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

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pest control tips

I read this in the April issue of BabyTalk magazine, but I keep forgetting it. So when I came across the information while I was cleaning my desk I thought I would post it here to help me to remember and to give you a tip too!

Here are a few less toxic ways to get rid of pests:

Roaches (yuck!) - put boric acid in childproof bait
containers and place under
kitchen sink, in pantries and cabinets.

Spiders (creepy!) - Vacuum corners and around windows once a month them
dump vacuum bag immediately.

Ants (pesky!) - fill a spray bottle with
equal parts vinegar and water then spray around doorways, windows and other
popular ant spots.

There are also eco-friendly products available to tackle these critters.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Where Do 15 Years Go meme

I grabbed this from my pal Tammy. For this meme you are supposed to talk about what happened 15 years ago and you can tell up to 10 things.

Fifteen years ago would make it 1993... let's see...

I had just gotten out of the Air Force in 1992 and I had returned to college. So I was a sophomore in college. My oldest child was 2 years old and I lived in Rome, New York. I was taking 18 credits per semester, I worked at the college and I worked as a reporter at a local paper in Utica. Wow, I was only 25 years old then!

I think that's about all I can remember! If you're game then "tag! you're it!"

Cord blood banking saves lives

During my first pregnancy more than 17 years ago I don't recall there being an option to bank your child's umbilical cord blood. However, with my last three children I saw many advertisements and announcements about cord blood banking. Nowadays, the potential medical benefits of umbilical stem cells is growing each day.

It can be confusing and overwhelming for some parents to make the decision to bank cord blood and it can be compounded by trying to choose the right facility. That's where Cryo-Cell International comes in. This company, which has stored more than 150,000 cord blood samples, works to educate expectant parents about the benefits of preserving their newborn's cord blood stem cells.

If you're still unsure you can read families' testimonies and do some cord blood bank comparisons. Cryo-Cell also has trained childbirth educators available 24 hours a day everyday to consult with you.

Body snatchers

Yesterday I was so thankful that my children were relatively well behaved because I wasn't feeling well. Today, I'm feeling even worse and the children were acting like something from a bad movie like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. No, I take that back... they were acting like some of those kids I see on that nanny show!

Yesterday everyone followed instructions, ate their lunches and took a nap at the same time. Today, the baby (who's 1) didn't eat her lunch and she wouldn't take a nap. The two middle children, ages 3 and 4, jumped from bed to bed, pulled the curtain off the window, opened and closed doors, talked, played and got into everything they could think of.

Like I do everyday when they first lay down for their nap, I say, "Don't forget if you aren't good and you don't take your nap you'll lose your park time." Now, I've only had to take away park time once or twice so I know this is important to them. Well, at least it was. Today, I guess they didn't care. After numerous admonishments and reprimands, getting up and down to correct them, etc., this is where they ended up:

Amareah was in a corner further away from Andre, but she saw a spider in that corner (guess I need to dust!) so she had to be re-located. They even whispered from their respective corners before Amareah was moved! Aargh! As you can see from the next picture, she had also taken out one of her plaits.

The baby who I ended up taking out of the crib so the others could go to sleep ended up getting in big trouble when the phone rang. I was only on for less than five minutes and she pulled every DVD off the shelf. You can see the DVDs next to Amareah in the above pictures. (No, I'm not going to move them somewhere else! She was doing good by not messing with stuff she's not supposed to.)

After that I the angry mommy - that would be me - ignored the baby by putting myself in time out facing my laptop! This is where she ended up...

...on the office floor with her sister's scarf. (Boy, that floor sure needs to be vacuumed!) Well, at least she went to sleep! And don't you dare say how cute she looks!

I hope they're better behaved tomorrow!

Today's giveaway

Attention! Attention! All you novelists out there pay attention. (BTW: Even if you haven't had your book published you can still call yourself a novelist!) has some software that is perfect for you.

I have their widget in my sidebar under "Check it out!" but I added another one near the top for you to click on it and check it out quickly (as well as below). This is great software for those who'd like help organizing their novels.

You'll have to get all the details from the site yourself. I would have downloaded it myself, but I don't have enough room on my laptop.

My BF, who is a total computer geek, called me today to tell me about this free software so the site comes highly recommended. If you download it, please come back and let me know what you think of it.

