Life... Health... Reviews...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Me & my birthday!


When I tell someone I'm going to do something and I don't; it haunts me until I do. So, if you remember (two months ago) I said I would share some of my birthday goings on with you.

On September 20 I hit a fairly momentus age: 39. To me it's momentus because it's the last year of my 30s and, next year, I will officially enter my 40s. Well, for some reason, I didn't get all the pictures uploaded so you only get two.

This is what I looked like on that day. I guess I should say this is my hair on that day because I know I still look the same.

The daycare provider who watches the 2 year old and the 4 year old watched the baby that day so I got up that morning and put on a cute little skirt and some makeup ! I happily dropped three of the four children at the sitter's place, left the teenager at home and went on my merry way.

I felt such freedom. Although I had to stop and take care of some medical stuff for the kids, I was able to go out to lunch. (My husband took me out to lunch and we had a great time! That's another story. Despite the difficulties in my homelife/relationship right now; there are times -- however few -- when we can be friends and enjoy ourselves.) Then we did a little shopping. Now what girl doesn't like eating and shopping on her birthday?

My husband gave me a card, a bouquet of flowers (I had a wonderful shot of those flower, but it didn't transfer right!) and a card... uh, I hope I didn't forget anything. A very good childhood (or I guess I should say teenage) friend of mine sent me a beautiful arrangement of roses and tulips. And I think I got a little bit of cash. (I guess the memory starts to go at 39 because that's all I can remember.)

It's nice to know -- and be able to share -- that despite the difficulties (separation, sickness, lack of sleep, financial woes), I've had at least one great day in the midst!
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Christmas is fast approaching and I know many people have begun their holiday shopping. Well, here at It's a woman's world!, there are some great deals for you to take advantage of:


1-800-FLOWERS has a great deal = 30 roses for $30. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM
Whether you're buying roses for someone else or treating yourself this is a savings you can't pass up.

Acacia is offering beautiful, hand-knit ornaments. I love this because one of our Christmas traditions is to add a new ornament to our tree each year. (Check out their banner above.) You can hang Acacia's ornaments on your tree, mantel or wreath. The best thing is when you purchase these you're helping others earn a decent wage, educate their children and keep their families healthy. Hand-knit in Nepal by women who work for a company committed to their welfare, each is 100 percent Himalayan wool with hand embroidery. Set of six includes a star, tree, stocking, hat, mitten and roundel.

Crock-Pot.com At Crock-Pot you can get $15 off your slow cooker order or free shipping on any size order.

Check back often... I'll be updating affiliate links and offering more holiday savings on a regular basis!

On a similar note, I am really looking forward to posting 24 products that I think are some of the best gifts ever. Beginning December 1 I will list at least one product per day until December 25 that I personally recommend as the best gifts of the year. For the most part these are not things I'm being paid to tell you about, but products that I've discovered that I think will be great to give as gifts (or to buy for yourself).

Don't forget: Come back often for more deals AND tune in on December 1 for the beginning of "The best gifts ever!"

Happy Holidays!
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Smorty: Get paid to blog

One thing that most people know about me is that I love to write and if I can get paid for it then that makes it even better. In fact, my personal motto is: "Writing is not a job, it's a joy. Getting paid is just icing on the cake." So when I came across Smorty, a service connecting advertisers with bloggers, I knew I had to sign up.

With Smorty advertisers pay bloggers to write opinion posts and link back to the advertiser’s site. What can be better than getting paid for doing something you’re going to do anyway? And, to top it off, you get to talk about great products and services. Yup, that’s how you can get paid to blog.

Smorty makes it easy to blog for money. It’s easy to sign up and get started and, once you’re activated, the site is easy to navigate. If you’re a regular blogger and you want to get paid for it, check out Smorty… you’ll be glad you did.
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mel is giving away $50!






Mel at Mel in a Nutshell is trying to increase her Google page rank so she's giving away $50. "Got to spend money to make money, right?" Mel says. So, I don't know about you, but I could use an extra $50. All you have to do is use her cute little link, post about the contest and leave her a comment. Oh, and you'll have to have a PayPal account! Piece of cake, right?
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How cool is this?

I was visiting Is this thing on? and she had the little link revealing how much her blog is worth so, of course, I had to go to the site and see how much mine is worth.


My blog is worth $5,080.86.
How much is your blog worth?



This is great! What does it mean?... uh, I have no idea! LOL.
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Friend wanted! Inquire within.


Oprah has Gayle.
Michelle Obama has Cheryl Rucker-Whitaker.
Pheobe had Monica & Rachel. :-)
And I want one too! A best girlfriend.

Since I started blogging, I've gained some excellent blog friends (Carrie, Tammy, Bradley [okay, Bradley doesn't count as a best girlfriend, but I was thinking if he can be a TopMama...], Cheeky...), which you've probably heard me mention before. But one thing I don't have is a best girlfriend. You know, someone who calls you up in the morning to see if you got up on time, someone who drops by unannounced with coffee and treats, someone to work out with, someone to trade babysitting duties with, someone you can run to the store for and vice versa! You know the type of person I mean, right?

