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

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Researching car purchases

If I were going to purchase a new car I would definitely have to do my research ahead of time. I mean, with the gas prices -- or lack of gas! -- the way it is here in good ole Georgia there is really a lot to think about before making a car purchase. That is why it is a good idea to check out the reviews about vehicles you may be considering. I recently read some dodge magnum reviews that gave me a good idea of what I need to look for in a review when contemplating my own purchase.

The review for the dodge magnum pointed out the good and bad features of the vehicle, and offers a vast of the automobile as a whole. For instance, the reviewer said, "The 2008 Dodge Magnum has styling that will appeal to those longing for the good old days of big family station wagons--but the interior leaves something to be desired." That is the type of honest review a consumer needs.

Even though I do not plan on making my new car purchase anytime in the near future, it’s comforting to know that I will be armed with all the information I need. Before you make this type of purchase make sure you do your homework as well. Being prepared is empowering, don’t you think?

A shoe meme

The other day Renee posed the question (after one of her blogging friends tagged her): "What do your shoes say about you?" I decided to play along and the rules said to show your top 10 pair of shoes.

These green shoes are hot! Well... at least I think so. They look good with skirts and jeans and I always get compliments on them.

I call the next ones "my sexy red shoes."... Red just happens to be my favorite color. They really look good on and they're comfortable too. I actually bought these during my last pregnancy because they were on sale. It took a whole lot of time before I could wear them, but when I finally put them on I was extremely please. I am surprised that I've found heels that I don't mind wearing... even the green ones above are comfortable.

Another comfortable pair, but oh so cute. I wore this black and cream pair last year on my 39th birthday.

I got these sexy black and white ones just the other day. Believe it or not they were less than $10. Talk about doing a little "happy to find hot shoes on sale" jig.

These are my comfy standbys. I throw these Champions on when I don't feel like wearing heels and/or when my toenails are looking busted.

The white ones are sexy and simple. Oh, and can you guess what I'm going to say next? They're comfortable!

Everyone has to have a pair of sneakers that they love (I actually have two pair I love). They are great for exercising, but I still wear them to run errands even though Stacy and Clinton on TLC's What Not To Wear say that the only thing these are for are for exercising!

Oh! These are my new favorites when it comes to comfy throw on shoes. These make me feel like I'm walking around with slippers on. They're casual and cute. And, of course, I got a great deal. Like $5, I think.

These are my everyday shoes. I wear them with jeans and skirts... they kind of give you the hot mama on the go look.

I've only worn these once (on my 40th birthday actually) and they aren't that comfortable, but I think they are cute and stylish. I didn't feel like wearing heels that day and I didn't have anything else to match my outfit.

I find these shoes choices to be quite interesting because not too long ago had you looked at my shoe collection you would have found about 10 different pair of black shoes. I guess I can't take complete credit for my love of color because it was my soon-to-be ex who turned me on to a variety of color. He taught me and showed me how great I looked in different colors and I started to get the confidence that I could pull them off. How ya like me now?

Now you can see a little more of my personality from my shoe choices, so now you have to tell me: What do your shoe choices say about you?


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Comparison shopping

In today's economy, making smart money moves is essential regardless of whether you're making a purchase, taking out a loan or securing credit. If you have to apply for a credit card then it's best to make a choice after you have done all of your research. Now don't be daunted by the research because there are actually easy ways to compare credit card rates and apply without the task becoming overwhelming.

I discovered, on CardHub, an easy way to compare credit card companies. Using their credit card search tool you can set your preferences (for instance, whether you have good, fair or bad credit and what card categories (secured or unsecured) and networks (Visa or MasterCard) that you want.

The search tool does all the work. Once you check out all the terms of the credit cards like the APR and annual membership fees you can do a side-by-side comparison of at least two cards to assist in your final decision. With this search tool you'll have all the information necessary to make a smart decision.

My Oprah moment

Renee has challenged us moms -- and women in general -- to take a moment to share a picture of ourselves in "all of our glory." A picture that we love. I was inspired by her picture to take a little extra time today to put on my face and I am quite pleased with the results.