Giveaway of the Day

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Facing fibromyalgia

Since I'm talking about a health issue I guess I should make this one of My Health and Weight Loss Journals, huh? Because the last couple of days I've been having it really bad with the fibromyalgia I decided to talk about it here. Hey, it's consuming my mind and affecting what I can and can't do so I might as well put the experience to good use.

For those who don't already know, fibromyalgia is "one of the most common chronic widespread types of pain in the U.S.," according to the National Fibromyalgia Association. The causes of it are unknown but it's said to affect more than six million people.

Fibro patients often experience:

  • chronic widespread pain in the neck, shoulders, back, arms and legs

  • muscle tenderness, soreness and flu-like aching

  • poor sleep, stiffness and fatigue

  • dull pain in muscles, tendon and ligaments
I have all of those symptoms, with some days being worse than others, including a burning-like pain that I always describe as the tingles or that all of my limbs have fallen asleep. The pain may occur as a result of a number of things like viral infections, trauma, injury or even exposure to chronic stress. If stress is the cause of mine I wouldn't be surprised because I have experienced more stress in the past four or five years than I ever have in my life.

When I was diagnosed at the end of last year, the doctor prescribed three medications (Ibuprofen, Nortriptyline and Hydroxychloroquine) that really don't work that well, but they do make a huge difference. I normally only take the Ibuprofen and Hydroxychloroquine, but I ran out of the hydro- one and because of my lack of health insurance I can't make it back to the doctor for a follow-up appointment and get more meds.

Luckily, I found out that I am able to go back to the Veteran's Hospital for care and my appointment is on the 24th. I have never been so excited in my life to go to a doctor's appointment.

Thanks to you wonderful blogging buddies I have three other medicines to ask the doctor about to see if they're right for me: Lyrica, which I've seen a thousand commercials for; Cymbalta, which I heard of but didn't know it's used for fibromyalgia and Neuronton (I'm not sure I spelled that correctly).

I am anxious to get some type of ongoing management of this condition because it prevents me from doing things I really love like blog hopping and going through my email (not to mention the daily responsibilities and activities I must do). So, if you don't see me around sometimes -- mine normally gets worse about once a month -- then you know I'm trying to rest (one of the recommendations for dealing with this) so I can get back into the swing of things.

If you know someone with fibro (or any other chronic pain condition) call them up and see if there's something you can help them with: carrying laundry baskets, running errands, washing dishes, cooking dinner or caring for the kids for an afternoon. These are just some of the things I know can be extremely difficult to get through with a chronic pain condition.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Get to know me!

My blogging body Tammy posted this on her blog and I thought I would grab it and post it here.

1. What is your occupation right now? WAHM
2. What color are your socks right now? Not wearing any
3. What are you listening to right now? A fan
4. What was the last thing that you ate? A spoonful of ice cream
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes
6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? A friend
7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes
8. How old are you today? 39
9. What is your favorite sport to watch? Basketball
10. What is your favorite drink? Water
12. Favorite food? Chocolate
13. What is the last movie you watched? Hancock
14. Favorite day of the year? I don't have one
15. How do you vent anger? Yell or write
16. What was your favorite toy(s) as a child? Etch-A-Sketch
17. What is your favorite season? Spring
18. Cherries or Blueberries? Both
19. Biggest Pet Peeve? Disrespect
20. Who is the most likely to respond? Don't know
21. Who is least likely to respond? Don't know
22. Living arrangements? In a house
23. When was the last time you cried? Yesterday
24. What is on the floor of your closet? Boxes of clothes waiting for Anna to grow into them
25. What do you do on a rainy day? What I like to do is stay in the bed and read or watch movies. What I do is take care of my kids like any other day.
26. What did you do last night? Blogged, IMed
27. What are you most afraid of? Losing everything & being homeless
28. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Cheese turkey burgers
29. Favorite dog breed? None
30. Favorite day of the week? Any day I can sleep late
31. How many places have you lived in? Cities or states? States = 4
32. Biggest life lesson? Dreams don't really come true (yes, I know, so negative!)

I'm tagging anyone who would like to do this meme.

Love the award!

Sweet Tammy blessed me with this award today. I really like it because it is unique, beautiful and it made my day.

