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

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I’m free & you can be too! {product review}

DSCF5239Last week was a rough week, but when I approached my front door on Friday after picking up the children I noticed a long cardboard box that had “Freedom Mop” written on it. A new cleaning tool? Oh yea, I thought, the evening is looking up.

I couldn’t resist opening it right away. I quickly read the directions, which are easy as pie*, and tackled my dirty, nasty kitchen floor. I just added super hot tap water and a little of some eco-friendly cleaner that I love and went to work. I did a little less than half of the kitchen floor, using two squirts for each up and back stroke, and I was extremely impressed. Look at how dirty my floor was. …

*All you have to do is remove the bottle, fill with cleaner, replace bottle and you’re ready to go.


How embarrassing, but you can see how well it cleaned. Don’t believe me? Look at what the reusable pad looked like before I used it:











I must say that out of all the similar products, Libman Freedom! Spray Mop is one I’m going to use for a long time. The name Freedom makes so much sense because it’s free from disposable pads, you’re free to choose your own cleaning solution and free from batteries! It even has a scratch-free microfiber pad. Another plus with the Freedom mop is that it works on multiple surfaces: wood and laminate, vinyl and linoleum, ceramic tile, marble and stone.

This mop will save you money and time. Now, that’s a combination and benefit that every person can appreciate. Check out Libman’s quick video about the Freedom mop.

Before you go, tell me what you use to clean your floors right now. Do you think you’ll try out Libman’s Freedom Spray Mop?

Disclosure: Thanks to Mom Bloggers Club I received a Libman Freedom Spray Mop free of charge to facilitate my review and that in no way influenced my opinions – those are my own. More information can be found in my complete disclosure policy.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Do you have an online resume?

Most people I know, whether they are actively seeking a job or not, have an online resume. In addition to those seeking employment, there are others who would like to get a better job to make more money or open themselves up for career advancement. Nowadays, in addition to having a resume online, people are using social media to market and network then directing those who they meet to their online resume.

On the other hand, employers are still searching Internet job sites in an effort to find qualified individuals. An employer doing the searching will use key words to find the right resumes. For instance, if they’re looking for writers (best to talk about something I know something about, right?) they may search for the keywords: journalist, editor, magazine articles, editorial, profiles or journalism. An employer looking for someone with a particular type of computer experience may add keywords that are relevant to the technical industry and those looking for graphic artists will search for specific software that mostly graphic artists and illustrators use.

Both employers, employees and job seekers use online resume for a different means. The one you most have to watch out for is the employer who is looking to see if current employees are actively seeking new employment.

Do you have an online resume? Are you actively seeking employment?


Finally… well, almost, all organized!

All of this time I have been wanting to get my home organized, functional and comfortable. It is a slow-going process, but I think slowly but surely I will get it in an order that I’m happy with. I’ve been in the process of reorganizing my office and I thought I was just about done when I won a fabulous Storage Box Organizer with eight plastic storage boxes from, the homewares place.

According to the site, it’s a organizational system that can be used in the garage – and I must admit it’s perfect for that – but I’m utilizing it in my home office. You can see I have it in the corner of the room. I’m actually getting rid of one of my three desks to make room for it and increase the space a little. I’m really excited about this development.


I still have one bin that’s empty, but I’m sure I’ll have no problem filling it. The other bins contain crafting and scrapbooking supplies; pictures, frames and artwork; packing and mailing materials; large artwork and paintings by the children; my memories book that contains all of my journals (since 1979!), photos and yearbooks; and one has children’s learning computers, cards and puzzles.

Although I am in love with this system there is one thing that presented a minor difficulty. When assembling it you’ll need an electric screwdriver so had I been purchasing it myself I may not have gotten it. (I’ll keep my comments to myself about how I had an electric screwdriver that someone broke!) My BF did his best to get it assembled without the electric screwdriver, but I have to – and want to – get one to tighten up some areas and ensure it’s secure.

I’m surprised that it held up without all the screws, etc., in place. See:

DSCF5237There are a few areas like this, but it’s so sturdy that it’s not even moving with a few poles coming out. Once the other bolts/screws get into place I’ll really be in business. It is, however, securely bolted to the wall.

