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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

#2015 Reflections, 3 Easy Tips to Rock the New Year

At the same time every year on this day around this time, my mind spins with everything that happened over the past year. This reflection messes with my emotions; I'm caught somewhere between sadness, relief, joy, expectation, hope and anger. This year I'm going to take the time to make this moment feel a little better for me. Let's review...

What's Been Happening

The past two years have been one heck of a wild ride. In December 2013, my doctors told me that the multiple myeloma was back. That started me on a very, long winding road with hills and valleys that ended in a bone marrow transplant on December 24ish, 2014. So January 1, 2015, I had high hopes for the new year. I was weak, swollen, sore and excited. I was back home from Tennessee where I received my treatment and I couldn't wait for my children to come home to a new a well mommy (less than 1 percent cancer cells!). 


Last-minute Snack Tip for your New Year's Eve Party #GardenLites

New Year's Eve and Super Bowl parites are normally a time for indulging in fatty, sugary and calorie-rich foods, but why not “swap it?” Replace those empty, sugary calories with clean, nutritious eating. Take this last-minute snack tip into the New Year for a healthy change to an unhealthy season. 

Garden Lites®, The Delicious Vegetable Company, debuts all new veggie-rich products to make surviving this unhealthy season not just bearable, but delicious. This is a good way to start the New Year especially if you've resolved to embrace a healthier lifestyle. Staying healthy while snacking doesn’t have to mean sacrificing taste. If you're like me then you have difficulty eating your recommended daily servings of veggies, but with Garden Lites® they've made it easy with their veggie rich foods including:


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Get Ready to Celebrate Multicultural Children's Book Day, January 27th #ReadYourWorld

Ever since I had my first child almost 25 years ago, I have believed what children view, read and play with should "look like them." When I was a young girl, the majority of the images I saw were not multicultural - and I noticed. I did not want that to be something my children noticed or even thought about. Although today things are markedly different we're still lacking and that's what makes Multicultural Children's Book Day important to me. Mark your calendars for January 27, 2016, to celebrate, discuss and share Multicultural Children's Book Day. 


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Jarlsberg® Cheese & Charcuterie Party Kit Contest

There are only 12 days remaining to enter the Jarlsberg® Cheese Great Holiday Giveaway and you don't want to miss out. Jarlsberg® Cheese is the nationally recognized, premium brand of cheese, and they're celebrating the holidays with this simple and festive contest where you can win great prizes for holiday entertaining. 

The grand prize of the Great Holiday Giveaway is (1) Sony DSLR Camera and (8) Charcuterie Party Kits (1 kit per week) beginning November 1 and running through December 31, 2015. So, you see, it isn't too late to enter. Entering is simple: Visit Jalsbergusa on Facebook for your chance to win and be sure to return each day for another entry. 

Winners will be notified by email. 


Friday, December 18, 2015

Students & Professionals boost your writing skills

When we read others' work we want it to be well-written and easy to understand, the same goes for when we’re doing our own writing. Having good writing skills is a must, but sometimes we may need a little help to get it done. Garner a few tips from this guest post about writing skills.

Most Professional Careers Depend on Written Communication

Whether you are a college student or a corporate manager, the fact remains that in either circumstance you will need excellent writing skills in order to succeed. We are introduced to the importance of obtaining good writing skills at an early age in order to help prepare for our progression through life. 

When applying for college, students are required to submit a written essay in addition to the application. This writing sample is considered the first of many for college students since just about every college course requires written tasks to determine how much of the study material has been comprehended by the student. It is no longer acceptable to simply record information without communicating why the topic is interesting, factual and relevant to today’s world. Writing should be viewed as a way to convey something which is meaningful and helpful to those who are going to read your work. However, in order to write in such a way, it is important for you to fully understand any topic being written by performing extensive research in order to gain a complete understanding of the topic. Though many forms of written communication are assigned or required, your ultimate goal is to provide clear explanations for the topic you’re covering.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

How to Relax During the Holidays with Natural Calm

Disclosure: I received a complimentary sample of Natural Calm to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own. Read my complete disclosure policy for more information.