I am going to copy off of Tammy and pass this award to my top 10 commenters as well. It's funny because my number one commenter is Tammy!... I guess that means I'm passing it back to her because she rocks! :-)

One of my top commenters is my BFF in MD and he doesn't have a blog so in replacement this is a short note to let him know how much he's appreciated! URRH.

Farah Deen (yes, Farah, I know Tammy already gave it to you!)
Sandra Carvalho
Carrie Smith

Have a happy day.

Gonna hit the road

Since I can't afford a "real" vacation I was thinking about taking a road trip to visit some areas of Georgia that we haven't seen. I received a Georgia vacation guide and road map in the mail not too long ago and thought it would be cool to explore in our own state.

Since my minivan isn't in the best condition I would definitely have to rent a car to ensure we arrived safely. I found some great deals at They are currently offering up to a 50 percent discount on luxury and convertible car rentals. My teenager loves convertibles and it would really be cool for just the two of us to zoom through Atlanta with the top down and are fancy scarfs blowing in the wind. They even have some great savings on cool rides starting at $20.99 per day.

I think choosing a car rental over driving my Dodge Caravan is the best choice. Do you plan on taking a driving vacation this year? If so, check out for deals.


Drawing a blank

I am normally a talkative person who likes to write and who has all kinds of ideas about what to say. You'll notice that some days I'll write a post several times a day, but the past couple of days my brain has been a little dry.

Although I have a product to share with you, I don't feel like doing that and I don't even know what I would write if I decided to do that. The baby was sick last week and over the weekend... I could write about that, but it's old news.

I don't really have a vent, something funny or exciting to share so where does that leave me? Hmmm... let's see.

What do you do when you can't think of anything to write, but have a desire to post? Do you choose memes, pictures, random thoughts or paid posts? What about just waiting until you get an idea?

Wordless Wednesday


Snap to it

As a blogger, I have discovered another way to make money while doing what I love to do, which is writing blog posts. Snapbomb, a blog marketing software platform, connects advertisers to bloggers just like you and me.

For advertisers who want to create buzz about their products, services, events or news a good way to do this is through blog marketing. This is an excellent way for advertisers to reach tons of potential clients and customers. Snapbomb determines a rate that bloggers will be paid for each post and the blogger can accept the blog advertising opportunity.

One of the great things about Snapbomb is that you do not have to write your post right away. You get about 12 hours to do your research, formulate your post and submit it for approval.

If you are interested in working with a company that is creating ways for advertisers to connect with bloggers then Snapbomb may be just the right choice for you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spinning my wheels

My health and weight loss journal

I've been spinning my wheels... well, not really since my exercise bike doesn't have any wheels, but I have been riding. Now, I don't want to be misleading and tell you that I've been pedaling away since I wrote my last health and weight loss journal about my frustration with being at the same weight for the past several weeks.

(Did you notice that my weight-loss ticker hasn't moved in forever!?)

Although I have used the exercise bike, I've only been on it about three times. At least that's three more times than I rode last time I checked in with you. An improvement, huh?

I have, however, exercised to a belly dancing work-out DVD that my teenager ordered. (She's really having fun with her summer job funds!) At first I was a little skeptical of this workout, but I am surprised at how I worked up a sweat. Not only is it a nice, low-impact exercise, but we had a great time laughing at the people on the screen while we worked out.

If you haven't considered belly dancing I would recommend checking it out. And, if you have but just haven't gotten around to doing it then I say: "Get to it!"

The one we have is BellyDance Fitness for Weight Loss featuring Rania (no, I don't know who she is either!) BellyDance Boogie.

Now, wish me luck in getting through the rest of the day... I've only had less than five hours of sleep for two nights in a row and I'm running on empty. I'm about to have my second cup of coffee (think I'll make it an iced one) for the day and hope that it revives me until bedtime.

Don't miss my next few health and weight loss journals because I'm going to be reviewing some very cool products: The Biggest Loser Cardio Max workout (Amber bought this one too for only $4.99 at and Gracie's Gear sports bra that has some cool dry and anti-odor technology added to it. I'll give you the low down on how well I think it works.

Until next time... be healthy! :-)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Working virtually never looked so good!