This is what Renee calls my Forty and Fabulous look and I think I'm going to have to agree...

Like Oprah I am embracing who I am. It's funny how reaching the age of 40 has changed my perspective and outlook. It is almost as if a switch was flicked and I am so feeling who I am. Every woman I've ever seen on The Oprah Show talking about coming into themselves, who they are, what they want to be and making the improvements to be the way they want without apologies is absolutely right. If you haven't reached 40 yet just know that you have something to look forward to. Forty and fabulous is a mindset ... an outlook and it's one I'm happy to have reached.

Let the celebration continue.

Wordless Wednesday - For the love of reading


Who's calling me?

I'm sure you know the feeling I get when I see a number on my caller ID that I don't recognize: , who's calling me now? Well, if you often feel the same way and wonder who is on the other end of an unknown phone number you can use reverse phone directory to find out who's calling.

You can use reverse phone lookups to trace telemarketers that won't leave you alone, annoying prank callers or anyone who's number isn't identified including missed calls. And, one of the best things is, you can do it without the person knowing you're tracing them. It's 100 percent confidential.

I did a search myself and received the state, county, city, type of phone line (i.e., cell or land line) and the phone carrier. For the numbers I searched I didn't get a name or address with the initial search, but it was easy enough to obtain by clicking through to the paid reverse phone directory. When I did I was surprised how inexpensive it was to get a full phone report.

The service is available for telephone and cell phone numbers in the United States and Canada so if you're tired of getting unidentified calls then check out the reverse phone directory. You'll be glad you did.

Wedgie update

A few days ago I told you about Hanes' Wedgie-Free Wednesdays and how I won a pair of the wedgie-free panties. I was surprised at how many people wanted me to let them know if the panties are really wedgie free. Well, I'm happy to report that me -- and my booty -- are quite happy. So far, so good... no wedgies in sight. Or, huh, out of sight. :D

Head on over to and see if you can score yourself a pair of free skivvies. Good luck.

Before, after & during

My health and weight loss journal

You've so kindly been following my weight loss for the past nine to 10 months and recently I promised that I would show you some before and after pictures. And although I'm a little late fullfilling my promise, I'm going to do that today. Not before I tell you that I gained about two pounds over the past week or so. (NO! I am not going to change my weight-loss ticker!) That's what I get for celebrating my 40th birthday for the entire month.

Now I have to get back on the bandwagon and -- to brag just a little bit -- I rode my exercise bike for 15 minutes this morning. (See, Sandra, I don't just use it for holding papers. LOL) Actually I can't really take total credit for getting on the bike because I was on the phone with my BFF Frankie and he convinced me to do it through my whining and complaining. The fun part of it was watching 15 minutes of How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Tomorrow I'm hoping that the call of watching some more of the movie will prompt me into getting back on the bike. That and the fact that it causes me to dream about my visits to Jamaica and how I wouldn't mind going again and getting my groove back.

Oops! I digress.

Okay, without further ado (cliche enough for ya?)... here are the pics:

This is last summer - around June or July. See how tiny Anna is and how porky I am?

This was in September 2007. This was actually on my 39th birthday.

I'm guessing October or November 2007. Chubby cheeks on me and the baby!

Yes, I know, I am dragging this out forever! I am just amazed at the changes I see. Okay... let's get into how I'm looking this year:

I think this is May or June of this year. Oh look, I have a waist!

And the moment you've all been waiting for... (yes, insert drum roll here) This is how I look today (yup, this is actually today!):

I think I am one hot looking, 40-year-old blogging mama! Just ignore the array of products on my dresser. I didn't put that there... uh, really, I didn't!

So... can you tell I've lost a few pounds? 19 (okay, okay minus 2) pounds! A little more work to do and I'll really have a big head. :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sweet recognition

It's always nice when fellow bloggers recognize each other with awards. I received the cutest little award from both Pinay Jade and Tina from It's Nap Time. It seems extra special coming from two people, doesn't it?