Regardless of how you celebrate the holidays, it's almost guaranteed that it will be a busy time. With shopping to do, parties to plan, relatives to welcome, halls to deck, gifts to wrap... this list is almost endless... our days and nights are filled with activity. For some of us, it's a load of fun and we bound through it energetically, but on the other side of the Christmas ornament, there are those of us who are bumbling along and stressed out.
There are several things we can do to relax and recenter ourselves. In fact, I've written a few posts about it in the past. Check out one on How to Zap Stress. In addition to the tried and true methods, I had the opportunity to review a product that promotes a calm and healthy wellbeing, Natural Calm, the Anti-Stress Drink from Natural Vitality, which is a magnesium supplement.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Why I Chose It Works! and Why You Should too

Thirty years ago there was a young lady who had a dream of becoming a well-known - if not famous - novelist and a world-renowned journalist. She dreamt of nice clothes, houses, and cars, well-dressed children, private schools, vacations, and trips home to visit family.

She had many small dreams. Now, she's 47 years old and even her smallest dreams haven't come true. Well, we can say she was once a nationally-known freelance writer ("known" probably isn't the correct word) who has written for publications across the United States. And she was at least a known Georgia journalist... you can see where this is going, right?

In the middle of those endeavors she's done other things to take care of her responsibilities including serving in the Air Force, substitute teaching, hosting writer's workshops and performed editing and writing duties for individuals, companies and organizations. Currently, she's a blogger, which happened to be a natural evolution from a print to a virtual writer, and she's an It Works! Distributor.

You've figured out we're talking about me, right?
That's the short and open-ended version of me and what I've been doing. Oh, sidebar, I forgot to mention I'm also a JewelScent consultant. (Check out the latest smell good candle with a jewel inside in the sidebar.) 

With mostly writing aspirations, you may be wondering why I've chosen a path that clearly has absolutely nothing to do with writing. For me, It Works! is a vehicle on my path that's going to help me to get where I want to be. Make sense?


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How to learn to love yourself with 'Me, Myself & I' by Cheryl S. Bridges

Disclosure: I received a complimentary digital copy of Cheryl Bridge’s book “Me, Myself, & I ~ 28 Days of Creative Self-Love”. My opinion and my inner wisdom are authentic and 100% my own. For more, please read my complete disclosure policy.

In the true form of someone who doesn't want to take time for themselves, I procrastinated in reviewing "Me, Myself & I: 28 Day of Creative Self-Love" by Cheryl S. Bridges. It's not that I didn't want to do the work; in fact, I was excited about it, it mainly had to do with taking the time to slow down.

I know shame on me.

"Me, Myself & I: 28 Day of Creative Self-Love" is 
"more than just a book! It's a multi-dimensional exploration about how we can learn to love all of the different parts of ourselves (including the parts that are hard to love). The book includes inspiring pictures and artwork, links to uplifting music, plus creative exercises and journaling reflections that will empower you to bring more self-love into your life. More than that, this book offers you an invitation to open up and reconnect with the beauty of who you really are."


Monday, November 2, 2015

Why I Feel Like a Little Green Monkey

That little green monkey seems sorta symbolic of how this transition - our move - has been. I found this tiny fellow, a tortured and abandoned eraser, on the ground outside of the storage area where my belongings were stored for the past 30 days or so. He sort of represents how I feel sometimes: well-loved, a little broken, sometimes forgotten and loss.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Kabob Skewers Rack is a must-have for grilling (indoors and outdoors) #review

For some of you the weather is getting a bit too cool for outdoor grilling, but if you're a die-hard, year-round griller then you'll appreciate the Kabob Skewers Rack. As a  matter of fact, even if you'll only be cooking from your kitchen you can still use the skewer set for an amazing grilled-inspired meal.

The Kabob Skewers Rack, a product of Cave Tools, has the ideal clearance to keep your food from sticking on barbecue grates and pans or cookie sheets. Each skewer is equipped with a simple food removal disc that makes it easy to slide your food off the skewer. 

During the cooking process, you're able to completely rotate the flat skewers into eight positions allowing for the perfect rotisserie as compared to flat barbecue sticks that only keep the food in one place - well, two if you consider top and bottom. 


Monday, October 19, 2015

Celebrating Mini Wins with @Tastykake Minis #review

I received a complimentary box of Tastykake Minis to facilitate my review; however, any opinions expressed here are my own honest commentary. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Lately, there has been a lot going on around these parts. Although I moved from my old place my children and I are in transition. What does that mean? Quite a bit that I'm not ready to share with you right now, but I will definitely bring up at a later point. What I do want to share with you is how we used +Tastykakes to celebrate the mini win of getting all of our belongings out of the old apartment, where we were no longer comfortable.

