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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

An author's aha moment

Here's to inspirations and realizations!

Remember I told you about the book Wind Warrior and the author Cynthia Roberts? Well, I am trying to clear out my email and came across a link she sent me. This is a brief (a little more than a minute) video about how she came across her 10-year-old Wind Warrior manuscript when she was packing up her belongings because of an impending foreclosure. In the process, she had her Aha Moment. Check it out: aha moment: wind warrior.
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It’s always a good time to get a gift basket

With about one more day until the first of August, it’s time for me to start dropping hints for my birthday in September. LOL. Yup, I like to start early. It’s just my way of being helpful. I’m sure you’re wondering how that’s being helpful. Let me share with you: A lot of people wait until the last minute to get the gift they want for their loved one so I’m preventing that from happening. If you want to order something like a gift basket then you have to be sure to order it in time.

The perfect times to order gift baskets are birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Christmas. Everyone loves to receive a basket of goodies that was picked out especially for them.

So, don’t forget, my birthday is in September and I – for one – love gift baskets. :-)

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Live like a kid again

When I awoke this morning I was feeling relatively good. A little tired, but good nonetheless. As the day progressed, a headache would not leave me alone and I began to feel weak, tired and irritable so I retired to my bed to rest. In the middle of resting I did a little work and watched some movies on my laptop.

A few minutes ago I was on my way into the kitchen to get a drink of water and I heard the beginnings of a storm. The thunder boomed as the sky became dark and rain started to sprinkle. For some reason, at that moment I decided to go and get the mail. I could beat the rain, I thought.

When I glanced out of the weekend I could see the pavement in the driveway getting damp. I heard the patter of rain on the leaves and the wind picked up a little bit. The cool rain hit my skin and I began to trot a little. Against my will, a giggle escaped my throat. Just thinking about it makes me laugh. I started to run a little ‘cause the rain was coming down faster, but I had a big grin on my face.

image I giggled, skipped and rain back to the house as I began to get wet. It was so exhilarating. I can’t remember the last time I played in the rain. In fact, most of my adult life I have lamented my hate of the rain and how it gets on my glasses, it’s cold and inconvenient.

Today, as I did something totally against my nature, I experienced a moment of pure, unabashed joy – just like a child at play – it’s a moment I think we should all take for ourselves more often.

As I sit here on the bed and watch the rain beat down on the leaves of the tree outside of my window, I’m looking forward to my next chance to experience life like a child. It is truly a magical and freeing moment.

What are you going to do to put a little childhood joy back into your life?

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Friday, July 30, 2010

For your moving needs

If you’re in the process of moving then you already know there’s a lot to do and a lot of worked involved. Besides packing up all of your belongings and finding boxes to put everything in there’s also locating a truck or a moving company to transport your valuables on the to-do list. There’s one thing that can make moving a little more pleasant, and that’s finding a great deal on the services and supplies.

That’s where Upack.com comes in. They offer discount moving supplies and their services also include trailers, containers, packing, storing and so much more. It’s the ideal company to assist in what can be a stressful situation. Upack.com can get you moved virtually anywhere in the United States in two to five business days. They’re a professional company and if you’re still in the research phase of your move, you can go to their site, get a free moving quote on your move and review all of the services that they offer (including their “you pack, we drive” service).

Don’t worry another moment about all that needs to be done to get prepared for your move, Upack.com has the solutions you need to help you from beginning to end.

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A child’s trust

Yesterday the children and I were waiting for RP to come home from work, which allowed for time for Anna and I to have an impromptu conversation and play session. Ever since she was really tiny I’ve stood her on my legs. Before she could balance herself I would hold her hips. As she got bigger and stronger I’d hold her hands, her calves and eventually she started saying, “I can stand by myself.”

So, she often likes to climb onto my lap and stand. After a little balancing, a lot of giggling and me pretending that I was going to dump her off of my lap, I took her hands and she started to lean backwards.

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She’d lean back and I’d pull her back up. She’d lean, I’d pull. She did that about 20 times and despite my aching biceps I realized that she has complete and total trust in me. Of course, that realization led to me wanting to share it with you and I yelled for Amber to bring a camera.

