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

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Health, weight loss {update} & yoga {CD review}

The review:

It’s been quite awhile since I received Yoga, the CD, presented by Putumayo World Music and the first time I listened to it I was intrigued. It’s relaxing, easy-listening music that I enjoy relaxing to. I’ve used the excuse of getting into the music and really wanting to evaluate it as the reason why I haven’t done any yoga with it as my background music. Today, as I listened to it again, I could see myself getting into a relaxing, strengthening and stretching mode that the CD would be a good accompaniment to.

So the company’s description of “A soothing collection of songs for yoga, meditation and relaxation” is right on point. The artists featured on the CD are The Lucknow Project, Sean Johnson and The Wild Lotus Band, Shantala, Wah!, Ben Leinbach and Geoffrey Gordan, Faura Vani And As Kindred Spirits, Amounsulu, Susheela Raman with Ayub Ogada, Krishna Das, Karnamrita Dasi, Niraj Chag, Ablaye Cissoko and Volker Goetze, Lama Gyurme & Jean-Philippe Rykiel, and Yogini.

This CD is ideal for anyone interested in a relaxing, inspirational, soothing, different music that accompanies yoga, stretching, meditation and the like. Get one for yourself (click the picture above to purchase – I’ll get a small commission) or one for a friend or loved one.

For more information on Putumayo World Music, check out the Putumayo site.

A quick health and weight update:

The last time I told you about my weight I was 186 pounds and thanks to not feeling well I loss about six pounds then gained two or three. Being at 182 is better than 186 and I hope to get even lower as time passes. So, I’m taking one day at a time on loosing more weight because right now it’s important to focus on my health issues.

image imageI’m happy to report that I have completed all of my medical tests and will get all of the results on December 28th. Here’s a recap: My fluctuating blood levels in certain areas is not normal, but stable. My blood tests also shows the presence of protein, which for me means a possible development of multiple myeloma. I submitted a 24-hour urine test and had bone marrow extracted (OUCH! OH MY GOODNESS. OOOUCH! I think it’s more painful to me because of the fibromyalgia.); in those the doctors are looking for the presence of protein to make a solid determination. Why is all of this happening? Because the bone survey showed a lesion on my right … uh, hip bone (best explanation I can come up with right now). The nurse explained that the increased pain in my left hip could be a result of the lesion on the right – it’s called rebounding pain. I’ve also had an MRI to look closely at the lesion to determine if it is what the bone survey (X-ray) has shown.

Worse can scenario: I’ll get treatment and/or a biopsy of the lesion. Best case scenario: Everything will be stable and the doctors will continue to watch my levels to ensure I remain that way.

After going to the Veteran’s Hospital three days this week, I’m excited to resume a semi-normal existence. This also explains my recent absences around the World Wide Web.

I hope everyone else is enjoying a relaxing and fulfilling weekend; I know I am. I’m going to do that amidst trying to catch up on my life.

Disclosure: I  received the Yoga DVD for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received. Any opinions expressed here are my own. For more information review my complete policy.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Funny travel tales, part 2

I know you remember Amber’s travel exploits that I shared with you yesterday. (As I write this only a few hours have passed.) You know, the suitcase that was 15 pounds overweight and the $90 they (the airline) wanted in order for it to be taken to the destination. BTW: Does the person who picks the bag up and load it on the conveyor get that money? An-t-way, I digress.

So with a rescheduled flight that had three stops and two layovers, Amber was on her way yesterday afternoon at about 4ish in the afternoon. That first plane was delayed because of a crew member causing Amber to miss her connecting flight.

funny travel tales part 2 The solution and the only way to get her to her final destination? Fly back to Atlanta (yup, where she came from) and take a flight straight to her final destination. (See map at left.) Estimated time of arrival? About the same time it would have been had she taken the three-stop flight.

