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

Friday, August 29, 2008

Take it to the Max

I don't know about you, but I don't get time to apply makeup everyday. If I get a chance to slather on a little lipgloss then I'm happy. Now that I've discovered Max Factor, however, I may have to take an extra five or 10 minutes in the morning to look my extra best.

Two things I like the best are mascara and lipcolor:

Max Factor has Lipfinity Longwear Lipcolor that lasts for up to 16 hours. Just apply the color, which goes on very smoothly, to clean lips then use the moisturizing topcoat for shine and comfort. The topcoat can be applied as needed
to refresh your shine.

Now I have to say, you should try their Lash Perfection Volume Couture Mascara. It works with the advanced iFX brush, which is designed to deliver volume and definition. I must admit I was a little skeptical until I put it on my sparse, short lashes. The result was lashes to be envious of. Believe me, I'll be fluttering my lashes for the rest of the day.

Max Factor has an extensive line of products in a variety of shades and colors so that you can choose the right combination for you. It's a great product that will take you from work to a night out on the town (or a family dinner outing).

Check out Maxfactor.com for special offers, sneak peeks and hot makeup tips. And remember to come back here because I plan on posting some pics of me in all my made up glory.

Don't forget: I'm a BzzAgent (I've told you about that before: here), but this is truly a brand that I love. I receive no monetary compensation for sharing this (or for being a BzzAgent), but I did get a few products to try out so that I could tell you about them.

If you're interested in having me review a product for you send an email to petulawrites @ yahoo.com (delete the spaces!).
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Purging files

I've never considered myself to be a hoarder, but I'm beginning to think I was wrong. I began cleaning out my business file drawers and discovered a couple surprises:

1. I can't remember the last time I opened the two drawers that are attached to my desk.
2. There were papers in there that dated back to 1998... it's possible earlier, but I haven't gotten that far yet.

For one, most of the correspondence and files I need are now kept electronically and everything in that cabinet I began filing when I started freelancing in 1996. And, if there's any reference material that I need it can be easily obtained on the Internet. Hmmm... maybe it's time for an office makeover.

Well, I don't have time for a makeover right now, but at least I can finish cleaning out the file drawers. Is your filing system outdated?
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Bloggers unite to help one of their own

I stumbled upon a devestating accident that happened to a well-known, much loved blogger and her husband. You can read more about it at 5 Minutes for Mom and follow the links. I didn't know Stephanie (Nie Nie) nor had I ever visited her blog before today, but she sounds like a wonderful person. I am sharing this with you to get the word out even more to help her and her husband who were both severly burned in a private plane crash that killed their pilot.

Take a moment to follow the link to 5 Minutes for Mom and read about this woman. There's an auction in progress as well as donations being made directly to the family to help with recovery and living expenses. This couple had four young children... let's continue to unite and make a difference in their lives.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cozy while traveling

When I travel I like to be comfortable. This means getting a pillow and blanket when I get on the plane as well as settling in with my book or magazine for a relaxing trip. Imagine my surprise when I found out that some airlines my not offer passengers blankets and pillows. The other shocker was that if they did give you a pillow or blanket then it was likely that they hadn't been cleaned.

There's a solution for this uncomfortable -- and unsanitary -- dilemma and that's the Cabin Cuddler. The Cabin Cuddler is the perfect travel blanket because it is compact and convenient to carry in its own tote bag that turns into a personal hygienic pillow case. It also comes with its own inflatable pillow and the blanket itself is contoured and large enough to cover your entire body right down to the patented pocket that will keep your feet warm. That's perfect for people like me who tend to get chilly on flights.

Cabin_cuddler

With this blanket you can travel comfortably without worrying about who used it before you and you don't even have to worry about toting a sweater or wearing clothes that will be too hot for your destination. You can travel comfortably and arrive ready for your new environment.

The next time I get on a plane I hope I have a Cabin Cuddler to take with me. With this blanket I know I'll be warm, comfortable and prepared.

Sponsored by Cabin Cuddler
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Lost accreditation

I received some disappointing news today. The school system that my kids attend has officially lost accreditation. I mentioned this to you briefly earlier this year (here and here). Although there is an appeals process, I am not hopeful that it will be reinstated because obviously they did not do what was necessary over the summer to hold onto the accreditation.

