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

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Meet Michelle Obama

Remember when I told you about Amareah being First Lady Michelle Obama at the Black History Program at her school? I thought you would enjoy seeing how beautiful she looked that day. I must say that she's as sophisticated as Michelle... Unfortunately, I've unearthed a monster who now wants to wear her hair out everyday and wear makeup more often. Oh well, it was inevitable, huh?






I think she looks like Michelle, don't you?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend...
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Friday, February 26, 2010

March Group Financial Services

The March Group is a boutique investment banking firm that offers financial advisory services to middle market companies. They understand that companies are concerned about the confidentiality of their business when in the midst of selling. When the March Group meets with them they hold the information in the strictest of confidence and require representatives to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

The March Group provides "mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, restructuring, business plan development, company valuation, divestiture advisory, strategic growth consulting and advisory services. If this is a company you'd like to keep up with or follow then you can find the March Group on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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FBI Investigations?

It's been quite a few years since I've sat down and watched a television news broadcast. My boycott of the news began when I was pregnant with my first daughter almost 19 years ago. The reports of Desert Storm disturbed me so deeply (I was hormonal and enlisted!) that I had to stop watching. Over the past few months I've kept up with the news by reading Yahoo news blurbs, watching news previews and glimpsing a couple of clips here and there.

Most recently, I've started reading news stories online and came across an one that I thought you also may be interested in. While I was reading a story about Angel Food Ministries and their efforts to be able to see groceries to recipients online, there was information within the article that said the organization is being investigated by the FBI.

Interesting, huh?

I'm not going to restate the entire article here, but here the link to the AJC article. Leave a comment and let me know what you think about it after you read it.

I've purchased from Angel Food Ministries before and they have excellent choices for very low costs. My main reason for not buying from them more often is there are often several things per box that my family doesn't eat. If the majority is something we can use then I get it and share the rest with someone else.

Okay, off you go... get to reading. :)
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Sleepy ramblings

What is it about the desire to go to bed that keeps me up late at night? I know I'm not the only mom who proclaims (everyday!) that she's going to go to bed at a descent time because:
  1. She's exhausted and needs to get more sleep.
  2. She hasn't been feeling well.
  3. She has a busy day planned for the next day.
You're thought that before, haven't you? Thinking it and actually getting into bed on time is very rare. I think I've done that once or twice in the past six months.

I long for sleep. Sometimes I sit here and my eyes close. I have mastered the art of leaning my head back, closing my eyes (even dozing off sometimes) and continuing to type. There's always more to do, more I've committed to do or more I've forgotten to do. A lot of times it's all about making an extra dollar or two.

Here it is six minutes after midnight and I'm thinking about how fast I can make it to my bed and fall asleep. Especially since I have a lot to do in the morning. I really did need to go to bed early... Why do I even say it?
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Find your wellness

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of wellnessdaily.com. All opinions are 100% mine.


As most of you know, about two years ago I began my quest to a healthy body and lifestyle, which included losing weight and taking care of my medical issues. When I began the quest I weighed a little over 200 pounds. Surprised, huh? I now weigh about 160 and tend to fluctuate between there and 155. My goal is to get down to 150, tone, strengthen and increase my endurance. I know this will also help with my medical issues.

To do this I'm trying to increase my movement through yoga and walking, and I try to keep track of my calorie and fat intake. If you're trying to increase your wellness factor as well, what are you doing?

I've tried online tools in the past, but it tended to be too time consuming and difficult to keep up with, but there's WellnessDaily.com that I recently visited. The site is an online community that links to healthy living blogs, opinions as well as easy, nutritious recipes and videos on weight loss, exercise and mental wellness. Visitors to the site can create custom news feeds to receive information on what's most relevant to them.

If you'd like the support of an online community to get your personal wellness in order then join www.wellnessdaily.com. Once you sign up then you can enter the Twitter contest for a chance to win a WellnessDaily.com prize package, which will include coupons for a year-long supply of Jennie-O Turkey Store products and a one-year gym membership, valued at $1,250.