Thanks for giving me an organizing high; this is a great product and I’ll enjoy many years using it. Everyone stay tuned for more organizing news…

Have you been up to any organizing and cleaning lately?

Disclosure: I won my Storage Box Organizer with eight plastic storage boxes from StacksAndStacks and decided to share it with you here. My win, nor my review, has no influence my opinions – those are my own. No compensation was received. More information can be found in my complete disclosure policy.


Making the car connection

A lot of people, when they’re buying cars, consider car reviews before making their final decision. Whether they’re buying a mercury or a ford fusion hybrid, they want to get details they think a private seller or an unscrupulous salesperson may not disclose. Other information that car buyers are looking for is how much maintenance costs are for their chosen vehicle as well as getting a car insurance quote comparison.

In addition to major repairs, purchasing car insurance can be the most costly expense when one owns a vehicle. It only makes sense to ensure that all the information is found and considered instead of getting in over your head as far as expenses and responsibilities are concerned. So if you’re considering the purchase of a new car, truck, minivan or SUV take a moment and check out online reviews and, while you’re there, make a note on the car insurance comparison. It is definitely one way to reduce expenses, which a lot of people have done. And, keep in mind, car insurance is not an option, it is mandatory. Avoid getting a traffic citation for a violation or getting in an accident and getting a ticket for being uninsured by simply getting the needed insurance.


Discovering John Locke {book review}

About four days ago I wandered to my desk looking for a book to read among the “to be considered for review” pile. I pulled out “Saving Rachel,” a Donovan Creed Novel, by John Locke and almost immediately knew I wanted to read it by the description on the back cover:

“What if the best morning of your life suddenly turned into your worst nightmare? Sam Case is about to find out. Saving Rachel is the story of what happens when killers force a man to choose between his wife and his mistress… One of them must die… Who will it be? His wife? – or – His Mistress?”

Two days later I completed the book. Yup, it was that intriguing and it was a quick read.

Saving Rachel was nothing like I expected. It was unpredictable, exciting, intriguing and even a little scary. There was murder, mayhem, mystery … three of the things I enjoy most in the book. I wanted to find out what happened so bad at the end that I kept my eyes pried open long after I should have been asleep two nights in a row.

Truthfully, I don’t know what else to tell you without spoiling the story for you. Let’s just say there’s enough twists and surprises to keep your brows furrowed and your eyes darting across the page. You’ll want to find out who this Donovan Creed guy is (or maybe you’re not like me and don’t live under a rock). You’ll want to figure out who ordered the kidnapping. Where the money is coming from… and going. And who will be alive at the end.

Does that tell you anything? Probably not so you’ll have to get a copy for yourself. Believe me, it’s worth it.

And if you’re like me and not familiar with John Locke, you’ll want to pick up copies of his other books: Lethal People, Lethal Experiment and Now & Then.


Disclosure: I received a copy of Saving Rachel to facilitate my review, which in no way influenced my opinions – those are my own. No other compensation was received. The Amazon books widget does link to/through my affiliate account. (Thanks for your support.) More information can be found in my complete disclosure policy.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Online tutoring for K through 12

When my oldest daughter was in high school she became sick between her sophomore and junior years. She missed almost the entire first half of her junior year and ended up having to drop her advanced classes. With the help of her understanding teachers, an at-home teacher and a tutor she was able to graduate on time.

Utilizing tutors was a new experience for her because she had never needed them in middle school when she was taking 4th grade math or 5th grade math. As she’s gotten older and realized the help that a tutor can provide she has no trouble taking advantage of it.

If you have a student having trouble in school with Adding fractions, Algebra 2, Formula for volume or Graphing linear equations it’s best to get them some assistance as early as possible.

My oldest is now in college and she continues to use the expertise of tutors when she needs them. It can be the difference between a pass and fail grade.


Our weekend with the teenager

I am really looking forward to this weekend because I am exhausted! The younger children will be with their father and I plan on getting some much-needed sleep. Last weekend I didn’t get much rest because the four of us (me and the threesome) went to visit Amber on her campus.