More than 2,000 students left the school system over the summer. My daughter said the number of students missing on the first day of school was really noticeable.

What does this mean for us?

I, like many other parents, can't afford to up and move or send my daughter to private school so she will have to stay where she is. If the appeal isn't won then it's most likely she will have to take additional admittance or placement tests to get into college and some institutions will choose not to accept students from a non-accredited area. Thankfully, due to a bill that was signed earlier this year, students graduating from this county will still be able to get their HOPE scholarships.

As if the senior year and college preparation isn't difficult enough, we now have to contend with this. SIGH
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Battling writer's nerves

Some of you may not know this about me (especially if you haven't read my bio), but I have been a writer and editor for almost 14 years. Now that the kiddies are all at their respective locations during the day I am even more committed to making my WAHM status successful. This freelance writer and editor is gonna make some moola.

Now that I've committed to that, I'll now tell you that I've been pretty productive the last couple of days with performing at least one potential money-making activity. Yeah, I do the busy work of business, but the actual writing for money activity is often low.

That brings me to my writing for money activity that I did yesterday: I tweaked an essay that I am going to submit to a local magazine. The essay, in my humble opinion, is really good. It's funny, easy to read and well written.

But I'm nervous about submitting it.

Even after all these years in the business, after all the magazine assignments I've written and submitted, the clients I've worked for and the experience I gained... I am still a nervous wreck. See, the problem is that I have very little success with the cold submissions. You know the ones where you have to query when you have an article idea or submit a piece -- like an essay -- for consideration.

Oh, it's so nerve wracking.

I've had a couple of poems published and I recall one (ONE!) article that was published as a result of a query letter. I'm more comfortable with having an editor give me an assignment or getting instruction from a client. I can be successful at that, but this cold submission stuff... I don't know.

The butterflies are fluttering and my head is starting to pound just thinking about it. Well, along with those nerves comes the procrastination and maybe that's what this post is starting to be.

Have I unknowingly let my nerves convince me to write a post instead of finishing and submitting the essay? But, I'm sure it was important to have a current post up, right?

Maybe not. I'm going to get up, stretch a little and put on some water to boil for tea. Then I'll sit down and do a final (okay, maybe semi-final) edit on my essay and commit to submitting it by the end of the day.

OMG! Wish me luck because I think my nerves are trying to convince me to go clean out the storage area instead of sitting at my desk and working. And then there are the images I'd like to find to accompany this post. ;-) Okay, okay... I'm getting to work. Shouldn't you to? Are you procrastinating from work by blog hopping? LOL. You're caught!

So, tell me, what are you about to work on?

UPDATE: I am not feeling too good about this writing thing right now... My essay was rejected. I guess it was really bad since it says they take about six weeks to respond and mine was rejected the very next day. BIG SIGH... oh well. Hopefully I can pick myself up over the weekend and put some more coals in the fire next week.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I am honored

Sandra has been busy passing out awards that were given to her and she was nice enough to reward me. It's quite an impressive list. Thanks, Sandra, for being so sweet.








Although I have quite a few blogging friends that I really love, I am only going to pass this on to one friend this time. She and I actually went to high school together and I was so surprised and happy to see that she's a blogger too. I love you Tina F.
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Simply touching...

I swiped this from This Side of Eternity. The only thing I can say about this video is that it left me speechless... and that's saying a lot. What I will say is that even I had lost sight of this.


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Who's your web host?

On the advice of one of my blogging buddies (another blogging momma like myself) and following along with a lot of others I've decided to reserve my own domain name. You'll have to wait to find out what it is because I am trying to figure out how to get everything switched over correctly. In the meantime, I wish I had known about Web Hosting Rating before I reserved my domain name and chose a web host.

Why?

Well, I'm glad you asked. I could have went right to Web Hosting Rating and read up on the reviews for the top 10 hosting providers. All the information is gathered in one area and their host rating system is based on customer satisfaction, affordability, reliability, uptime and technical support. It even includes reviews by real customers.