Get more information about the contest on the promotions page. Entering the contest? Use this for your tweet: “Enter to win $ towards a gym membership & JENNIE-O turkey products. Just follow @wellness_daily & RT this! http://bit.ly/tbd123.". The Twitter promotion runs from February 24th to March 10th.

Visit my sponsor: Attention health enthusiasts!
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Extra mini me

When Amber, my oldest, was a young child I would occasionally hear the name "Little Petula" when someone referred to her. A lot of people said she looked like me. (That's her 1st grade picture to the right.) Now that she's older we're always asked if we're sisters with comments like, "Y'all look just alike." We used to glance at each other with raised eyebrows then smile politely at whoever said it. We don't see the exact resemblance, but we get that others see our similarities.

When Anna was born, about 16 years later, a lot of people said, "She looks just like Amber!" I thought, 'Well, that must mean she looks like me.' It's amazing to see Amber and Anna's baby pictures because there are some where they look like the same baby. Andre and Amareah (the two middle children) often mix up Amber and Anna's pictures. I can't wait to put Anna's 1st grade picture next to Amber's.


That my girls, except Amareah regardless of how much I try to claim her, look like me is heartwarming... Well, that's the only word I can think of. There's something about having mini mes. (Andre, my only son, is a combo of me and his dad.)

Anna happens to be an extra mini me. When I say that I'm not referring to her looks; I'm referring to her size. All of my children have been petite (Amber's about 5'2"), but Anna wins the petite award.

(Don't you just love the model pose she gives here?... Oh yea, I received my camera cord today!) When I took her and Amareah to the doctor they weighed the girls and Anna's weight came up as about 35 pounds. I was so excited. When I mentioned to the pediatrician how proud I was that she gained weight, she said, "Mama, did she have on those boots?"

"Yea, but they aren't that heavy... you think they're five pounds?"

"What scale did they weigh her on?"

"Uh... well... the one right there." I pointed at the door while I was thinking that I didn't know there was more than one scale.

"I ask 'cause one is broken. ... There's no way she gained more than five pounds."

I kind of chuckled, "You just gonna burst my little bubble."

She laughed with me and we eventually had her re-weighed on a different scale.

She's 25 pounds. She gained one pound in three months. My baby will be 3 years old in May and she's still about the size of a 1 year old. The pediatrician doesn't seem to be concerned since she was a premature baby and she's steadily increasing in head circumference and slightly in height. In fact, at her last well-baby check she was finally on the chart and in the fifth percentile.

I'm a little disappointed that she's still so small. Not because I want her to be big, but because like any mom I'm concerned about her health. She has had about four ear infections in six months, but then I remember Amber had a lot of ear infections when she was between the ages of 1 and 3, and she grew out of them. Then I think about the last 2 years and 9 months of Anna's little life and realize she's a vibrant, busy, healthy, intelligent little girl who's also sneaky, disobedient, stubborn and sweet. She's perfect.

It doesn't matter if she's extra mini...
Anna - January '10
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New & improved skin care products

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Dermajuv Skin Care Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's funny how I am excited about being able to mention skin care products twice in one day. It's no secret that I'm addicted to them. It's possible that my addiction is a result of all the new trendy skin care and anti-aging products or it could be because as I get older I notice the changes my skin has been going through.

When my mom was in her 20s and 30s I remember her using Ponds facial cream or Olay, which at the time was called Oil of Olay. The cream was simply spread on the skin on a regular basis and, for a lot of women, that was all they needed as far as their beauty regimen. There were some who used Vaseline on their lips or to remove makeup (I still do that now), but for a lot of women the advanced ingredients in today's products are highly sought after.

Dermajuv_skin_care_products
For instance, most products have an entire line that includes daytime moisturizer with sunscreen, cream cleansers, facial scrubs and masks, acne treatments and anti-aging products. Dermajuv Skin Care is one of those companies that produces quite an extensive line of products. They have an Eye Revolution Gel that uses Matrixyl®, Haloxyl®, Eyeliss® and Stem Cells to reduce dark circles and shrink puffy bags under the eyes as well as lift wrinkles. These revolutionary ingredients are in a lot today's aggressive scientific skin care products.