We left Friday afternoon, spent the night and came back late Saturday. Andre, Amareah and Anna really enjoyed spending time with their big sister. Anna had been asking if and when Amber was coming home, and I just wanted to spend some time with the teen while getting away from home. It was like a mini vacay.

Here are a few memories to share with you from our weekend with Amber.

Ready for bed on their first night in a college dorm (typical college decorations in the background). DSCF5183







All ready for bed on their first night at college.


That blow-up mattress must have been really comfortable because it didn’t take them long to pass out.

Amber suite sure is cold!   It is as cold as all get out in Amber’s suite!

DSCF5187 We all went with Amber so she could run a few errands. My daughter Amareah, who is not shown above, always runs ahead of everyone.

DSCF5188 Since they were her errands; she should drive, right?

Hanging out with big sister sure can be exhausting. Shopping and hanging out with big sis sure is tiring.

DSCF5190Poor Anna had started getting a fever.   

Amber adds some more personal touches to the common living area of her suite.DSCF5195










I love the little accents Amber bought for her dorm suite, and she isn’t finished yet. She buys little things every now and then to make it comfy.

DSCF5196 The four-some are always ready to stop and pose! DSCF5198I love pictures of all of them together –

their personalities really shine through.


The twins; born in two different generations!

Amber & Anna watching their siblings race up and down the sidewalk.    Amber & Anna watching their siblings race up and down … and up and down… and up and down… the sidewalk!

(Forgive the darkness of the following pictures.)

DSCF5200DSCF5203 DSCF5204 DSCF5205 DSCF5210DSCF5212DSCF5209DSCF5211DSCF5206

Result: A super extra wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It’s time to go shopping

In my blog roaming, I’ve found many blogging women and mothers who discover deals and services that save money. Not only do they find the information for themselves, but they share it with all of us.

That’s one of the reasons I like to read moms’ blogs: I get to learn more about their life and their children as well as find great information including where to buy a great pair of shoes or whether stockings are in or not.

I’ve noticed – by looking at different articles and pictures in magazines – that stockings are in. Excuse me, I think it’s pantyhose that are in. Don’t know the difference? explains it like this: they come in two pieces and need a holding apparatus. Think sexy pin-up girl.

Oh, but I digress.

Whatever you’re shopping for, nine times out of 10 a blogger will know where you can find it, how much it costs or who knows about. I gotta go a troll the blogosphere now; I’m looking for an inexpensive, sturdy, functional, compact recycling system. Know where I can find one? 


From 3,000 + to under 300

One of the things that has been quite overwhelming for me is getting behind on my email. Well, I guess it’s just organization in general that’s really stressful. I don’t know if you remember that I wrote about getting behind on my email before. Now I’m using Mozilla Thunderbird and it is really helping me to quickly filter, delete and organize my email.

image Yesterday morning I had more than 3,000 emails and now I have less than 300 new messages with only 400 overall. That still seems like a lot, but compared to where it was I am very pleased with the results.

How do you keep on top of your email? What program or system do you use?


Using essay writing services

With a college-aged daughter I often hear about the papers and writings that she has to do. Sometimes she has essay topics that she can choose from and there are sometimes when there is one topic that they have to develop on their own. She's told me that most of her friends say they really dislike essay writing and they're surprised that she does. In fact, most science-type majors don't like to write. Amber is pre-med, but she is very well rounded and learned to like writing at a young age. A lot of times if she needs help she'll ask me, but if she used an essay writing service they would give her a sample essay so she'd be able to decide whether to use them or not. Do you have children who don't like to write or have used writing services to assist them? What do you think about those types of services?


Wordless Wednesday: Funny face


“'… ‘cause it’s funny…”

Check out sleepy Anna the last time I posted Wordless Wednesday.

More WW participants are at 5 Minutes for Mom.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

From bed to office in a blink {book review}

It’s been quite some time since I received an advance reading copy of “The 30 Second Commute, a non-fiction comedy about writing and working from home,” by Stephanie Dickison. Honestly, it’s been more than a year. How the time passed so quickly and the book sat in the “to be read” pile is beyond me. Well, actually (again: honestly!) I don’t normally reading advance copies. No offense, but the normally contain errors and exclude changes or edits that I’d like to know about.

