationally recommended caloric content, Emergency Essentials created its own certification: the Quality Survival Standards™ (QSS™). All Be Prepared QSS-certified meals are guaranteed to contain a minimum of 1,800 calories and 40 grams of protein (per person, per day), and often provide far more. That’s why the 2-Week Be Prepared Survival in a Pail kit from Emergency Essentials is the country’s go-to 2-week survival kit. It delivers the basics families need for 14 days, featuring delicious and nutritious chef-crafted meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a shelf life for up to 25 years – plus all the required cooking gear to cook the meals…an 80-gallon, heavy duty survival grade water filter for food rehydration and drinking…and life-saving supplies for warmth and weather-protection.  Be Prepared Emergency Essentials has established itself as a national leader in emergency preparedness for good reason.  Families across the country have come to depend on Be Prepared Emergency Essentials and the company’s popular 2-Week Survival in a Pail kit for the highest quality, stored-to-last emergency foods – healthy entrees that are easily prepared in only a matter of minutes and packaged in durable containers to withstand a major event.

some of the packaged food

Every family needs to be prepared for the inevitable unforeseen circumstance, especially when it comes to stocking up on emergency essentials. Although no one can prevent or avoid unexpected events, everyone should prepare for them.

Items included in the 2-Week Survival in a Pail include:
3 pouches Cheesy Broccoli Rice
3 pouches Creamy Chicken- Flavored Rice
2 pouches Spanish Rice
1 pouch Fettuccine Alfredo
2 pouches Hearty Vegetable Chicken-Flavored Soup
2 pouches Creamy Potato Soup
1 pouch Banana Chips
2 pouches Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal
2 pouches High-Protein Chocolate Meal Shake
1 pouch High-Protein Vanilla Meal Shake
3 Fire Disks
1 WaterBasics Bag-to-Bag Water Filter
1 Stove
1 Pot & Lid
1 Box of Matches
1 Emergency Reflective Sleeping Bag
I'm far from being a Doomsday Prepper but I'm not naive to the fact that disasters can and do happen.  Having the 2-Week Survival in a Pail brings peace of mind that I have needed supplies and essentials if I'm ever stuck in a situation where I'll need them.  Catastrophes can strike at any time – and Be Prepared Emergency Essentials is there to meet the critical needs resulting from the unexpected.  
stock photo of banana chips that are included in the kit

Are you prepared in the event of a large emergency?

I received products in exchange for this post.  The opinions within this post are mine 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.