To have a product that reduces the appearance of dark circles would be great... exciting even. Over the last couple of years I've developed dark circles under my eyes so I would love to try the Eye Revolution Gel. I've tried a gel, in the past, that reduced eye puffiness so I have no doubt that would work and I've tried creams that minimize wrinkles, which were also effective.

The question is will these products remain on the market and continue to change and develop or will we get back to the way things were in the past? I, for one, enjoy trying all the new and more advanced skin treatments - anything to assist in my quest to stay youthful.

Visit my sponsor: Skin Care Products
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It's on and poppin'

If you haven't been keeping up with my health and weight loss journal then you don't know that I gained four or five pounds in the past month or so. I would love to blame it on someone else, but I can't really. However, I can blame it on those bags (yes bagS) of peanut M&Ms. Then I discovered the dark chocolate ones. They are sinfully good. I dawned on me that I had been doing some emotional eating AND I was PMSing. Talk about snack attacks!

I've been vowing not to gain anymore weight 'cause after a five pound weight gain it sometimes gets out of control. So, when I went to the grocery store I bought one Peppermint Patty instead of the M&Ms. Okay, I have to admit that I sent a text to my oldest daughter expressing how much I wanted to buy a large bag of M&Ms and she said, "NO!" Then she suggested the Peppermint Patty... That was the.best.peppermint.patty.ever.

I weighed myself yesterday and found that I'd lost the four to five pounds. Talk about a release of a deep breath. Later on last night I read Renee's (Cutie Booty Cakes) post about her weight loss. (She's the incredible shrinking woman.) In total she's loss 33 pounds and she's at 169 now. Isn't that awesome? Well, that's only about nine to 10 pounds away from me so now I've gotten into competitive mode. She's headed for 150 pounds and I'm determined to meet her there. I don't necessarily have to beat her there, but I have to keep up. I've been really impressed with her progress and hard work so the last couple of days I've kept her in mind to motivate me.

One of the best parts about this is that I recently won a workout DVD from Jocelyn at Hip Mama's Place. It's the Pulse Yoga II DVD with Argie Tang. I tried doing some of it today and I can see why it's number two. I need to get the first one so I can build up to it. I did about 20 minutes and then watched some of the rest. The information on the back of the DVD case actually recommends watching it first before trying it and that makes so much sense because of the way Tang gives her instructions.

Instead of saying the opposite foot, arm or leg that she's on so the participants will be on the same foot as she is, she says the foot she's on so when you look up you're on the opposite side. It can throw one off a bit. And I'll have to get used to her. I currently have The Firm Slim Solutions Yoga Workout DVD and it's the first one. I've gotten adjusted to it and it's not quite a challenge anymore, but the Pulse Yoga II is definitely a challenge. It's described as combining "all of the best elements and disciplines of Pilates, Core Fusion and Yoga." I've also been doing random stretching, toning and yoga (I have a book with yoga instructions) so I'm pleased to be moving again. My goal is to keep the momentum going and lose another 10 pounds... Piece of cake (that's low-cal, sugar free cake).
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Do you love Louis Vuitton handbags?

Most of you know I'm addicted to chocolate and bath & beauty products, but you may not know I have a small addiction to handbags and purses. It's not quite as bad as my longing for all things dark chocolate and the feel of high-quality skincare products on my skin, but I always gravitate towards the accessories area of any store.

Lately I've been window shopping for the perfect bag and although I would like a name brand bag, I know it's not in my budget. It's a luxury - for sure. I've never seriously considered buying one, but now that I've found information about replica handbags I've learned a lot. Finding out that those types of bags are made much better than they used to be is great information because you never know when I want to purchase one of the Coach brands. I took a peek at some Louis Vuitton handbags as well and although I've always liked the general style, I'm not sure it's the one for me.