I had been holding onto some of the Tastykake Minis to share with the kids - somehow a few disappeared (I admit to nothing!) so instead of waiting any longer I pulled out what was left to give to two of my daughters, 10-year-old Amareah and Anna who's 8. We were sitting on the floor waiting for their older sister to come back so we could finalize cleaning the apartment, but I thought a little celebration would lighten the mood.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

8 Ways to Find Joy within Life's Chaos

Finding joy... it's a topic we've talked about before and one that bears mentioning on a regular basis. On Tuesday, bestselling publisher Linda Joy released Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Cultivating Joy featuring soul-inspiring stories of 38 amazing women who share the intimate details of transformation. Cultivating Joy also includes Reflection Questions after each story which will empower you to integrate the vital lessons of each woman’s journey into your own life. For a limited time, you can get over 50 transformational gifts with your copy of Cultivating Joy. Don't wait another minute, go ahead and grab your copy today at

Finding joy in everyday life can be difficult for a lot of people; myself included. That's why I've written on the subject in the past and why I'm sharing this new book with you today. Lately, I have had a very hard time finding the joy. In fact, there is one thing (or should I say five things?) that's definitely giving me joy right now and that is my children and my granddaughter. That's how I find joy in motherhood, which is the fourth chapter of Cultivating Joy. From my perspective, when you engross yourself in motherhood and the joyful moments you can definitely tap into a joyful existence. 


Monday, October 5, 2015

6 Easy Ways to Save Money for the Holidays

This post contains affiliate links, which I earn a small portion from any purchase you make or program you sign up for. Read my complete disclosure policy.

Whether we want to believe it or not, it's already time for holiday shopping. Halloween hasn't arrived yet and we haven't enjoyed our Thanksgiving turkey, but that hasn't stopped retailers from putting out Christmas decorations and running ads about Christmas shopping. 

Just the other day when I was in Walmart to get a sketchbook I became distracted by the cutest Disney ornaments. Although I didn't purchase any ornaments (yet), the display reminded me to begin thinking about holiday shopping for the kids and, ultimately, this post to share with you. If you're like me you may not be ready to begin shopping for the holidays, but you are going to have to get over it (I did!) so you can save some money.

Here are 6 ways to save money during the holiday season:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

4th Annual World Kite Festival and Expo at Piedmont Park

Atlanta, Georgia - For a lot of people, cooler weather means spending more time inside. Before you snuggle down for the winter there are still fun things left to experience and enjoy outside. Coming up in a couple of weeks is The 4th Atlanta World Kite Festival and Expo for kite flying, food and fun at Piedmont Park in The Meadow.

This free event is open to the public and hosted by the City of Atlanta and Atlanta World Kite Festival and Expo, LLC. The festival was created to encourage community among the many international communities and families that make Atlanta a cultural melting pot.

It's going to be a fun, family-friendly event so everyone should bring their kites or make one there at the 2nd Annual Kite Decorating Contest or, in honor of fall, try your hand at pumpkin decorating for the 4th Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest. There will be tons of food and entertainments for kids and those who are kids at heart. In addition to flying kites, there will be live music, international food vendors, artists and representatives  from a variety of community and non-profit organizations.

The festivities begin at 1 p.m. and last until 6 p.m. at The Meadow at Piedmont Park, which is located on the corner of 10th Street and Monroe Drive and across the street from Grady High School. Visit for more information and follow them on social media: Twitter @Ilovekites.
Tip: Register for this event in advance on Eventbrite. Admission is free (but there are tickets) and it's a good idea to purchase kite kits and kid zone passes ahead of time so all you have to worry about is having fun.

For vending and sponsorship opportunities, email 


Friday, October 2, 2015

5 Blog Posts You Must Read

30 Things About My Invisible Illness - This week, up until Sunday the 4th, is Invisible Illness Awareness Week and I've shared 30 things about my illnesses (all invisible) that many people don't know. This post gives you a peek into my life and, if this applies to you it will give you some tips on understanding a friend or family member who is living with an invisible illness.

Photo Fixes and Fun with - I hate to admit it - again! - but I am pretty horrible at creating graphics and eye-eppealing photos. That's why I test out a lot of photo editing sites and programs. Hopefully, one day soon, I will master one of these online photo editing tools and right now I'm leaning toward Fotor. It's fairly easy to use and has tons of options.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

@Influenster favor, please like my #DreamVoxBox

If you aren't familiar with Influenster, it's a free platform that allows its users/members to discover and review products while they measure their social media influence. Influencer has campaigns and if we, the influencers, complete certain tasks we earn badges and sometimes prizes. They also provide products for free to review and make available different contests to win our favorite brands.