Over the past few months I've even gotten in touch with people I haven't talked to in years: Patrick in Florida, Larry in Bermuda and my funny friend Caryn in California. These people bring joy to my life, they bring laughter, love and fun. They bring memories, but they're so doggone far away. Caryn can't call at the last minute to see if I want to work out with her and no matter how much I complain Patrick hasn't dropped by yet!

All of these friends are great -- they're special! I'd still like to have a day-to-day, close best girlfriend. I sound like a little kid. "I wish I had a friend!" LOL...
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Digital cameras are an ingenious invention



This is one of my favorite shots -- taken by my daughter with her digital camera. It's actually of the 4-year-old when he was about 2 years old. I think it's absolutely gorgeous and creative.






I think one of the best things about digital cameras is the ability to link them to home computers, laptops, printing labs or whatever you need to in order to share or print photos. They also take the hassle out of developing film: I hate to admit this, but I still have at least 50 rolls of film that need to be developed. Hey, I haven’t always had a digital camera.

Well, honestly, I’ve never had a digital camera. Any digital photos that I’m able to get I take with my daughter’s camera. It’s a Kodak EasyShare C743 and now that I’ve been introduced to this wonderful digital world I want a bigger (so to speak) and better camera. The digital camera I have my eye on now is a Nikon D40x Digital SLR Two-Lens Bonus Outfit (18-55/55-200). I don’t know that much about digital cameras, but I know what I like and what I need. This digital camera reminds me a little bit of the 35mm Olympus iS-300 I used to use all the time.

Cameras like the Nikon offer a lot of creative options and absolutely gorgeous shots. And, to be honest, it makes me feel like a “professional.” I can walk around looking like a true artist. (As I writer I don’t walk around with a laptop or pad and pen around my neck, but if I were a photographer I could grab my camera bag and be recognized the world over as a photographer! Okay, sorry, end fantasy.)

Right now I mainly take pics of my kids and my “woman’s world,” but I also do a little travel writing and the addition of a top-of-the-line camera would add quality photos – not to mention money – to my travel articles.
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'He's coming back...'

For a little less than a week my 4-year-old son has stated, in quite a matter fact manner, that, "Daddy is coming back." His face is clear and pleasant; his eyes sure and hopeful. It isn't a question; it is a definite statement.

I'm not sure if his declarations are from the discerning, spiritual prophet he has shown himself to be or the young boy who just wants his daddy home. Either way, whatever happens, (we -- my husband and I -- are working through the process to find the answer), I hope my beautiful son isn't disappointed and all his dreams comes true.
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Monday, November 12, 2007

Blog of the Month!


My friend Carrie, at Rantings of a Woman, is so great! She gave me this really cool award. I'm so amazed to receive another award... it's such a pleasure to know that my blogging friends think so well of me and my blog!!

Thanks again Carrie -- you're a gem!
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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Eight random things about me...


Wonderful, sweet Tammy at Mom Knows Everything tagged me with this and I'm gonna do it right away before I forget... let's see...

*I don't really have a favorite food... oh, except for chocolate.
*I'm the youngest and the only girl.
*I spent four years serving my country.
*I love sci-fi, reality tv, drama and action.
*The only soap I watched was Passions until it moved to DirectTV. AARGH!
*The person I enjoy spending time with the most is my 16-year-old daughter!! :-)
*I'm realizing I need more real-life friends. LOL
*Besides laundry, I absolutely hate washing dishes.

Okay, I know I'm supposed to tag someone else, but if you know anything about me you know I'm terrible at memes and tagging BUT I would love to hear eight random things about you. So, if you read this do the meme then leave me a comment and let me know. I'll read it posthaste.
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75-cent air


For a little more than a week I had my eye on the front right tire of my minivan. It looked a little low on air, but I couldn’t really tell. But one morning when I went out to get in the van it was obvious that the air was low and I went (semi) directly to a gas station to get some air for my tire.

The first two gas stations didn’t even have air pumps and when I finally found one that did I was shocked that it cost 75 cents! I remember when I could pull up to a gas station and tell an attendant that I needed gas, air, my oil checked and whatever else needed to be done. Now, not only do I have to pump my own gas, but I have to pay for air! Air?!

I also remember when getting air was free then it went to 25 cents, then 50 and now 75 cents. Does it seem a little silly to pay for something like that? And, to me, it seems outrageous to pay almost $1.00 for air. I think I’m gonna do some research on how I can bottle my own compressed air. Hey, it’s free… uh, right?
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EarthFrisk – a way cool place to network

I know there are a lot of community sites out there and sometimes it can get overwhelming, but I’ve found a site that has social bookmarking with social media and social networking – EarthFrisk – which is absolutely addicting. I signed on to review the site, but got caught up in looking at who’s involved and what’s going on.