Now I want to know what type of handbags you're wearing. Come on admit it, you've been hiding Gucci or Chanel purse, right? Tell me who your favorite designer is and if you've splurged to buy it.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One-on-one time with "Little Michelle"

My 5-year-old daughter Amareah had a follow-up doctor's appointment today for her breathing. I don't think I've ever mentioned she has been on a nebulizer and now has an inhaler, which she was/is supposed to use everyday twice a day. Her appointment went very well and I told her pediatrician that we haven't been using it everyday just as needed and hadn't used the nebulizer at all.

Really?

Her words: "If it ain't broke don't fix it." She explained how the meds were intended to be used, but because I keep a close eye on Amareah and check in with her on how she feels then we can just keep treating her the way we have been. She recommended that she begin taking it around allergy season to prevent or forego any problems and gave me a sheet to remember the different times, doses, etc.

Anna, who has given just about everyone her cold, was also seen and has a mild ear infection in one ear. I'm glad I took her, but it's a little frustrating that she's had so many ear infections this is the fourth one I think in about six months. Today I was thinking it could very well be a "symptom" or "result of" her being a preemie and we are probably lucky (blessed!) that it's all we're dealing with. Besides her weight! (Funny story about that later.)

After the appointments, Amareah said she didn't want to go to school. I glanced at the clock at it was about 10:40. Yesterday when I told her teacher about her appointment she said that if it was 11 or after then I might as well keep her home. (Amareah doesn't attend public school, but the head start program.) So, after a little warning on being on her best behavior, I told Amareah she could stay home with me.

So here we have some impromptu one-on-one time. We arrived home, washed off the germs and made lunch. Amareah did a great job making her own sandwich. After lunch I showed her a small clip of First Lady Michelle Obama that I had saved for her on the DVR because Amareah is portraying Mrs. Obama during the Black History program at her school this Friday.

After that we looked at some pictures of Michelle Obama on my laptop and I found a video about her on YouTube. The video, which I couldn't resist sharing with you, is a really nice biography of her that's narrated by her mother. It makes me feel like I know Michelle Obama and I feel even more proud to have her as First Lady of the United States (I even feel sort of bad about that dream I had of her hubby Barack Obama.)


I wanted to give Amareah an idea about the person she was representing and portraying so that when she gets up to say her part, ("My name is Michelle Obama; I'm the first lady of the United States of American and this is my husband...") she will feel the power behind what that means. Then after her husband introduces himself and they shout, "Yes, we can!" My hope is that she'll always know she can.

I've enjoyed my one-on-one time with Little Michelle today despite her singing a variety of different songs (cartoon theme songs, Christmas carols and more) while she plays with Dora cards at my feet. Maybe one day she'll be our President. Heck, I'll settle for First Lady. Well, that is if I can get around the fact that right now she wants to be a ballerina. Insert big smile here. Regardless of what she wants to do, this mom will be behind her - and all of my children - 110 percent.

Note about photos: I would post a picture of Amareah today, but my teenager (don't tell her I talked about this again!) still has my cord to my camera. Hopefully, it'll get here soon! :D
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Hello?

Like most grown ups, I have a list of resources and information I've received from "reliable" sources. You know what it's like to need information or assistance and someone gives you a list of numbers or names, right? Well, I was doing a little phone calling, which I strongly dislike, this morning and all I heard was a busy signal. One of those places where you can't walk in that you can only call between a certain time period to get an appointment.

I called and heard a busy signal.

I redialed for about an hour beginning at 9:10 a.m. and only heard a busy signal.

At 10:01 a.m. it rang.

Victory!

False alarm - I shouted too quickly. I got a recording that instructed me on which extension to choose. Then I got another recording that instructed me to call on Monday mornings beginning at 9 a.m. and that leaving a message would not result in an appointment.

SIGH...

A lot of companies are letting customer service lag with the advancement of all this wonderful technology. I mean, if a company has a customer service department then how are they serving me - the customer - by sending calls to a voice mail where there is no resolution?

I'm just saying.
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