On July 8th, Team Double-Click® launched their ground-breaking business opportunity – the Licensed Virtual Assistant program to such an amazing response, their servers were overloaded with all of the applicants trying to sign up. If you were one of the fortunate ones to get through and apply to become the next Licensed Virtual Assistant-Team Double-Click® is ready to work with you right away! If you didn’t get an opportunity to sign up…they are giving you another chance! Team Double-Click® placed the Licensed Virtual Assistant program on hold until tomorrow, July 15th when they are re-launching this innovative program!

Can you imagine being able to grow a virtual business where you literally have the opportunity to make a six-figure income and be there for your family? Team Double-Click® wants to give you that opportunity. With their Licensed Virtual Assistant program that is re-launching on Tuesday, July 15th, you will have the chance to be a part of something that has never been done before in the virtual staffing industry. When you become a Licensed Virtual Assistant, you have the opportunity to build your own client base, backed by Team Double-Click’s® recognized branding and stellar reputation. You can work for these clients yourself as their virtual assistant; or Team Double-Click®® will place one of their highly qualified support-level virtual assistants with the clients you sign up. It is completely up to you!

Are you ready to take a chance with your future and do something that could turn out to be life-changing? Find out more about this innovative business opportunity by clicking here.

Don’t delay! The first time Team Double-Click® launched this program their servers were overloaded with people trying to sign up! Second chances don’t come around very often. Are you ready to be the next Licensed Virtual Assistant? Click here now and make the decision that could change your life and give you the financial freedom you have been waiting for!

Wanna win some candles?

There are a lot of great giveaways going on around the blogosphere. I recently heard about one over at A Daily Dose of Motherhood and I raced on over to enter.

Jenny, who has a candle business, is giving away two wickless candles and a candle warmer next week along with a gift certificate for two wicked candles to be redeemed this fall. The last day to enter is July 15th.

Good luck.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Money-saving teenager

Ever since my teenager was a little girl we've talked about getting the best deal at the store. Whether it's the grocery store, a department store or a discount store... she knows how to shop for a good deal. Sometimes I turn to her when we're shopping for food to ask if something is a good deal. Hey, gotta pass the baton, right?

Her shopping savvy showed up today when she wanted to see if JcPenney was having a sale. The tire place was within walking distance of the department store so we set off after we got tired of sitting and reading while we waited for the van to be serviced.

Not only were they having an awesome sale... they were taking an additional 25 percent off already marked down prices.

This is what Amber bought...

These $14 shirts were bought for $4.19 a piece. I bought two and Amber gave me one. And, if you look very hard in the right lower corner of the picture there's a plaid skort that she bout me. It was $30 and she got it for $7.79.

These $10 heart pendants were 58 cents each! Yup, you read that right. That's a deal not to be passed up. So we both had to get one.

I thought Amber's dad would get a kick out of this shirt since he's from Texas so she's gonna wear it the next time she sees him. It was $22 and she got it for $5.99.

This cute little screen tee was $18 and she paid $5.39.

Although you can't tell from this picture that's a cute little summer, halter dress on the right that was originally $70. She bought it for $17.99. And on the left is an extremely cute double tank top. It was $26, I think, and she got it for $7.19.

So, she scored all of that for $61.56. Good deals, huh? Amber looks beautiful in the things she bought for herself and she's such a good, sweet girl to treat her mommy.


Win Johnson's baby products

Ribbon Rock Star is having a fabulous Johnson's Giveaway. One winner will receive a basket full of Johnson's bath products and lotions.

Pop on over and enter this great giveaway. All you have to do is comment to win and you're in there! Of course, I'm going to win, but you can try! LOL!

Good luck. ;-)

Saturday = up, down, side-to-side

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I really don't remember the first half of the day although I know I slept late, got on the computer to do some work and later went out to spend the afternoon and evening with Amber. All of that is the up side of the day.

We left the house around 7 to go to a local Wal-Mart to have a tire put on my van. I drop the van off and we browse around the store to get a couple of things. I needed some ant traps (I'm gonna go crazy if they don't get out of my bathroom!) and facial moisturizer and Amber wanted a photo album and ended up getting some weird wristband bug repellent thingies to wear to work. Remember, she's a youth counselor at a YMCA nearby and they do canoeing, hiking, swimming and all kinds of outdoor activities.