Besides the social networking and everything going on, EarthFrisk is hosting a contest where bloggers and other members can make money. The contest, which ends on November 19th (hurry and enter/sign up!), has a first place prize of $2,000 for the person with the largest network of friends and members. The first place prize also includes six months of virtual office services, which is courtesy of The Successful Office Group.

The second place prize is $750 and three months of virtual office services. Someone will also be named Frisk King or Queen for the most submissions with an award of $500 and two months of virtual office services for first place and $250 and one month of free virtual office service for the second place winner. There are also two other categories to enter: comment king or queen and best original homepage or profile.

After you’ve entered the contest get busy networking, socializing and building your page and profile. The social networking section is brand new and there’s a lot to do. Vote on someone’s content, read great content, check out photos, possibly make a little money and great real services from a call center company.

Check out EarthFrisk today!
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Mixing up the holiday meal


Eclectrics® Mixer
For as long as I can remember my now 16-year-old daughter has loved to assist with the holiday cooking preparations so during Thanksgiving and Christmas she helps prepare the meal. About two years ago she decided she was proficient enough in the kitchen to prepare the entire holiday meals alone.

She makes everything! The entrée, veggies, side dishes… but my favorite is the sweet potato pies that she whips up using the mixer. There’s something about the pie, which my grandmother used to make when I was growing up, that makes the whole meal special. It’s like the pie has been passed down through the generations and now my baby has taken over the tradition.

Here’s the sweet potato pie recipe she uses:
THE CRUST
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening, chilled
1/3 cup ice water
Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl. Add the shortening. Using a fork or a pastry blender, cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-sized bits. Stirring with the fork, gradually add enough of the water until the mixture clumps together (you may need more or less water). Gather up the dough and press into a thick disk. If desired, wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate for up to one hour.

THE FILLING
3 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed
8 tablespoons butter, melted
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup half and half
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 13-inch circle and fold it in half. Put in pie pan and gently fold open to fit pan. Use scissors or a sharp knife and trim the dough to a one-inch over hang. Flute (the design) the dough around the edge of the pain. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and reduce heat to medium. Cook until they’re tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and run under cold water until cool to the touch/cool enough to handle. Peel the potatoes and place in medium bowl. Mash with electric mixer on medium and mix until smooth. Measure 3 cups of the potatoes and set aside. Keep extra for another use.

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Uncover pie shell and brush inside with some of the melted butter. Sprinkle with ¼ cup brown sugar on the bottom of the crust. Bake until dough is set, about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, using the electric mixer on low speed and mist the mashed sweet potatoes, remaining butter and ½ cup brown sugar, the sugar, eggs, half and half, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread into pie shell and smooth top.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake until knife or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 ½ hours. Cool on wire rack and cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Although the pies are delicious, I think they would be even better and definitely easier to make if we had a Hamilton Beach® Eclectrics® All-Metal Stand Mixer. This mixer has 12 settings, which offer more flexibility and control. The Hamilton Beach® mixer has a 4.5 quart stainless steel locking bowl that has a handle (how brilliant!), a two-piece pouring and splatter shield and to top it all of it has a quieter operation. If you want your pies – or other mixer necessary recipes – to turn out as good as my daughter’s then make sure you get a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer in time for holiday cooking.


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Unanswerable questions

If I cry myself to sleep
Will anyone hear?

If I close my eyes and weep
Will anyone care?

If the darkness wears my name
Will someone rescue me?
Take me from the shame
Reveal how it’s supposed to be.

If my heart freezes and breaks
Will my spirit shrink and bend?

If nothing ever changes
Will my world be right again?
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Support Alzheimer's Foundation of America


Although it is important to support the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s, the holiday season is also a good time to support the cause of caring for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Ensuring quality care for those individuals who suffer fro the disease should not be overlooked. To join in supporting this cause you can purchase a holiday gift from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America eStore, or gift a donation, where all proceeds will benefit the foundation.

It is important that Alzheimer’s patients receive quality care and one of the ways we can ensure that happens is to support the foundation by making donations or purchases from the eStore. It is estimated that Alzheimer's disease affects more than five million Americans and it’s projected that the number of Americans with Alzheimer's disease (a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain's nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes) could more than triple to 16 million by mid-century.

The AFA eStore has an exclusive collection of fine jewelry, “Hearts of Care,” which recognizes the love that caregivers show. It is high-quality jewelry that includes a matching necklace, bracelet and pin with custom designed pendants. The eStore also has a four-part DVD training program that is an excellent purchase for family and professional caregivers.

According to their website, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s mission is “to provide optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families—through member organizations dedicated to improving quality of life.” Let’s assist in this mission and support the foundation this holiday season by purchasing gifts from or making donations to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America eStore. Don’t forget: All proceeds from your purchases and donations benefit the foundation… now that’s the ultimate gift of giving.


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