The current contest involves making a "list" of your #DreamVoxBox and getting at least 200 likes to win a lovely box filled with the dream products from your list. Whereas others have many likes I'm really lacking in "like love." 

Please, do me a solid and like my list: My #DreamVoxBox.

Thank you!


30 Things About My Invisible Illness #invisiblefight

On September 9, 2009 I wrote the original post "30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know" and in honor of this year's National Invisible Illness Week, September 28th -October 4th, I decided to update that post. Below you'll see my current answers in fushia and the old answers are in black and I'll leave them that way if there isn't a change. Let's see what's different. Learn more at

When I first wrote this I learned a few things about myself, I'm curious to see if the same will happen this time.

1. The illness I live with is: Actually, illnesses. Sjogren's Syndrome (a form of, relative to, strain of Lupus, Multiple Myeloma and fibromyalgia.
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2009 and 2008, it was 1995 when I was diagnosed with MM.
3. But I had symptoms since: Around 1995
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Is realize how easy it is to hurt myself. The biggest adjustment I've had to make is lay down when I need to even if I don't want to.
5. Most people assume: I assume most assume that I am making it up. I'm just fine. I think it makes them feel better if I say, "I'm fine."
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Waking up to pain, tingling, stiffness, headaches and exhaustion.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Grey's Anatomy
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My laptop... no, my cell phone! Neither.
9. The hardest part about nights are: The tingling in my lower legs and my wrists and hands; hardly getting a complete night's sleep and doing all the nighttime tasks that are required of a parent: homework, baths, dinner, bedtime, etc., in addition to trying to get some more working in. The hardest part about nights is forcing myself to go to sleep.
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins. (No comments, please) About 10 total. About 20 now.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: hope that I can afford to get herbs and some other natural alternatives as well as incorporate more yoga and some water aerobics to make the symptoms more bearable. I've tried essential oils and massage therapy - both of which work fairly well. Meditative breathing also helps.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Now, what in the world do you say to that. I would say neither!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

5 Tips to Help with the Underage Drinking Talk with Your Kids

Seventeen-year-old Amber, circa. 2009.
When my oldest daughter Amber, now 24, was in high school she was confronted with her own mortality when a classmate was killed in a drunk driving accident. We had already talked about underage drinking and the importance of not getting in the car with someone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And, of course, I let her know that regardless of the situation she can always call me for a ride. Now, I have three younger children ages 11, 10 and 9, and as my almost 12-year-old son approaches teenage hood I’m prepared to have a conversation about underage drinking.

I’ve done a little reading on the subject over the years along with my own experiences and that of their older sister to be fairly confident I have this conversation “on lock.” (That’s what the children say nowadays.) There are a lot of tips and advice, the ones I’ve included here are the ones I think are good tips for having the underage drinking talk with your kids. They tips should be effective and they may actually remember them longer than, “Watch me whip, watch me Nae Nae, watch me whip. Whip. Watch me Nae Nae.”

#1 Pick the perfect person to have the talk
The first thing with having any conversation about responsibility and making smart decisions with children is to make sure that the person they’re talking to is someone that they have a good relationship with and above all, that they respect. If you’re fortunate enough to have an open relationship with your kids like I've had with Amber, then it can be you. But an older sibling, a grandparent, a trusted family friend or even a coach or tutor will also work.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fighting Invisible Illnesses #MyInvisibleFight

Sometimes I think I'm a normal person, but then I try to move my body and I discover that it doesn't move like it used to. I know that age and additional weight change things, but it's more than that. You see, my name is Petula... and I suffer from invisible illnesses.

If you've been around before you know that I fight multiple myeloma, fibromyalgia and Sjogren's syndrome. If you're new then I hope you'll read some of my backstory. I used to be a normal person more than 20 years ago, but right after I had to have emergency surgery to remove my gall bladder in December 1994 things went haywire in the health department.

A month after my surgery I was told I have multiple myeloma.

Just a glance in my direction shows no signs of what my body is going through. When you ask me in passing "How are you?" I say I'm fine, but I really want to say, "Well, ya know, my joints are throbbing, my hips are killing me and giving out every few steps, I can feel the bones of my feet when I walk, my mouth and eyes are so dry that sometimes I can't see well and I don't want to talk, my lower back and my hips have decided that my newfound pleasure in sitting upright is over. Yup, I'm back to mostly reclining regardless of what I'm doing."

But who wants to hear all of that? On the outside I'm saying, "Fine, how are you?" And on the inside I'm screaming... that's my fight.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Photo fixes and fun with

I was compensated for this post; all opinions expressed are my own. Disclosure

One of my main challenges when it comes to posting on my blog and on social media is photography and images. My problems range from not having the right photo, not planning for the right photo, not taking the right photo and not knowing how to fix the right photo. Do you see the trend here? I thought you might.

In my ongoing quest to fix this problem, I have been discovering tools that help to develop logos, fix photographs and composite images for blog posts and anywhere you need a good image. That's where Fotor comes in; it's "an online photo editing suite, utilizing exclusive technology to bring an unprecedented level of editing control to anyone and everyone."

The first photo I played with below is of my granddaughter when she was about 8 months old, I think. The top photo is after Fotor and the next one is before Fotor. I hope you can see the changes I made and there were quite a few options I could choose from. What do you think?


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

That one moment

You know that moment, in the early morning hours before people start banging around and speaking loudly? The moment when the crickets, frogs and other little nocturnal creatures are still loudly announcing their existence? It's that moment when you cock your head and perch your ear to listen. It's that pause when you feel instantaneous peace. 

It's the little moment you find complete happiness... before you check email, text your friends, call your mother and open your laptop or turn on your computer. It's right before someone's car horn startles you, before 65 mph traffic. It's that one moment of everyday, if you're lucky, that you can focus on for a little peace.  

You may also find that moment right before you fall asleep... After you silence your phone, turn off electronics and pause your brain for a second. You'll hear the crickets and the frogs announcing the nighttime party for tiny creatures... It's that moment; that one, right there.
That moment...


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Quick mini facial with bliss #product review

One of the things I try to do regardless of what is going on is take care of my skin, which is a good thing for a couple of reasons: One, it helps me keep a youthful look and two, I'm addicted to skincare products. That's one of the reasons when I was asked in June to do a review and giveaway for I jumped at the chance. I've reviewed their products before and each product has done wonders for my skin. Plus, they "pay" with a $50 online store credit. (Click the links for my other reviews.)

See where this is going, right?

One of the things I ordered with my credit is the bliss 'night night' facial in a box. It's a "3-step, spa-at-home overnight treatment for beautiful, younger-looking skin." It is so simple to use and the products feel very luxurious on my skin.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Home is not so sweet: flooding and useless management

Given my on and off again presence here on my blog over the past year or so, you've probably gotten used to it. Maybe you have been thinking I must not be feeling well because I haven't been posting. That's only partially true. The reason I haven't been around for about two weeks is because on Tuesday, August 4th my apartment flooded.

(Here is where I need to say, "Shaunalynn, if you make one flooding joke I'm gonna disown you.)

It sounds as dramatic as it was. Let's see if I can tell you what happened in as little words as possible. Be forewarned, however, that the tale may get a little lengthy and I really hope you'll stick around. (I'll see more negative bounce rates and time on blog reports that will make me cry if you don't.)

(Please forgive the quality of the photos & video. I have not had a chance to do any editing.)

What really happened?

According to "reports," - the mouths of people who were working on the plumbing and other maintenance personnel - a pipe in the water access panel "just" broke. After listening to the men a little further, I heard one of the plumbers mutter, "Damn rotted pipe." Wait, I've gotten ahead of myself:

There is a water access panel outside and to the right of my front door. The water had been turned off at about 9 a.m. that morning because there was an emergency plumbing problem in one of the units in my building. That's what I was told; along with: "It'll be a couple of hours." Around 1:30 p.m., I saw the same plumber, working in the access panel, who notified me about the water being turned off and told him it's been more than a couple of hours like he said. He apologized and said they had another problem within said panel and they were working as quickly as they could.

Although I would have preferred to stand and harass them (you know you want to do stuff like that, too), I went into my apartment, sat on the couch in the living room and picked up my laptop for some Internet browsing. I was sitting there for less than an hour when I heard an extremely loud popping sound. Seconds after that sound water began gushing under my front door and from under the laundry room door. By the time I closed my mouth and rushed to the door the water was already flowing over my feet and was up to my ankles.

This is the closet where the water heater is stored inside the laundry
room. The water was flowing through and the wall from all corners. 

All of that debris and the insulation from inside the wall was
pushed out by the force of the water.

Initially, in those few seconds, when I heard the loud pop outside of my door and the subsequent gushing of water I didn't think much of it. It's not the first time the maintenance crew or a plumber has opened a value and let the water run. When I saw the water coming under the doors, I jumped up and yelled, "Hey!" I thought the plumbers were still there because it hadn't been but a few minutes since I heard them talking outside of the door.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tried and true tips for back to school

It's been a week and a half since my children returned to school. That's not long at all, but it still feels like an entire month or two has passed. I have filled out stacks of paperwork, helped with homework, prettified hair for picture day and have ironed 100 school uniforms.

Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. However, if you're a mom then you know how much needs to be done during the school year including making sure everyone is on a schedule. That means dinner served on time, homework and chores completed expeditiously and a little time set aside for relaxing.

I know you're as busy as I am and will understand if I share previous back-to-school posts with you. I'm sure you'll find them as helpful and entertaining as I think they are.

Here are my three from last year...


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

It's time for The John Boos & Co. Boos Block #Giveaway

The John Boos & Co Boos Block Giveaway ~ Ends 9/04

JohnBoosWalnut Tenmoku_1

Deliciously Savvy is hosting another GIVEAWAY! It's for a new style of cutting board from the John Boos Co. You see them all over The Food Network and every cook wants one (I know my daughter would love one). The American Black Walnut Tenmoku Cutting Board in American Black Walnut is their newest addition at RV of $202. They are made in the USA and are custom made when ordered They are fabulous cutting boards... one that you will treasure for life.

Enter Today and Good Luck!

Sponsored By ~ John Boos Co.

Hosted By ~ Deliciously Savvy

Co-Hosted By:

Michigan Saving and More / Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews / Capri's Coupons / Heartbeats~ Soul Stains / Virtually Shanae / Java John Z's / Romania and Missions / My Silly Little Gang

PLUS a big thank you to all of the blogs participating and promoting this fabulous giveaway. "You are the best," says Deliciously Savvy.

1 lucky winner will receive this cutting board to add to their culinary tool collection as well as board oil to always keep it perfect.

This board is 20" x 15" x 2", weighs 11 pounds, retails for $202, Made in the USA and they send you the board oil to keep it perfect always!

JohnBoosWalnut Tenmoku_111

Check out John Boos Co. HERE

Follow Via Social Media Too!

1 LUCKY WINNER will receive
The American Black Walnut Tenmoku Cutting Board
($202 RV) From John Boos Co!!

Giveaway Dates ~ 8/04 9PM EST until 09/04 9PM EST

Entrants must be 18 years old to enter and giveaway is open to US residents only.
Any Questions Email Me At mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook,
Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid only
in the United States. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.
This giveaway will end at 9PM (EST) on 09/04/2015.
Good Luck! Enter Below
Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Time for Back-to-School Shopping & Saving Money

Summer is in full swing, but for some of us it's coming to a close. The first day of school is merely two weeks away. It's the beginning of going to bed on time and it's also time for back-to-school shopping.

Each year the teachers send home lists with the 20 or so supplies the children will need for class, but right now I'm only focusing on saving money on back-to-school clothes. Regardless of if your child wears a uniform or street clothes to school, I'm sure you are as interested in saving money on clothes for school. I know I am.

 If you're apt to do online shopping then you'll be interested in saving money by using coupon codes, offers and store credits. I don't blame you because that's how I shop as well. It's a great way to save money without leaving the comfort of your home, and - as an added bonus - you will be able to avoid the crowds.

Instead of just popping directly to a retail site be sure to click on your links to review your discounts. For instance, you can get Neiman Marcus promo code and offers just by clicking a link to reveal your code. Right now there is a coupon code to receive a $25 gift card, which is sent directly to your email, with any purchase that’s $50 or more. Sounds like a good deal, right?

Don’t waste any more time; go ahead and start saving on your purchases right now. While you’re shopping for school clothes, remember to pick up something for yourself.

Where do you normally shop for your children's back-to-school clothes?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Memories of Home - Part II: What happened to the 7-Eleven?

It turns out when I say you should come back here and read something the next day that I really mean in a couple of days. I'm admitting to you that if I don't write something down or do it immediately (10 seconds later) that I'm going to forget. I must remember to do things as soon as I say I will.

That brings me to the last post, Memories of Home - Part I, I do remember what I was thinking and feeling when we moved to Maryland (Centreville!) from New Castle, Delaware. I was absolutely less than thrilled.

I had never been the new girl before and as it turns out it sucked. Not only was it horrible being the new girl at school, but outside of the school walls it wasn't that great either.

One of the first things I noticed about living in the country is the absence of 7-Eleven stores and the inability to reach any store without having to get in a car (or spend about an hour on a bicycle). The first time... uh, for that matter the second and third times as well, I asked my mother to take me to the store she said no. She was not about to drive "all the way back into town" to take me to the store.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Memories of Home - Part I: I can see my house from here

My friend DellGirl...
There's a good blogging friend of mine DellGirl who was reading someone else's blog about how he longed to return to his home country. That post caused her to have sweet memories of her childhood home. You can probably guess what happened after that; her post conjured up thoughts about the city and town I lived in while I was growing up.


I can't believe I never thought of this before: To find my childhood home on Google Earth. I'm so happy to see it. It's the same color it was when I was growing up. I see the changes, but... oh my, it's so sweet...

I was born in Wilmington, Delaware and lived in New Castle with my mom, dad and older brother in a suburban neighbor. We lived in the middle of the street that was in the middle of a semi-steep hill. In the summertime, I played outside with my friends and road my bike as fast I could down that hill. Other times I could be found being a pesky little sister or hiding in a little cubby on the bottom floor in the wall and playing with my toys. It was a comforting place to live with families next door and friends around the corner. It was a place where you could walk to the 7-Eleven around the corner and across the double-laned highway.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blogger Opportunity - The John Boos & Co Boos Block Giveaway

Sign Ups Close 7/26 ~ Co-Hosts Limited ~ Sign Up Today!

Blogger Opp ~ The John Boos & Co Boos Block Giveaway (Free & Paid Options Available!)

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Deliciously Savvy is Hosting another Giveaway and this one is super exciting! This giveaway is for a new style of cutting board from the John Boos Co. The American Black Walnut Tenmoku Cutting Board ($202 RV)!!! They are made in the USA and custom made when ordered! They are the most fabulous cutting boards.... high quality and foodies take notice!

Sponsored By ~ John Boos Co.

Hosted By ~ Deliciously Savvy
Co-Hosted By ~ ???


Monday, July 13, 2015

Speaking up for Autism

Scrolling through my email one day a subject line caught my attention: "Help me help others with autism." The words help and autism captured my attention as did the sender's message. Let me tell you a little about her. Her name is Kathleen and she has Asperger's Syndrome. 

Communication Science & Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Madison
According to Wikipedia, Asperger's syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, but it differs from autism as most who are diagnosed have linguistic and cognitive development. It can be characterized by difficulties in social interactions and nonverbal communication along with other repetitive or restrictive behaviors. And, what can be considered good news, is that a diagnosis of Asperger's no longer exists. In the 2013 fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders the diagnosis was changed to autism spectrum disorder and rated on a severity scale.

Sixteen-year-old Kathleen, who is working to get out of her shell, is busy attending high school and working as a "volunteer-intern-extraordinaire" at EducatorLabs where she helps with research and learns about outreach. She says, "I'm not letting [Asperger's] stop me."


Monday, June 29, 2015

Ice cream, one of the best things about summer #WeightWatchers

I'm guilty... of eating ice cream all year 'round, but there is some kind of extra pleasure that comes along with enjoying ice cream during the summer months. When you're taking a lick of cold, sweet vanilla on top of your favorite ice cream cone, you almost immediately forget about the 90+ degrees waiting for you outside.

You know what makes ice cream even better? Low-calorie, good-tasting ice cream. Thanks to Influenster I scored (for free!) Weight Watchers® Peanut Butter Caramel Ice Cream Bars and Dark Chocolate Dulce de Leche from my local Kroger. 

Truth be told, I was a little skeptical about trying the Weight Watchers brand of ice cream. The last time I tested that brand was about 20 years ago (did you know the company was founded in 1963?) and it didn't appeal to me at the time. 


Saturday, June 27, 2015

GIVEAWAY ENDED - Body beautiful with Just Being Sexy!, Paula's Choice & Pond's #giveaway

It was a lot of fun hosting the last giveaway for the jane iredale Lip Drink 15 so before my momentum decreased I decided to jump right back in and post another giveaway. Here are the details...

One winner will receive:

Paula's Choice, Pond's, Just Being Sexy!

Friday, June 26, 2015

How to work when every day is Saturday

For the past two weeks, every day has felt like a weekend day and I've finally figured out why. With the children out of school and such relaxed schedules, I don't feel compelled to get anything accomplished especially when I'm not feeling well. If you also work from home then you likely understand what I mean.

When there aren't any deadlines to meet, calls to make, posts to compose, traffic stats to check or products to review, you have to come up with a plan to ensure your writing business continues to flow. There are quite a few simple things you can do to keep on track; here are four:

  • Follow your editorial schedule; If there aren't any pressing things you need to write then turn to your editorial calendar to find out if there are any holidays or other recognized days you can write a post around. You'll have something for your readers that will keep your blog updated as well as something to share on social media to keep your readers visiting.
  • Schedule posts in advance: It's the middle of February, freezing outside and you have a couple of free hours; look for events you participated in last summer and prepare a new post around that. When the time arrives you can add a few current lines and hit publish.
  • Write a list post: You can share some of the most popular posts or the least possible to see if they can garner more traffic. Either way you've accomplished the task.
  • Work on social media marketing: To share posts via your social media really doesn't involve using your entire brain (HA!) so you can zip 'em out really quickly and spend the rest of your time hanging out with the kiddos.

Working from home can be difficult, but there are times when we need to take advantage of the opportunities to relax and have fun. 

If you work from home, how are you managing your work hours? If you're a straight workaholic and don't take any days off, how are you managing?


Thursday, June 18, 2015

5 days left to enter to win jane iredale Lip Drink SPF 15 #giveaway

Have you entered my current giveaway yet? If not, do it now before you forget. Five readers will receive a free gift code to purchase their own jane iredale Lip Drink SPF 15. 

There's also a review of the product in the giveaway post if you'd like more information. And, stay tuned, another giveaway will be posted soon.

Good luck!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Childhood obesity: Here's what you can do to change it

Today's topic has been on my mind for quite some time. With the idea rolling around in my head, I saw a photo of a friend's young relative and again the topic of childhood obesity plagued me. I see it's not going to leave me alone, which means I must write about it.

This seems like an uncomfortable topic for a lot of us - especially some parents, but if we don't keep having the conversation we will never arrive at a solution that every parent can implement. The topic will not go away until all of our children are healthier.

It breaks my heart to see overweight children. It doesn't matter if it's from an unhealthy lifestyle or a medical condition; it's sad to see overweight children. The young lady on the left is about 10 or 11 years old & on the right, she's about 8 years old. 

According to, the percentage of overweight children in the U.S. is rapidly growing, 1 out of 3 kids is now considered overweight or obese. I believe that we - the adults - are responsible for putting healthy food choices in front of our children as well as ensuring they get regular, physical activity and/or exercise. That's the beginning of assisting them with developing good habits.

When I was a youngster, during the summer months we left the house as soon as we could in the morning or early afternoon and rarely returned home before the streetlights came on. We didn't have the opportunity to sit in front of the television all day - it just wasn't allowed. And regardless if you had an Atari or Commodore 64 you still had to get your booty out of the house. Nowadays it's a requirement that a lot of families are not enforcing.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Scars = You survived

Check out more quotes on my Pinterest page - image found on Flickr
One of the things, resulting from my cancer battle, that will linger forever are the scars leftover. There are several plus some at hip level (on both sides) in the buttocks area from multiple bone marrow biopsies. On the left side of my chest there are about five dark scars from having a Hickman catheter and on the right side are a couple of scars: one from where the surgeon cut to insert a Power Port (it's where the nurses access my veins for treatments) and small dotted scars under there where the needles are inserted. I still have the Power Port, but the Hickman had to be removed due to an infection.

There are other scars from my battle with cancer - mostly mental and emotional. Those are the scars that, when I look in the mirror, make me think how ugly and beat up my body looks now. Then there are times when I look in the mirror and see how strong I am. How strong I have been. That's what is important, right? Each of those scars is a representative of my successful battle with cancer.

I've had to fight before. There is a five-inch scar on my abdomen from gall bladder removal. It was gangrened, which meant no laser surgery for me. I was 24 years old and one month later I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

The fight isn't over, but through the scars I can see I can still fight. I'm strong...

And so are you.

That's right. When you look at yourself, what scars do you see? Are they within you or visible on the surface? Think of the scar(s) right now and remember what you went through and remind yourself you are still here. Why? Because you - and I - are stronger than whatever tried to hurt us.

Leave a comment to share what you've survived. Then tell me if I accomplished what I said I would yesterday.

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