I am passing this on to Tina F., Tina and Tammy - my best blogging buddies every! :D (Hey, just because I didn't give it to you doesn't mean I don't love you early... it's just been awhile since I told these three how much I adore them!)

More to gab about


Innovative weight-loss solution

I've found that one of the main keys to losing weight is maintaining control. Whether it's control over when and how you exercise and what you consume to how large your portions are; your ability to be in charge can mean the difference between weight-loss success and failure.

Sometimes, however, you can give up a little control and still have marked success and that's what I've discovered with The Diet Plate®, which is a complete weight management system. It's "the plate that counts the calories, so you don't have to."

I must admit: When I was first contacted about this product I was a little skeptical, but after reading more about it I found out that this could be just the thing that some people need to assist them with portion control. In fact, the company claims that this is "portion control made easy."

Let me tell you a little more about The Diet Plate® using information that came directly from their catalog:

"This plate provides a practical and visual weight loss programme for you to follow, a product that you will use every day instead of reading from a traditional diet sheet, counting calories, fat grams or allotting points to the food. ... [the] system delineates portion sections directly on the plate for protein, starchy carbohydrates, meat, sauces and cheese. These specifically calculated geometric areas represent a defined volume of food. ... it's the weight, or how much food we consume that has so much influence on whether we gain or lose weight."

There are also claims that this plate can help those with certain medical conditions:

"[It] is clinically proven to control diabetes type 2, reduce weight and maintain weight." I was also informed that trials are underway at the University of Maryland to see how this can assist with breast cancer sufferers (the company proudly supports The Pink Ribbon Ball and the Breast Cancer Campaign) and in New Zealand they are studying whether it can help people with learning disabilities.

I found the concept to be interesting and worth a try. The system comes with an easy-to-understand pamphlet that explains how to use the system. Check out where you can find out more information about The Diet Plate, which comes in the female or male versions and there's even The Magic Plate for your child(ren).

Where is he?

When I heard about the movie The Bucket List (starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) I began to write my own list of things I want to do before I die. One of the things on my list is finding one of my brothers. I have a brother out there that I have never met and I have tried off and on for quite a few years to locate him.

Now all I have to do is use the People Locator Service and for a small fee I'll be able to get more information about my brother's whereabouts. The site is easy to use and provides information very quickly. Just think, in a matter of minutes you can find someone you've been looking for too.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Free Hanes

Have you been participating in WedgieFree Wednesday? Well, if I were you I would 'cause I just scored some free panties today. (That's one of the things that was in my mailbox!)

I can't remember whose blog I originally saw this on, but you can go to every Wednesday and enter to win. I remember the blogger who posted this said she had gotten a couple of pair.

One shouldn't be this excited about some panties, but hey free is free and a girl can't have too many pair... right?

Monday Muse

I thought I would join the Maternal Spark's Monday Muse... You can read the rules here. Today, my muse is a quote:

"You can’t just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream, you’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself." Diana Ross

My First Baby Meme

Sandra tagged with this meme and I decided to get it done right away since we all know how I forget about these things. :D

This is all about you and your first baby...make sure to comment here after you complete.

