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

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Staying safe

Sometimes when you have to reduce your expenses some of the things that you feel keep you safe and secure have to go. Like your home security system. I've been thinking lately that the engraved, solid wood walking stick that I keep next to my bed or the machete that I got in Jamaica probably should be supplemented by a wireless security system.

With a security system that's linked to and monitored by a security service, I would have a little more peace of mind that it will work when I really need it. There are a variety of different security packages that I could choose from at A copper package that includes a talking control panel, one motion detector, three entry points, internal siren and door chime, battery backup ('cause what would you do without power?), one-button arming, three window decals and a yard sign.

There are also silver, bronze, gold and platinum packages that each include additional amenities at a great price. If I were choosing I would probably get the gold package that includes a talking control panel, 12 entry points, one motion detector, internal siren and door chime, battery backup, one button arming, three window decals and a yard sign. One of the great things about this package for me is that I can put an entry point sensory on each window/door access of the house.

If you're in the market for a security system call 877-470-2751 toll free. When you call that number you get two key chain remotes with your order.



One of the most frustrating things in the world is to be extremely tired and sleepy, but not be able to go to sleep. A little while ago I was laying down resting my eyes and waiting for sleep to overtake me. I laid there... and laid there... and laid there.


That's why I am here.


I feel tired from my toes to the tips of my hair, but sleep still evades me. Oh well, maybe I'll be able to go to bed on time and get a good night's rest.

What do you do when you can't sleep?

Try some Healthy Coffee

Several years ago I came across a product that was touted as being a healthy coffee. I was intrigued to test it out because I had been told that I should cut down on my caffeine intake and the coffee, which has over 150 different antioxidants per cup and 200 total active nutrients, has natural benefits to it.

I tried it and I loved it.

It contains Ganoderma (Reishi Mushroom) and that is considered the secret ingredient, which assists in balancing the body's pH. Although I'm sure everyone will find different benefits in the gano coffee, it energized me throughout the day.

If you're a coffee drinker or a lover a good beverages, try this healthy coffee today.

What do you know?...

I found a note in my purse that simply said, "sodium lauryl sulfate." I couldn't remember why I wrote it down, but since I had I performed an Internet search to see what it is.

Here is some of what I found on "This inexpensive detergent is commonly used in cosmetic cleansers, hair shampoos, bath and shower gels, bubble baths, etc. - It is probably the most dangerous ingredient used in skin and hair-care products. In the cleaning industry SLS is used in garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers, car-wash soaps, etc. It is very corrosive and readily attacks greasy surfaces."

What do you know about this chemical? And, if you read something like this regarding chemicals and things that are in everyday products, do you believe it and change your buying habits or products?

Sometimes I may change and other times I may not. It's difficult to determine what the long-term affects are going to be when it's something you've already been using for a long time and also it's sometimes difficult to believe because they're always studies, reports, etc., being published about stuff like this.

What's your take?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Getting rid of fire ants

I always really look forward to the approach of warm weather, but there's one thing that I don't like that it brings: Bugs, bugs, bugs. There are always a million of them, but it's the ones that can sting you that are the problem. Almost every year I get these huge fire ant mounds in my yard and I'm always looking of a way to get rid of them before my children can go outside to play.

Not only do I want the ants gone, but I have to make sure that whatever is used on the lawn doesn't harm the children. So instead of using chemicals I'm going to get rid of fire ants naturally. Not only is it good for the environment, but then I don't have to worry about my children's health either.

T.G.I. freaking F.

Please excuse this totally random and possibly confusing Off My Chest moment...

Thank God it's Friday! A tired and over-used statement, but true nonetheless. All week I have been looking forward to today. I have some things planned that I think I'll enjoy, I plan on relaxing a lot too and, on top of that, it's the younger children's weekend to go with their dad. So, I was hip hip hooraying all over the place.

Until this evening.

My plans are still on (Although the time for the kids to leave seems sooo far away), but a thought and a being is interrupting the pleasantness going on in my mind. I guess I could say two beings, but I'm not giving the other one any thought. An-t-way, you know how you say something you're going to do is a bad idea? You know how you warn the person in the beginning that it's a bad idea? Then, despite everything you said, it goes wrong and you're feeling like a heel.

I just want to say I told you so. But I won't. I want to yell, be mad and scream, but I won't. Well, I'll be a little mad. Then it'll go away then I have to decide what I want to do and how I want to proceed.

It's isn't supposed to be like this, but when you bring something on yourself you have to deal with it. SIGH... unfortunately. I so prefer avoidance.