We weren't strolling around Wal-Mart for 10 minutes before I hear my name called (incorrectly!) over the loud speaker. I knew they couldn't be done, but I didn't think there would be a big problem. I get there and they tell me they can't put the tire on because I'm missing a lug thing and it's their policy not to replace tires when those are missing.

I was so irritated because I had waited until the end of the day to get this done and all other places where closed. I felt like I was running out of time to get the tire replaced because all of my tires were showing the metal and the tread was just about completely gone. (Yes, I know that's unsafe but there's only so much you can do with so little money. Thankfully, my BFF in MD has been given me money to get a new tire every two weeks. And I have one to go!)

That was the down.

I called to let him (the BFF) know what happened and he told me not to worry, enjoy my evening and I could get the tire the next day. Okay, so I'm back on the up side.

On the way to Wal-Mart Amber told me she had a coupon for Ulta: $5 off a purchase of $10 or more and she'd like to use it. (Hey, it's her money and it was a good deal!) So we headed off to Ulta, which is in the same Pavilion as Wal-Mart.

In order to feel like she got a lot of stuff for $10 she decided to search for sales and clearance items. This is everything she got: (Rimmel Volume Boost Liquid Lip Parade; Ulta Flirty Eye Shadow; four Befine Warming Clay Mask packs, which we're going to try tonight; Body & Earth Vanilla Sugar Body Wash and the Body Lotion)

For a grand total of $6.58 after the $5 coupon. Not bad, huh?

Here I am modeling the lip gloss Amber got for me. I'm still trying to talk her out of that Vanilla Sugar body lotion and body wash since I picked it out for her! LOL.

We were hungry when we left Ulta so we went to Ruby Tuesdays. This was after much back and forth debate about where we were going to eat. I enjoyed the salad bar and the chicken chili and Amber had a pasta and shrimp dish. Both were really, really good and - best of all - we stuck to our budget.

When we left Ruby Tuesdays Amber wanted to drive around to see what shops were open. The only place we saw that was still open, and that we wanted to investigate, was Books-A-Million. Both of us are gigantic book fans and avid readers... we love to browse bookstores and had never been in this one.

After we drool over the journals (I have weird addictions), we see they are having a great sale on paperbacks. There were books that said 5 for 4 and some that said 3 for 2. I start to get excited!

Five books for $4... now that's what I call a deal. So, I say to Amber, "Let's share some books!"

Then I talk her into get three books for $2. I mean, you can't beat that, right? So, we're grabbing books and trying to decide what we want to get.

We take our goods up to the register at the coffee counter where Amber decides to treat us to low cal fraps. The cashier, who looked and sounded all too ready to go home, rang up the books to a grand total of $73 and some change.


Seems as though my brain doesn't work after 10 o'clock and neither do my eyes. Did you catch that? The stickers on the books didn't say 5 for $4 or 3 for $2 - they said 5 for 4 and 3 for 2. Get five books for the price of four and three books for the price of two!

Now in the past I would have been too embarrassed to say anything to the cashier and went on and paid for it even if I didn't have the money. Amber was paying for it and I was gonna give her the couple of dollars out of my purse cause I can cover $5!

"No, take those off," I tell the cashier.

"All of them?"

"Yup." I apologized and she went on and made the drinks.

That was a little down, but mostly some side to side as I shake my head at my stupidity.

(That's Amber waiting on the drinks.)

On the way home, after much laughter and talk about our book mishap, I decided to stop and get some gas so I wouldn't have to worry about doing that today. I drive the long way home because the gas is cheaper at Kroger if I use my Kroger Plus Card and there's only one Kroger gas station close to my house. Regularly gas is $4.05, but with my card I can get it for $3.95.

As we drive into the parking lot of Kroger I say to Amber, "Does the gas station close?"

"I don't know," she says. We talk about how most Kroger stores are open 24 hours, like the one up the street from our house, but we aren't sure about the one with the gas station.

"With our luck," I say, "they'll turn out the lights as soon as we pull up.

I pull up to the pump, get out of the car and the entire station goes dark! They turned off the lights! So, I rush to get gas before the pumps are turned off. (They do turn off pumps, don't they?)

Amber and I are laughing and giggling as I try to hurry. I scan my discount card, insert my debit card and quickly put the nozzle in my tank. Whew! I made it. All of that just to save 10 cents per gallon!

Well, at least the day ended on an "up" note. How was your weekend?

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