1. Were you married at the time? Uh... no.
2. What were your reactions when you found out you were pregnant? It was a mixture of pleasure and OMGness.
3. How old were you? 21 when I found out.
4. How did you find out you were pregnant? I'll never forget this: I was at the GYN for another reason and as she was writing me a prescription I started telling her how I was feeling. She just kept saying, "Mmm hmmm, mmm hmmm..." Then I said, "And my breasts are so sore!" She looked up slowly and said, "Could you be pregnant?" I hemmed and hawed for a few minutes before she suggested a pregnancy (after she tore up the prescription!).
5. Who did you tell first? I think I told my best friend first.
6. Did you want to find out the sex? No, at the time when I was in the military they didn't do ultrasounds unless medically necessary.
7. Due date? June 27th, I think.
8. Did you deliver early or late? She was born on the 23rd.
9. Did you have morning sickness? No, just nauseous.
10. What did you crave? Applesauce - I had it with every meal! Liver and cheese (but not together).
11. Who irritated you the most? My co-workers.
12. What was your first child's sex? Girl
13. How many pounds did you gain throughout the pregnancy? 19
14. Did you have any complications during your pregnancy? Nope.
15. Where did you give birth? On an Air Force base in Rome, NY.
16. How many hours were you in labor? About 24. Four hours of pushing.
17. Who drove you to the hospital? My best friend.
18.Who watched? My best friend/the baby's godfather.
19. Was it vaginal or c-section? Vaginal.
20. Did you take medicine to ease the pain? Nope, but the back labor was killer!
21. How much did your child weigh? 6 lbs 3 oz
22. What did you name him/her? Amber
23. How old is your first born today? 17 and I can't believe it!

I'll be tagging: Whoever feels like doing it. (Yes, I'm being lazy!) This was actually fun - it brought back a lot of memories.

3's about me

Tina F tagged me with this sometime last week and I am just now getting around to doing it. (Tina from Mummy Diaries: you better not be laughing at me because I forgot to do it!)

Three jobs I've had in my life: fast food worker, toll collector, associate editor

Three places I have lived: Maryland, Delaware, New York

Three shows that I watch: Grey' Anatomy, Heroes, Dr. Phil

Three places I have been: Hawaii, Jamaica, Florida

Three places I have been this week: Riverdale, Morrow, Fayetteville (all local towns)

Three people who e-mail me regularly: Lewis, Frankie, Amber

Three of my favorite foods: Chocolate (yes, that's a food!), curry chicken, homemade macaroni and cheese

Three places I'd rather be right now: In my bed, on the beach, with my mom

Three things I am looking forward to this year: spending time with my kids, travelling, making more money

I don't really know what the rules are for this meme, but I am sure I'm supposed to tag someone. I'll let y'all off the hook this time and just say: Whoever feels like doing this one should do it. Afterwards, come back here and let me know that you posted it.

Get it moving

Since I am going through a divorce (I told you that, right?) I have been packing up my husband’s belongings and putting them in the storage area that is off of my home office. I don’t know how or when he plans on getting them, but I am hoping that he will come very soon with a Moving Company that can do a quick job of getting everything loaded and hauled away.

If he doesn’t have anywhere to put his things then he should choose a company that stores, moves and unpacks like Humboldt Storage and Moving. This company has a state-of-the-art storage facility that is climate-controlled with a network of security cameras, which means everything will be safe.

When you’re moving you shouldn’t just trust your belongings with any old company – you want a company that has experienced drivers and movers who will take their time and provide the best moving service possible. The few times I have moved I have always done it myself, but I hope to use a professional moving company the next time because it makes things a little easier and frees up time to wrap up some of the other loose ends.

Right now I am anxious to wrap up this moving situation, I just can not wait to finish packing my husband’s things so I can get everything organized and in place. If you see him, let him know about the moving company, okay? :D

Missing in action

If you've been by here lately then you know I haven't been around in a few days and I also haven't been blog hopping, dropping or commenting. For the last two days I've been feeling under the weather (actually it feels like I'm under a moving train) and before that my BFF was still visiting from out of town. I spent some time hanging out and having fun, which is a pleasant change of pace.

I hope you'll forgive my absence.

Now I am trying to get back into the swing of regular daily activity and not only am I in pain (not sure if it's the fibro, a virus or a combination), but I am so drowsy I can hardly keep my eyes open. However, as all you moms and women know, that doesn't mean I can just lay down and rest. I have to get something done, regardless of how small, so that everything doesn't come to a standstill and I end up stressing myself out trying to do five days worth of tasks in two days.

So as I plug away over here, please send me some good vibes and energy to get through the day. Oh, and if you're in the area, stop by and fix me a bowl of soup. Either way I'll see you at your place (blog) or mine.

Have a good week.
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