Now that I've totally went off on a tangent I'll try to remove this from my mind for the time being and hope that the main reason behind my dismay doesn't end a long chapter. And I also hope that the life-changing reason behind my dismay is fixed in the near future because I can't go on like this.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Professional video production

Do you have a message you're trying to deliver, a product you're trying to sell or a video presentation to prepare? Whatever you need to do make sure you rely on a company that offers professional video production services.

Richter Studios, Chicago's Video Production, Interactive and Presentation Services Company, is a superb choice for video production services. Today's market is rather competitive and you want your brand, product or service to represented in a top-notch manner.

This company will produce your training, trade show, recruitment, marketing, sales, television, promotional or Corporate Video. They'll document your process and procedures using actors, lighting and studio in any location using any format.

They can take your footage and touch it up using their world-class editors and animators. They're using the latest effects and technology including 2D graphics, 3D animations, text treatments, logo animations, stylized effects and animation wizardry.

Now that's the kind of power you want behind what you're presenting. Don't take my word for it, check out the portfolio and see for yourself. You'll be impressed. I know was.

What was I thinking?

I don't know what happened, but I've gotten behind on my sleep and my to-do list. It always happens when I have a weekend planned where I know I won't get much work done - housework or work work.

Then, in all my mommy brilliance, I told the kids they could paint. On top of that I had to braid hair (like you saw in my Wordless Wednesday post) and they got to watch movies today so I could braid in peace. I had a couple of blogging assignments and one I still need to get to.

No, I didn't put paper down to paint, I didn't supervise and I put them in front of the office door so I could pay attention and work. It worked out pretty well except for the part where I had to clean up. (I also took it as an opportunity to clean the floor... well, partially because I only cleaned it really good in that one area.)

It didn't take too long. Amareah, the 4 year old, helped the most... BUT I'm not finished with braiding hair, I still haven't done the post, it's time to pick up the toddler from daycare and the painting supplies are still in the bathroom sink "soaking."

I'm not going to lose hope though... I'm sure that if I don't add anything else to my list for the rest of the week I can get everything done. Keeping my fingers crossed.

UPDATE: I didn't finish this post before I had to leave and get the toddler. The hair is mostly done - still some beads need to be added in the back.

Wordless Wednesday: Hair styling break

There's more Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom. Also check out my Wordless Wednesday post from last week. If you don't already you should join in the WW fun.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dreaming of designer denim

Get ready... I'm about to talk about one of my "fantasies" again. Normally I tell you about the kind of house I would like or how I envision my dream house will be decorated, but today I am going to tell you what kind of designer, high quality denim I would get if I could splurge. You know, if money weren't an issue.

Armani Exchange, which is the youthful label created by Italian designer and entrepreneur Giorgio Armani, has "New Premium Denim starting at $98." You can shop by fit (skinny, boot or straight) or wash (dark, light or destruction). I tend to prefer dark wash straight jeans because I think they look a little classier and can be dressed up or down. Although I think they look pretty hot on me, I also know boot cut tend to look even better because of the width of my hips.

I put together a particularly cute outfit in the Armani Exchange virtual dressing room: A Moto Rhinestone Top in azul (that's on sale for $28) and a pair of A|X pocket boot cut jeans in indigo that are $125. By the way: The shirt also comes in white, but I like a little color in my outfits.

Scoring a pair of these jeans may not be just a dream after all. Armani Exchange is having a "Test AX contest" to win a pair of denim every day during this month (July). All you have to do is text A|X with the keyword "DENIM2" to ARMANI at 276264 to be entered to win.

And here's a great offer you can take advantage of right now: If you purchase a full priced pair of denim from Armani Exchange, either in a store or online, between July 7th and July 18th you will receive a $20 gift card off your next purchase of $100 or more. The gift card will be valid from July 30th to August 15th.

That is a great deal if you're able to splurge right now. I'll just fantasize about wearing my cute, designer outfit and maybe I'll win a pair of those jeans. Be sure to enter to win too.


Excessive weight loss

My health and weight loss journal

After more than eight years I've finally reached the weight - give or take a pound or two - that I was before I got married and had three more children. (My oldest daughter was about 10 when I got married.) I'm pretty pleased with my progress; starting out January 2008 at 199 pounds and now I'm at about 156ish. Around the weight I was when I met my soon-to-be ex.

Now this is the part that gets a little Off My Chest-ish:

I heard through the proverbial grapevine that someone said, "She's lost an excessive amount of weight." Are you kidding me?

I get back to a healthy weight for my height and I'm even criticized about that. Some people really need to mind their own business and get a life! They also - take note if you're reading this (you know who you are) - need to keep my name outta their mouth. I'm sure I can sue for defamation of character or something like that. Huff.