Another great thing about the site is the informational articles. There is one that gives tips on choosing your domain name. If you haven't chosen one already then I would recommend you read the article for a little help. If there's something else you're interested in reading about then be sure to browse around to see what's available.

There are so many resources on the Internet and I think this a good one for you to take advantage of when (and if) you decide to make the move to your own domain. Happy clicking.

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Wordless Wednesday

Summer memories

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Exactly @ 8

Today was Andre and Amareah's first day at headstart. I figure Amareah was really excited because she was awake before 5:30 a.m. Of course that put a kink in my plans to enjoy my coffee in quiet.

Amareah is excited about her first day of school... well, at least she was until we got to her classroom.


So after I dodged her questions, kept her off my lap and tried to finish reading a magazine I settled her in to watch cartoons (she wanted to eat breakfast at school) while I showered and dressed. The plan is to be out of the way for Amber who gets up around 6:30 and to make it to the headstart location on time by 8 a.m.

Since I have three little ones, plus myself, to get ready I got up at 5. After I'm dressed, I get Amareah dressed, we wake up Andre and he gets dressed then we wake up Anna to get her dressed. Amber, who overslept a little, gets up at 6:45 and by the time she's out of the shower everyone is ready to go.

Andre is chilling and excited about school. The baby, on the other hand, was not excited about her second day of daycare. She cried today when I dropped her off, but I am sure she will adjust. Aren't they all so cute? I know, I'm biased.

We all leave the house together and I arrive at headstart at 7:50. I unbuckle everyone and we stroll in. I'm feeling pretty good about being on time and getting everyone out of the house, but when I get to the first classroom to sign in one of the children the director says that if you don't have a note stating you have to be to work then you have to wait outside.

Excuse me?

He repeats what he said - adding that you can wait in your vehicle or stand outside. Despite my children's long faces we go stand outside of the building (luckily there was an overhang thingy because it's been raining for days now). I am thinking that if they say a program is from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. that they are starting at 8. No, you can not arrive before 8 without a note from your mommy... I mean, a note.

Okay, I think, don't complain just follow the stupid procedures... I mean, the rules. Tomorrow I will feed the children myself (they still hadn't started breakfast by 8:15) and leave at the last minute so my children aren't stuck waiting in the car and hungry.

On the bright side... I.AM.HERE.ALONE and it's magical.

I hope you're having a good and productive day.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Taking care of family & friends

I've been thinking a lot about my BFF in MD whose dad was taken to the hospital a few days ago. The dad's heart rate was really low and it was suspected that he is experiencing kidney failure (possibly as a result of his diabetes). Well, they put in a pacemaker yesterday to regular his heart rate, which has definitely improved, and I'm waiting to hear if they did the MRI today.

My friend, who I love very dearly and whom I have known for about 22 years, is struggling with all the feelings that go along with a parent being incapacitated or in a fragile position. He is trying to be strong for his family, but his inner struggle of emotions is waging.



There isn't much I can do all the way down here in GA, but I am here for him for whatever he needs. A shoulder. An ear. Oh, whatever long distance support I can offer. It hurts when you see close friends and family suffer, but it's something we must endure.

I think it's how we deal with it that matters in the end. It's how we take care of others, how we share our love and how we support that will be remembered and appreciated.



I want my friend to know (and I think he already knows) that I have unending support and love for him... so if there's anything he should need I will be here - and there. Today, will you join me in sending warm wishes, {{{hugs}}}, love and prayers to MD for my friend and his family?

Take care, FB!
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Are you gonna join the conversation?

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Productive Monday

I am feeling really good about this day. It's only 11:15 a.m. and I've already gotten so much accomplished.

I got up around 6:30 a.m. to make it to my physical therapy appointment at the veteran's hospital. I was a little late (rush hour traffic is a b*tch!), but the appointment went well. The nice therapist, Marci, told me the exercises to do in order to keep my muscles strengthened. She explained that due to the fibromyalgia I will favor or tense muscles, which could cause me to become weaker.