She called to relay this information to me as the flight she was about to take announced their final boarding call. Okay, picture the Tasmanian Devil and Roadrunner on steroids and a travel high. This is what I heard:

“OkaymommycanyoucalldaddyandtellhimthatImissedmyconnectingflightandtheonlywayfformetogetthereistotakethisplanebacktoAtlanta…” You get the point, right?

I uh-huh'ed my way through the conversation, did a brief recall and hung up. Whew!

Then I called her dad, relayed the information and hung up. Sigh.

Now, my only question is, why didn’t her dear ol’ dad book her on that straight flight from the get go? Men!

Oh, I forgot the other question of the day: Do we think Amber’s luggage will make it to where it’s supposed to be when she gets there? Now that, my dear readers, is definitely the question of the day!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Funny travel tales

Today my oldest daughter is traveling to see her paternal family and be there when her oldest sister has a baby. She’ll be an aunt for the first time and she’s way pass excited. Knowing that I had to drop Amber off at the airport isn’t that big of a deal. She’s been flying alone since she was about 8 or 9 years old and she knows the ends and out of our busy Atlanta airport as well as travel tips and safety. So, I don’t worry.

However, we always have stories to tell from her travels. Usually before she even boards the plane. Today is no different. I had to take her to the airport a little early because the rebooked time of her flight clashed with my afternoon carpooling time. (Because of weather conditions most flights have been cancelled and delayed beginning about 6 p.m. last night.) We arrived as scheduled and because my youngest fell asleep in the car I took Amber to the curb, opened the hatch and promptly had this gigantic suitcase – that she had loaded – tumble out and attack me. I should have known that was a sign.

We hugged and did our fast goodbyes and I watched her sashay into the airport. I pulled away and realized that she was gone for the holidays. I sent a text, “awwww…. merry christmas…” (The fact that she won’t be home for Christmas is an entirely different post so you’ll have to wait for that one.) A few minutes later, as I passed the terminal again, I texted, “went wrong way, had to rtn 2 terminal. lol.”

(No, I wasn’t texting while driving either time. I was texting while sitting in my car oozing pass the terminal. And I went the wrong way ‘cause I was looking at the clouds and daydreaming.)

I got back on track and was halfway to the highway when my phone rang. I saw it was Amber. “Hey Munch,” I said happily. “Want me to come pick you up!?”

image “Uh… noooo… howwwweevvveer… My bag is over the weight limit and they’re going to charge me $90 if I don’t get rid of 15 pounds.”

“I’m turning around now.” Mom to the rescue.

I told her I would call when I pulled in front of the terminal. I called; it went to voicemail. I called; it went to voicemail. I texted. Then called… again. Voicemail.

I finally walked over to the Delta employee and said, “Can you do me a favor?” After repeating myself for the second time – amidst the high winds and roaring airplanes – I see Amber clicking her way out of the terminal.

We load her bag in the back of the van and she proceeds to mumble, giggle, talk, laugh, complain, dig and search… while I stood there shivering and holding her purse, phone and book. Finally after one of the reusable shopping bags was filled she pulled her suitcase over to the outdoor check in while I watched from the van, just in case. She turned to me and I made the “how much” hand sign with dramatic mouthing.

Four pounds, she gestured and mouthed back.

“OMG,” I say to no one, but the sleeping child in the back. I watch as she digs further into her suitcase and expressively talks to the airline employee. Finally, she clicks over (yes, she’s wearing high heels) with a couple of items in her hand and says, “I still need two pounds, but he’s working with me.”

“Great. Love you. You left your purse. Bye.”

I was supposed to be driving away, but I just stood there looking at my daughter. It was a semi-weird moment. She’s a young adult – a 19-year-old woman. I’m proud of her and glad I could be there in her “time of need.” I can only imagine what she would have done had I already made it back home. I envision a mysterious box left in the airport with my name on it, the FBI knocking on my door and a bomb squad slowly approaching with a robot.

An-t-way, she turned as if she felt me looking and did the little “mooommmm” expression with the laugh and wave. I waved, smiled and finally left the airport terminal.

Her traveling technical difficulties – and blog fodder – haven’t ended quite yet. The 3-something flight that was supposed to take off hadn’t left at 4:10 because of a missing and stranded crew member. She’d already had to switch gates three times and she has layovers and connecting flights to get.

That’s the current traveling story and I’m sure there’s more to come… ‘cause we can’t just have normal, uneventful travels. I have to tell you about that time I was happily standing in the line to get to security, enjoying a bottle of water while I listened and chuckled at people complaining. I was in my travel Zen… me and my big 8-month-old belly. An airport employee strolled by, looked at my belly and gestured for me to approach. She looked at my ticket and ID then got me through security quickly. How nice of her to let a big pregnant woman get through without having to stand. What I realized after I got through was luckily she had stopped ‘cause I was pregnant, but when she looked at my boarding pass she saw I was about to miss my plane. LOL… yup, total Zen and pregnant brain.

Have you enjoyed my travel tales? Do you have some of your own? As people begin their holiday traveling and vacationing I’m sure there will be a lot to share. Why don’t you share yours here?


Children’s books about saving animals {book review}

I was trolling the pictures on my camera one day when I came across a few of my children holding some books that I’d received to review. It’s been a very long time since I received them (so long ago that I’m embarrassed to tell when), but I know they’re ones you want to hear about and share with your children.

094These children’s books relay true stories of special animals that have been rescued, rehabilitated and adopted at the Compassionate Pet Sanctuary, Inc., a non-profit organization in California. They sent us The Miracle of the Little Kitten, The Three-Legged Kitten, Stinky Little Scroungy and Our Orphaned Owls, which were all written and illustrated by Samuel Lopez. My children are true book lovers so it’s no wonder they loved these stories, but they were even more enthralled when they discovered that they’re actually true. My son was particularly amazed by the pictures of the actual animals that are included in the books. (I have absolutely no idea why my daughters didn’t have on their shirts… I’m sure that’s a post for another day!)097

The books are written in a way that are easily understandable the children, and I must admit that I also found the stories to be quite engaging. It’s always interesting to read about true-life stories of success, adventure and rescue.

096These books, which can be purchased at True Stories About Saving Animals for $14.95 each,  have found a home on my children’s bookshelves to be enjoyed over and over again.  If you have an animal lover on your holiday gift list then these are definitely books they’ll enjoy.

Disclosure: I  received the Compassionate Pet Sanctuary, Inc. books for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received. Any opinions expressed here are my own. For more information review my complete policy.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

The best hint ever {product review}

I twisted the cap off and a whiff of fruity flavor entered my nostrils. It was a strong, fruity  scent that made me expect a strong, sweet, fruity taste. So I, honestly, wasn’t expecting much. Boy, was I wrong. That first sip of Hint amazed me with just a, uh, hint of flavor and the refreshing splash of H2O. My hint to you: You have to try it as soon as you get the chance.

image Hint is touted as being naturally-flavored water and I think that description is right on the mark. It comes in 10 different flavors and I had the privilege of trying several flavors including pomegranate-tangerine and strawberry-kiwi. Others available are cucumber, raspberry-lime, blackberry, honeydew-hibiscus, lime, watermelon and pear. I was pleased with the taste of each Hint I tried. Instead of a beverage that has a little flavor and a lot of artificial sweetener, Hint – the Drink Water, Not Sugar® beverage – is definitely premium essence water.

Facts about Hint:

  • Premium essence water with a hint of flavor
  • No calories, unsweetened essence water available in 10 flavors
  • HINT is the preferred alternative to fatty juices and high calorie beverages
  • Available in Whole Foods, Stop N Shops, Starbucks, supermarkets around the country and Drink Hint site
  • Retails for 1.79

Out of all the water products on the market, Hint is at the top of my list for flavored water. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Disclosure: I  received samples of Hint for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received. Any opinions expressed here are my own. For more information review my complete policy.

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