Okay, sorry, back to what I was saying...

So, I'm proud of myself (even though I wouldn't mind losing about five more pounds) and think I look much better than I did a year or so ago. I was looking at some pictures and I was a little chubby. This weight is healthier and I hope I can keep it off. Maintaining weight, I have discovered, is a lifestyle but - luckily - it's one I enjoy.

I'll have to track down the picture I saw to share with you at another time, my youngest child is screaming for my attention and I have to get everyone in the bed. To make up for my photo neglect, check out some of my older health and weight loss journals... there are a few that have pictures. :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Weave it in

This post sponsored by PayPerPost

I think I've had every hairstyle imaginable: cornrows, ponytails, Geri curl, dreadlocks, crochet braids, microbraids and any other braid you can think of. I've worn a wig, sported a 'fro and a puff, but I've never had weave.

From what I've learned over the years some hair that's used for weave is better than others. One of the best is Remy all natural hair. It's 100 percent human hair and you can find it at Luxury Locs.

The site seems to be currently under construction, but so far there's a good introduction to giving some thought to trying Remy hair. I think getting weave - especially when it's human hair - is a great way to give you own hair a rest, try out a style or cut you're not sure you want to commit to and put a little diversity in look. Hair can be used to enhance your style so go ahead and get a little creative.

Monday's Muse: Knowledge

I'm a nerd and proud of it. It's a common phrase we use around here to describe our love of books, thirst for knowledge and (hopefully) intelligence. My teenager was telling me that there are a new breed of nerds nowadays - stylish, cool, popular and outgoing. Gone are the stereotypical pocket protectors, high waters and taped glasses.

As a matter of fact, I'm often surprised - and pleased - at the guys and gals she points out that have straight A's or that aced a test. It's good to know that it's cool to be smart.

Given my love of all things nerdy, my oldest daughter was storing up some facts to share with me that she learned in her psychology class. Remember: She's away at college. I went to pick her up this past weekend and she said, "Do you know what a hypnic jerk is?"

I leaned closer, eyebrows raised: "Hip. knee. jerk?"

"No, hypnic jerk. H-y-p-n-i-c," she spelled, "jerk."

To her my face held a pleasingly puzzled look.

"Can't say as I do," I told her.

She explained that a hypnic jerk is that jolt-like movement that one often has when they've just fallen asleep. "Really? ..."


"It has a name?"



"Yup," she says quite pleased with herself. And, I must admit, I'm quite pleased with her as well.

She's not finished: "Do you know what a hippocampus is?"

Now, you can imagine here that I had the same response as before. Only this time I actually heard her correctly.

From what I can understand of this one, it's the area of the brain that controls long-term memory. When I was in college I really enjoyed psychology and I find that I still do.

Although it's quite nerdy of me when she asked me to quiz her on some terms in her textbook I got a little sidetracked by reading the chapter. Hey, I figure that there's always something one can learn, right? Never too old and all of that.

I told you that kind of long story because that's what's fueling my creativity this week: Knowledge. I'm even considering contacting someone at her college to see if I can get an honorary degree when she completes hers. I mean, the way this is going I'll have learned a little something too. I'll even take a test to prove it. (Yes, I'm grinning like a Cheshire cat.)

If you have something that's fueling your creativity this week then pop on over to Maternal Spark and participate in Monday's Muse. But, before you go, make sure you tell me what it is and what you think of mine. Thanks.:)

Dang nabit, dratted Internet

I sat down to my desk earlier to begin my daily work... updating, blogging, paid posts, email (sending, responding, checking), commenting, hopping, social networking. You know the routine. Contests and freebies. All the good stuff.

When I sign in my Internet connection is mysteriously lost. The router says I'm on. The modem says I'm on. My laptop says I'm on.

I call the cable/Internet company. They say I'm on. They're about to give instructions for changing the channel on the router (didn't even know that was possible) when I'm disconnected. SIGH. I refuse to call back, be put on hold and have to go through the same procedure with the next oh-so-nice, but not-helpful customer service worker.

I re-start. I'm restored.

Five minutes later... Mysteriously disconnected.

Well, drowsiness was overtaking me anyway so as I settle the two middle children in for a nap and take a little siesta myself. Now it's time to run out, get the toddler, do some errands and manage the nighttime chaos.

I feel a little rejuvenated (well, at least my eyes aren't drooping); although getting outta the bed was like pouring molasses. Hopefully, I'll be a little more productive this evening and the day won't be a total flop.

How was your Monday?
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