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It’s sad how adults hurt children who give their complete love and trust to us. Anna had pure joy with spending those few minutes with me to play and live her life on the edge. LOL… She trusted me enough to hang her upside down with her little head inches from the floor. She didn’t cry or scream, and she wasn’t worried.

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To have that type of true childhood love, trust and freedom must be a liberating and relaxing feeling. I’m happy to be able to enjoy that moment with her and, on the other hand, my heart aches for children who have been hurt by adults they trusted.

Take a moment before bedtime tonight to have a little tickle-fest, a snuggle or some other little thing you like to do with your children. I think Anna and I will play patty cake again tonight. After her rollercoaster ride last night, she said, “Mommy, let’s play patty cake.” As we were playing she started to cover her tummy and grin really widely.

“You remember when I played this with you when you were little,” I asked.

She nodded and waited…

“Roll ‘em up, roll ‘em up and put ‘em in the pan,” I sang as my fingers zeroed in to tickle her tummy. She fell to the floor with laughter. Oh, the joy in that sound.

Have a lovely weekend.

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Made in America

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

When my oldest daughter was somewhere between 5 and 8 years old we had a conversation about where products are made. I pointed out to her that most items have a sticker on them that says where they were made. From that point on every time she picked up a cup, plate, box of cereal or whatever she would look for the “made in ____’ sticker. She was surprised that about 98 percent of the products she looked at were made in China. That started her to looking into it more and more, and eventually she asked why everything was made in China.

If I remember correctly, I told her that it is often cheaper for goods to be made in other countries and I left it at that. Over the years as she’s studied history, commerce, government and other related subjects, she’s learned quite a bit more about it. My daughter is now 19 and with the economy the way it is she’s seen small businesses close quite often.

It seems especially true for small business. almost every small American town has seen their main street shops suffer from the economy as well as the urban sprawl. There was a bead and jewelry making shop that I frequented, and I know that it didn’t take long for them to close. These mom and pop shops along with the go-to department stores have made way for strip malls and the companies are outsourcing for cheaper labor resulted in the closing of many factories. These types of things have caused entire communities to suffer.

It’s time for things to change and the Ramblers Way Farm is making those changes. This company sources, grows and produces fine woolen apparel using 100 percent domestic resources. They’ve started manufacturing facilities in distressed small towns to help revitalize the communities. When customers read their Made in America label they can be rest assured that not only are they receiving a top-quality product, but it was made in a way that is beneficial to us as citizens.

Have you had a similar conversation with your children? What does made in America mean to you?

 Visit my sponsor: Made in America

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Introducing Wind Warrior by Cynthia Roberts

I’m excited to be apart of Cynthia Roberts’ book tour. Her book, Wind Warrior, was released in June and she’s doing her part to get the word out. I’ve gotten on the bandwagon with a lot of other bloggers.
Let me tell you what the book is about first:
wind warriorLeslie Michaels is a visionary, and only those close to her know of her special gift and the visions that come when her mind and body surrender to sleep.  Fate has a way of righting many wrongs, and for Leslie it is a destiny that changes her life dramatically. But not before she is forced to flee into the wilderness to escape a murderous trapper bent on claiming her for his very own.  Faith and a strong will to survive are her only companions, until she encounters Winnokin, the handsome Seneca war chief who first came to her in her dreams.  Not only does he prove to be her rescuer and protector, he teaches her that tragedy can breed happiness and the passion to live and love deeply once again.
Wind Warrior plunges readers into the intimate depths of a relationship that unfolds like a live drama before their eyes while painting an insightful and intriguing portrait of Native Indian life in the 1800s.  It is a story of longing, of a wanton need to survive all odds, and a love so strong it conquers human evil. Wind Warrior expresses with cunning words the simple, raw human emotions that hold readers spellbound and captivates their hearts.
Intrigued? Check out the trailer:


One of the things she’s doing to celebrate her book’s official release is to hold a giveaway where there will be five lucky winners, but I’m going to leave you in suspense about that. The contest officially begins on Sept. 1st so you’ll have to come back here then to find out all of the details. Okay, okay, you’ve twisted my arm. Check out Cynthia’s author site to find out more information about the contest and the fabulous prizes.
I’ll be posting more about Cynthia Robert’s book Wind Warrior over the next month and reminding you about the contest at the end of August.
Until next time…
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Piggy bank for the 21st century

How do you teach your children about money as it relates to saving, spending and investing? I normally incorporate money lessons into our day-to-day activities. For instance, my children enjoy shopping at the Dollar Store and when it’s time to checkout I let them checkout individually and give them to cash so they can learn how to listen to find out much they are spending, give the correct amount, receive and check their change, etc.

ekomini Now there is a fun, high-tech, interactive and educational way to teach children about money: Ekomini interactive money box. The money box was designed by educational professionals to promote financial literacy in children. The money box connects to your computer via the USB and provides an entertaining way to virtually keep track of the money they save.

In addition, kids can participate in virtual adventures in Edominiville and learn about saving, spending, donating and investing their money. The product, which is available in the United States and Canada, retails for $39.99. Find out more on the Ekomini site and to purchase.

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Picture-less Wednesday & procrastination

On most Wednesdays I like to post a Wordless Wednesday picture, but it doesn’t always happen. There are a few reasons why it doesn’t happen:

  1. I forget, which can be funny especially when I have a picture waiting.
  2. I don’t have a picture I’ve deemed worthy.
  3. The day gets away from me and I run out of time.

bloginafield So today I’ve been considering what to do about that. How can I ensure I always have a picture ready and posted? (These solutions can actually apply to any type of post.)

  • Be on the lookout for picturesque moments/things. That means ensuring I have my camera with me so that when something presents itself I’m ready to click away. When a post idea comes to me I need to have my phone – for voice memos – or a pen and paper handle for notes.
  • Use the scheduling function in this program, Windows Live Writer. As soon as I take a picture and I want to use it for WW then I can upload it, compose the post and schedule it for the time and date I want. Again, I can do the same thing with posts. If I’m finished reviewing a product and I’m between assignments/tasks with a little extra time to spare, I can bang out the review (or whatever!) schedule it for the date and time it should go live and cross my ankles and take a break move onto the next task.

Now those plans don’t solve the problem of my procrastinating (everyone likes to goof off), but at least it’s half the problem to getting things done. Maybe those two tips will help you as well. Do you have any ideas or tips that you use to get posts completed quickly and efficiently.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Credit card merchant accounts

For those who have a merchant website and are considering changing how they process credit cards or for new sites that need to find a way to get credit and debit card transactions handled professionally and quickly, this information could be helpful for you. BluePay Merchant Processing is a leading credit card processing company for retail merchants. The company offers a quick and easy sign-up, competitive rates, free terminal program, online account management, fraud protection and more.

It’s easy to sign up and it’s easy to switch. In fact, you can begin today if needed. It’s the ideal solution for processing the most popular means of payments. Let a professional company help you with retail/POS solutions today.

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The good, bad & sweaty!

On Friday I somehow stumbled upon the American Cancer Society’s Choose You site where I signed up to commit to exercising regularly (three times each week) for the next 12 weeks. If I don’t meet my commitment and report on each Friday then I’ll be charged $5 per week. The money will go toward the American Cancer Society, which is terrific, but I need to keep this commitment so that I can keep my money.

One of the things I like about the site is that I can ask friends to support me by sending me emails to remind me to exercise or putting an encouraging message on my Facebook wall. It’s a good way to also hold myself accountable in addition to writing these regular health and weight loss journals. If you’d like to visit my Choose You page and see what’s going on; I would love for you to come by on Friday when I submit my first report. Or stop by my page whenever you can and leave me a message.

My advice to those who are also making a commitment to a healthier lifestyle – whether it’s losing weight, eating healthier, exercising, etc. – is to find someone who can hold you accountable. I don’t have an individual in my life to workout with or to get me off of my lazy butt so I’m adding the Choose You to see if that will make a difference.

DSCF4929 So far, I’ve exercise once this week and that was today. Almost 40 minutes of walking. That’s good, right? It was only 78 degrees – according to the thermometer in my van – but the heat index must have been off the charts ‘cause I was sweating like an ice cube sitting in the sun. This whole sweating thing is a relatively new development for me. I spent more than 1/2 of my life barely sweating and I’m definitely making up for it. That, to me, is bad. Well, I guess it’s bad-ish. At least my body is cooling itself because before I always felt overheated and I’m assuming I’m releasing some toxins. So it’s just a gross factor for me right now.

I haven’t lost any weight the last two weeks, but I haven’t gained any either (that’s good!). I’m still 175 like I told you the last time I wrote a health and weight loss journal post. I would like to weigh less, but I’m happy that I haven’t gained any. The key is to be consistent with my caloric intake and my exercise and movement. Piece of cake tofu, right?

How are your weight loss and exercise goals coming along?

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Calm baby’s colic

Even though I don’t have infants any longer I have vivid memories of screaming babies who are inconsolable. As mommies we’ll do anything to ensure our children are well and comfortable, but sometimes when it comes to a colicky baby it is hard to know what to do. Everyone has different opinions about what to do for colic relief. There are the old wives’ tales that include using peppermint tea or peppermint drops and some people swear by the rocking, soothing and patting of the tummy.

When my second child suffered from a lot of gas it was recommended that I use gripe water, which I’d never heard of at the time. Now, I understand, gripe water is an excellent cure for gas in children as well as for baby heartburn.

Thankfully, I’m past that stage and all of my children can communicate to me exactly what’s wrong and are able to tolerate more choices. But if you have very young children who are suffering from colic, gas or heartburn then this is an alternative option for you.

Have you used gripe water before? What remedies have you used or heard of in the treatment for colic?
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Do you believe in evil? – a book review of A Hole in the Attic by Mary Ellen Dias

Have you ever been excited to read a book then began and was disappointed? I must say that I felt that way when I began reading A Hole in the Attic by Mary Ellen Dias. The text was tedious and a bit repetitive, and the initial introduction of characters was a bit much to take in. But, as a diehard book lover, I did not let those things stop me from continuing the novel to discover the interesting story hidden within.

Taken from the back cover:

Anyone who loves a good mystery with evil and the unexpected thrown in absolutely must read this book! A Hole in the Attic by Mary Ellen Dias delivers a compelling page-turner about Trish Montgomery, a trusting and risk-taking woman who retires to the mountains and sets about restoring an old house. When Mike the handyman cuts a hole in the attic to do electrical work, evil pours in, the handyman disappears, and Trish is accused of murder. While her new friends rally to her aid, the horrors keep coming and the chances of clearing her name seem increasingly bleak. Can the medium or the psychic discover the source of this evil? Will it take the priests or the stranger from Rome to solve this eerie mystery? Dias has woven a story that is to be savored, enjoyed, and shared!

When Trish begins settling into her new town and home the story moves along slowly and somewhat painfully. But there is a quality to it that keeps your attention. You have to find out if what the town’s gossip spreads is true, if the lady who sells the vegetables and “feels” evil spirits is right, if the handyman is found or not and if Trish is convicted of murder, and, of course, you want to know if Trish and her best friend will take their relationship to a new level.

Then there is the evil that is lurking in Trish’s attic: Will it take over her home, the town or be vanquished by the stranger from Rome? Those are all questions I can’t answer because it would spoil the book for you. What I will say is that although the essence of the story is interesting I, unfortunately, wasn’t that impressed with the writing. Also, if you like “cliffhangers” then you’ll love the ending. Although I was a little disappointed with that, I am intrigued enough to pick up Dias’ next novel – if it’s a continuation of A Hole in the Attic.

Disclosure: I received a copy of A Hole in the Attic to facilitate my review, but that in no way influenced my opinion. The opinions expressed here are my own. No other compensation was received. If you click the picture and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. Here is my complete disclosure policy.

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