About two weeks ago I was looking for something to read and noticed the book sitting on my desk. I grabbed it and read a few pages. I was immediately drawn in. I had a misconceived notion that I wouldn’t be interested in a book that talked about my life (more about that in a minute*). I thought I would be jealous, judgmental and feel jilted – those things added to my putting off reading the book – and I’m happy to say I didn’t feel any of those things … although I’m embarrassed to admit that I thought I would.

*Dickison’s book is “a comic narrative about the real life of a full-time writer. Stephanie Dickison had been successfully publishing features and articles for over a decade while working a full-time job, but in December 2005, she left the secure world of a “real job” to tackle completing a manuscript that was close to five years old and to take on freelance writing full time.”

I found her writing to be engaging, comedic and true to life. It’s probably the first non-fiction book I’ve read about someone’s life and job that has kept me engaged from the first page to the last. It could be because our paths are similar. We write similar things thus making her life and feelings totally understandable. Only another writer (said with my nose stuck up in the air) would understand the humor and whatnot behind another writer’s life.

It was fun to read about the horror of Stephanie rewinding and playing back a taped interview (that was done on a new recorder!) to only hear hissing. Yup, not a voice could be heard. What made it fun is that Definitely not fun, but a camaraderie bonding experience if there ever was one. I do wonder how she survived that. …

The 30 Second Commute is a book that all freelance writers – or contracted creative types for that matter – will enjoy. My only regret is that I didn’t read it sooner.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Stephanie Dickison’s book to facilitate my review, which in no way influenced my opinions – those are my own. No other compensation was received. More information can be found in my complete disclosure policy.


Learning and living with Multiple Sclerosis

Many people have heard of someone who has Multiple Sclerosis, but they aren’t clear about what it is. MS is a demyelinating disease that affects the central nervous system, which is the brain and spinal cord. There are quite a few symptoms of MS and managing them is very important in the effort to live comfortably with the disease. Those with Ms Symptoms may experience fatigue, weakness, pain, depression, paroxysmal spasms, tremor as well as visual, sexual, bowel and urinary dysfunction.

Some individuals – and medical professional – recommend a nutritionally balanced Multiple Sclerosis Diet although there isn’t any conclusive evidence to prove that a particular diet improves MS. The dietary recommendations or regimens that aren’t harmful, but often require a lot of attention to detail and that can be difficult. Most importantly is the necessity to eat a balanced and healthy diet.

Living with MS, whether you’re the one who is diagnosed with it or a close friend or family member, can be very difficult that is why it’s important to learn as much about it as you can.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Picture day, sick day

My two middle children, Andre and Amareah, attend a public school where they have to wear uniforms. But on picture day they’re allowed to wear their “street clothes.” Yesterday (thanks to the $100 gift card I won from BlogHer! HAPPY DANCE) I was able to take them to get a couple of things to spruce up their outfits a little and represent their personal style.

In my mind, I pictured my son wearing black dress slacks with a dressy/casual shirt and loafers. When we were at the store I picked out a shirt that I thought would work great and I showed it to him. He had a weird look on his face. Confused, I said, “Do you like this?”

I guess he thought he would get in trouble because he slowly shook his head “no.” Well, exssscuuuusssse me! I thought. “Well,” I said diplomatically, “I don’t see any other shirts that will go with your dress slacks.”

“I don’t want to wear pants, I want to wear jeans.”

“You want to wear jeans?”


Well, exssscuuuusssse me Mr. 6-year-old son!

I sort of chuckled, but was a little annoyed as well. Instead of getting upset, I trudged on and finally came across an extremely cool shirt (that also met my standards). It’s white and black, but when exposed to the sun it shows images within the black TV screens. Very cool.

So, here is Mr. Picky my adorably, cute and stylish son this morning before school.

DSCF5220Doesn’t he look handsome? I am sure his first grade portraits turned out beautifully.