So, I've been instructed to work with an exercise band, which she gave me; ride at least 20 minutes on my bike each day, use a heating pad for temporary relief and relaxation and see the occupational therapist to assist with the weakness in my hands and to help with everyday activities.

After my appointment, I stopped at Georgia State University to drop off the recorder I found in my office as I was cleaning over the weekend. More than one year ago I used to record textbooks to tape for the visually impaired through the student services at GSU. I had called a few times to inquire about doing it again, but no one got back to me.

When I took the recorder in the office had moved, but I found out that they don't do that anymore. She saw the recorder and said, "You've had that for awhile!" She also explained that the Office of Disability Services had taken over the program.

I thanked her and left, but made a note to contact that office to see if I could still perform that service. With all the children out of the house I'll now have time and quiet to record.

After leaving GSU, I dropped off some giveaways to Goodwill, stopped to get the money for the baby to go to daycare tomorrow and put some gas in the van.

Now, I'm waiting for the woman who is going to take the magazines that I posted on Freecycle. Mine and my daughter's addiction to magazines caused us to collect four boxes of magazines. Easily more than 100, but at least most of them were free and we're able to pass them on instead of throwing them away.

I'd say it's been a pretty productive day, wouldn't you? So, how has your Monday been?
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Chores I hate meme

It's been quite some time since Tina tagged me with this meme, but at least I've finally gotten around to it. I don't think there are any chores that I like, but I'll try to stick to the ones I actually hate.

According to the rules, I have to list the household chores I hate and why I hate them. Then copy the image provided and tag as many people as you want. Add your blog(s) links to the domesticated divas linky love (below) and leave a comment at Stripe and Yellow to be added to the master list.


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The chores I absolutely hate are...
Washing dishes - I think I dislike this chore so much because it's the one I had to do as a teenager and it's a never-ending chore. Now my teenager does the dishes. Oh my, I better get a dishwasher by the time she graduates for high school!
Doing laundry (including ironing) - This is another never-ending chore and I don't like things that I can't finish. Although I sometimes have weeks where everything gets washed and put away; I most often have weeks where I am searching for items among all the clean clothes.
Cleaning the bathroom - Does this really require explanation? Let's say it together: "Ewww!"

I'm not gonna tag anyone this time, but I am sure you'll want to participate and vent about your most hated chores. Have fun!
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Out the door they go

The beginning of this school year elicits a lot of emotions for me. It's my teenagers last year of high school, my two middle children's first year of an organized classroom and the baby's first time in daycare on a regular basis. On August 7th, my oldest baby headed off to the 12th grade, the other two will begin headstart some time this week and the baby will make new friends at in-home daycare.

(Here's Amber getting ready for her first day of her senior year.)

A couple of years ago I thought about this year and I got a little teary-eyed. It seems like yesterday that my oldest daughter went to pre-K wearing tights, jumpers and modeling cute braided hairstyles. I can even remember the ponytails she wore to middle school. Now, I look at her with her colored, blond/light brown bob, her stylist jeans and lugging heavy, college-level books and I marvel at the young lady that has grown-up right before my eyes.

I'm not teary anymore... I am amazed. In awe of this young adult and the excitement that comes with experiencing the last year of high school. I intend to make the most of it as we continue to enjoy our closeness and the ups and downs of this wonderful and expensive time.

(That's Amareah & Andre modeling their backpacks.)

However, when May rolls around I can't promise that I won't be balling like a baby as I watch her receive her diploma. We'll have made it - reached a goal! Then I'm sure my attention will be diverted as two of my other children reach their milestones: writing their names without assistance, counting pass 20, coloring within the lines and demanding that they know everything and can do it all "by myself." I'm also sure my baby will run to play with her friends when she's dropped off without a backward glance to me.

I'll start the whole process again: braids, tights, jumpers, ponytails, Parent/Teacher Association, school plays then independent children who'll dress themselves in the stylish jeans and lug the books their sister did before them. It makes me realize that this is one of the things that parenting is all about: helping them reach milestones, dressing for the occasion (right down to their underwear!) and enjoying the time as we're doing it.

The first day of school, and everything that comes with it, floods me with memories of the past and expectations of the future. Indeed, this will be the most memorable school year yet.
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