I thought it would be easier to shop for my daughter because I know she always wants to wear a skirt or a dress, but as I was looking around they didn’t have anything that I liked or that I thought she would like. I found a skirt that I liked, but she didn’t like it – I guess because it was plaid. We compromised and I asked her if she liked the pink one. She did, but they didn’t have her size.

Deep breath.

On the other side of the girls’ department I saw some stylish, slightly flamboyant outfits that I knew she would like. I was a little apprehensive about going to that area because I didn’t think we’d agree. (No, I’m not talking about my teenager; I’m talking about my 5-year-old daughter!) I thought the outfits would be a little out of my budget (or what I would spend on a 5 year old)…

I sorted through the clothes and found an outfit that I liked, but didn’t like the design. I asked Amareah if she liked the style in general and she said yes. We decided on a color and design, and here is the end result…

DSCF5222 Since she’s such a modeling, fashion diva she had to do a little pose (LOL) so I hope you can see her well. That’s a tee with butterflies, flowers and other designs, a shawl-like vest with a stylish scarf. And, the part I’m super impressed with, is the dark-colored jeggings! I think it’s the perfect outfit for a fashion-forward kindergartener.

Unfortunately, Anna wasn’t able to show off her new jeans and sneakers to anyone but the doctor. She’s been sick since Saturday (this is the second time she’s been sick in less than two to three weeks) and she’s already missed about four days of school.

Here she is last night; she was not happy about having to get a treatment, but RP kept her company and made the time pass quickly.


This morning her fever was still coming back once the meds wore off and it was off to the doctor we went. The diagnosis: reactive airway disease and a pretty bad ear infection in the right ear. Never mind that we were just at the doctor’s office on Thursday and her ears were clear after a five day antibiotic treatment. Unfortunately, we’ll be back at the ENT soon. The instructions for her care were so many that I had to write them down to ensure I didn’t forget anything.

I decided not to worry about getting her dressed to take her siblings to school this morning and the camera batteries died before I could get another picture this afternoon.

DSCF5225Well, I must run to dose out more medicines and get ready to pick up the other two from afterschool daycare. I hope you’re having a good Monday. Any excitement on your end?


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weight Watchers Lose-A-Palooza; bringing awareness to Lose For Good

Join in on the Weight Watchers Lose-A-Palooza, which is a one-day event on Tuesday, September 14th that was created to encourage awareness and participation in the Lose For Good® campaign, which benefits Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger. This is a necessary fight because more than a billion people worldwide, including hundreds of millions of children, are going hungry.

imageAll you have to do to participate in Lose-A-Palooza on the 14th is to create awareness though social media of Lose For Good, which is a seven-week campaign. Anytime  Lose For Good is mentioned using blogs, Twitter, Facebook and foursquare (Weight Watchers meeting room) on that one day, Weight Watchers will donate a dollar – not to exceed $60,00 – to Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger.


  • To get involved and show your support in the fight against hunger, first leave a comment on this post being sure to include the words Lose For Good then visit 
  • for more information on getting involved.
  • Let’s join together and take only a few minutes to fight against hunger.

Disclosure: I wrote this post to participate in the One2One Network project to help Lose For Good gain awareness through Lose-A-Palooza. As a participating bloggers I may win prizes from Weight Watchers and I have a chance to win a $50 gift card from One2One. No compensation was received in exchange for the post. More information can be found in my complete disclosure policy.


Beating teen substance abuse

Although it seems that teen drug statistics are declining it is still a problem that plagues quite a few teenagers and they’re families. Instead of trying to deal with the situations themselves, families can enroll their loved ones into teen drug treatment programs.

It’s important to find a program that is the right fit and to be educated on what goes into teen drug rehab. For instance, how long the individual is expected to be in the program, what’s involved in the day-to-day program, if family members are allowed to visit, do they have outpatient and inpatient portions,  and, of course, the cost and expenses of the facility.

Having to enroll your child into a teen alcohol rehab facility is not a pleasant thing to deal with, but it may be a necessity. Those who need those types of services can be reassured that there are professionals who know exactly what they’re doing to get your child – and your family – onto the road to recovery, healthfulness and productive everyday living.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig