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

Saturday, December 31, 2016

6 Ways to Get Mentally Fit for the New Year

With the start of a new year, it is important to reflect back on the prior year, assess what went well, what didn’t and decide where you want to go next. It takes a lot of mental toughness, self-love, and discipline to create the life you want. Simply coasting along on cruise control reacting to life can lead to victim mentality and stagnation, which is something I have experienced first hand. Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD, a New York City-based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and clinical director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services shares some key ways to get mentally fit for the new year so you - and I! - can move forward successfully.

Keep reading for the 6 tips...

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Making a decision to return to school

Whether we want to admit it or not the year is almost over. That's right - newsflash, right? - 2016 is coming to an end. Many of us will review the year and decide on what went well and what didn't; some of us will plan for the new year with renewed goals and commitments, and still others will begin a new chapter in our lives in the form of returning to school.

In fact, yours truly may be soon pounding the books again and going for a master's degree in creative writing. I have wanted to get a master’s degree for quite some time, but have been putting it off for one reason or another. Common story, I know. I was going to go back to school after my oldest graduated from high school - that was in 2009. Then I was going to go back to school when my youngest started school - that was in 2012. Now, I really don't have a good reason I just keep putting it off. I know it's time to stop delaying it and buckle down to get started. (Between you and me, I found an online program - that includes residency - that is probably going to work for me.) 

There are a lot of people who desire to further their education or begin a new career. I know writing is not a field everyone is interested in. For instance, a good friend of mine has been considering getting into medical billing, which is an occupation that I've heard can be fairly financially rewarding. In fact, GW offers an online mba in healthcare management that could be a good fit and a move in the right direction for her or anyone considering a career change in the medical field.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Slammers Snacks Hit a Home Run in the Health Department #review

I received samples free of charge for review purposes. Any opinions expressed are my own and are not swayed by sponsors or advertisers. Full disclosure. Contains an affiliate link.

There were more than 4,395 entries in the Cozy Up to Fall giveaway. That's pretty exciting, right? One of the things being given away - in addition to the $50 gift card - was a case of Slammers. Slammers Snacks are sweet, all natural, superfood snacks that are designed to fuel kids with organic fruits and vegetables. 

They're not only a healthy alternative to sugar-laden treats that are so readily available this time of year; they're also a great way to introduce children to mangoes, acai, yumberries, and pomegranates. They also serve as a great source of essential vitamins, and some flavors come packed with seven grams of protein.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Congratulations Nicole C.

And the winner is....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations Nicole C. - please check your email.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pre-Order a 'Pawn for Malice' by Cynthia Roberts

Get ready! Cynthia Roberts' new book Pawn for Malice, which is a thrilling romantic suspense, releases on November 6th and you have a chance to preorder it. I've read the description and it sounds good to me. Tell me what you think: 

Book Description

Does an ex-cop ever lose his "nose" for investigating? Freshmen Senator, Bryon Gallagher, certainly hasn't, when the love of his life, Jessica, is kidnapped by a mad man. No stone is left unturned, as he plays the role of a senator by day and rogue detective by night, calling in favors and working his past snitches to the bone to find her. The only problem is, who does he focus his efforts on ... her deranged, the former father-in-law who lusts after her, a crazed felon hell-bent on revenging the execution of his brother put to death under the Senator's newly passed Death Penalty Bill, or an unknown psycho, looking for his "moment of fame?"

Pawn for Malice is a thrilling and passionate love story that is a blend of crime action, suspense, and self-discovery or one could even say, a cross between Safe Haven and Criminal Minds.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

3 Areas to Renovate to Increase Your Home's Value

The process of selling a home is quite daunting. Most people are worried that they are not going to get the price they want when they sell and they will end up upside down in their loan. This is why many homeowners try to get the value of their home as high as possible before they put it on the market. Sometimes you have to spend a little money in order to make that happen. 

Many homeowners perform home renovations in certain areas of their home in order to get the value up before they put it on the market. Some areas in the home are viewed as more important than others when it comes to updating them. The following are 3 areas in the home that can bring you and other homeowners a lot of value when you choose to renovate them. 


Monday, October 10, 2016

Cozy Up with Fall Giveaway

~Deadline extended: giveaway ends November 5th~
I know I should have posted this a long time ago and it should have been a back-to-school giveaway; however, as the elusive "they" always says, 'it's better late than never.' I don't know about you, but when the seasons change I go through changes myself. I'll perk up in the spring, I'm ready to hang out with the kids in the summer, and I'm always in the mood to settle down with a soft blanket and a cozy sweater for the long haul of winter. With every season there's a lot to look forward to. Now, here's something you can look forward to.

This time, instead of focusing so much on myself I want to do something nice for you. This giveaway did not turn out like I would have liked, but I'm going to say it's the thought that counts, right? Let's get started. One person will win every prize. The first item is something I'm sure you can use:


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Are More Fiction Authors Turning To Non-Fiction Topics?

One of the most interesting trends in the world of fiction is the recent trend of such authors suddenly turning out non-fiction titles. While some of our most famous authors in the realm of fantasy, such as Daniel Handler, have yet to follow this trend, there are plenty of others who seem determined to do so. While Handler hasn't turned his attention to writing any kind of philosophical manifesto, certain authors have decided to try their hand at this risky business. In many cases, the results have been enlightening or, at the very least, entertaining. Is this a trend that seems destined to become a mainstay? 

What Is The Appeal For An Author To Write A Grand Manifesto?

Is there a special urge to write a grand artistic manifesto that has become more prevalent with the advent of the new century? Do authors in all genres of fiction feel the need to explain themselves to their audience in a way that has never occurred to them in the past? Why all of a sudden are authors from the fields of fantasy, horror, erotica, and even children's fiction suddenly writing philosophical treatises and "How to Write" guides? Is there an overarching trend that explains these frank and confessional works? These are questions that customers and critics alike are scrambling to find answers to.


Monday, September 19, 2016

My Guest Post on Maa of all Blogs

Miss Autumn was just 2 years old here; seems like yesterday.
Now she's 4 years old & attending pre-k.
I'm particularly pleased to announce my guest post that was published on Maa of all Blogs today. If you know me then you're aware I have quite a generation gap among my children: my oldest child, a daughter, is 25 years old and my youngest child, also a daughter, is 9. In between them are a son who's 12 and an 11-year-old daughter. And, I have a sweet, little granddaughter named Autumn who just turned 4 years old.

Balancing life as a mom and a grandmother takes a little juggling, but I have discovered four tips that help. Pop on over to Maa of all Blogs to read the post today.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Independent Political Party Beliefs

Today's political climate hardly encourages independent thinking about the best way to move the country forward. Some on the left make efforts to appeal to a broader segment of the American population through its platform; others on the right do the same. Between the two, a middle ground is not always visible. When the middle speaks out of the shadows, one side or the other may attempt to shout it down. However, there is a middle ground for those with independent political party beliefs


How to Navigate the Changing Landscape of Life

My youngest, who's 9, asks to go outside with her friends. I let her go and reiterate the rules and she's gone in less than a minute. Funny, I think, she's going off to play with her friends and her two older siblings are still inside. It wasn't that long ago where she wasn't able to make a move without a sibling in tow. 

At 9 years old she's just a Little Bit - one of the nicknames I use - at barely 60 pounds. So this is a big step in the direction of her independence. Not only has she matured enough to want to go out without her brother or sister, but I'm beginning to feel more comfortable with this development. Even though I haven't moved from the comfort of my bed (thanks to a bug or infection or something that's plaguing me), I've still had her siblings - a brother, age 12, and her 11-year-old sister - check up on her periodically.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How a Family Law Solicitor Can Help ~ Guest Post

When my paternal grandmother died about 14 years ago, one of the things that made her passing easier to handle was the fact she had all of her legal issues in order, i.e., her will and final arrangement. Losing someone is without a doubt one of the most difficult situations to endure and it can be substantially worse when legal matters are added to the mix. 

Thankfully, we didn't have to worry about disputes over inheritance because everything was laid out for us. To have similar results in this type of situation, it's a good idea to obtain the services of a family law solicitorWhile thinking about our mortality isn't pleasant, it is important to have a will that will, among other things, keep your family from being divided over assets after you're gone


Monday, August 29, 2016

Shop Groupon Goods for Top Deals

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

Last week, I snagged a great deal on a lovely pair of silver (sounds much nicer than gray) sheets with sort of tuxedo stripes on them. The most important thing in that sentence is DEAL. 

It's obvious that I have saving money on my mind because it's the third post I've written on the subject in as many days. With back to school here and the holidays right around the corner, it's a necessity to pinch pennies and save money.

Do you have a child going to college? How about a little kid transitioning to a big kid bed? Or, are you just trying to update the decor around your house? If so, then take a look at Groupon Goods where you can find some of the best deals. For instance, there's a Microfiber Merit Linens Embossed Checker Sheet Set that was originally priced at $89.99 and it was available for $29.99 the last time I checked.

It is deals like this that make Groupon Goods one of the top go-to sites for wall accents and bedding. To stay in the know of savings, follow Groupon Goods on Facebook and Twitter.

Have you purchased from Groupon Goods?

3 Easy Steps to Win the Brand Name Debate

This post contains two referral links to help both of us save money.

"No one wears Skechers anymore," one of my preteens said the other day.

The other two chimed in with "Nope" and "Not uh" then a resounding three-party, "No!" when I said, "Really?! Come on."

This is a conversation many parents are regularly having with their children; a conversation that you're probably all-too familiar with. And, more than likely, have recently had with a child or two given the fact that school is back in session or soon will be for some. 


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Save Money, Clip Coupons at Groupon Coupons

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine

One of the first places I look for deals when I want to take the children out on the town or do something myself is Groupon, which is a global e-commerce marketplace for deals on travel, services, and goods. What I keep forgetting is I can use the service in my everyday life by simply searching for what I need on Groupon Coupons.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Help Welch's Fight Child Hunger in the U.S.

It's hard to believe that in the United States there are 15.3 million children who live in households where they don't have consistent access to nutritious food needed for a healthy life. The results are hunger, of course, and food insecurity because children are left to deal with a poorer quality of life.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

1 Simple Solution to Purse Organization - #productreview

There is one thing most women who carry handbags have in common: they lose items within them. This can be an everyday issue. Whether it's throwing your keys into your purse when you run into a store and not being able to find them when you come back out, or the frantic search for lipgloss, lotion or any other small, tubular item that's never within reach when you want it the most.

If you're like me then you've tried just about everything to organize your pocketbook: I call it the Great Purse Organization Project. There's the keychain with the hook on it, a standard makeup bag, the wallet or notebook that holds a pen in the little loop or even a day planner with all the little pockets for IDs, credit cards or receipts. 

Nothing seems to work.

I'm happy to announce GPOP (Great Purse Organization Project, remember?) has been accomplished. Not only am I carrying a bag I really love - a Coach bucket bag - but I also have finally found the purse organizer: Baggie All by RuMe. Seriously, 'The Best Everyday Organizer' ever.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer #Giveaway: #Win a Big Green Egg Grill® from Jarlsberg® Cheese

In honor of their 60th anniversary, Jarlsberg Cheese® is hosting an amazing Summer Giveaway. Each week until August 31st, they're giving away a Big Green Egg Grill®. All you have to do to enter is fill out the entry form everyday with your information. You also have the option of adding a picture or description showing your way of enjoying Jarlsberg cheese.

I don't know about you, but I'm excited about this giveaway. If you don't already have an amazing grill this is a chance to win one (a good one!) for your very own. What a way to enjoy the rest of your summer, right?


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Stay in Style with #fashion #review

I received complimentary products for the purpose of this review;
all opinions expressed are my own. Policy.

Post contains an affiliate link.

If you troll social media as much as I do then you come across plenty of goodies that you like. I find myself drooling over the latest styles and I'm a sucker for pretty & current jewelry. That's why I fell in love with from the moment I learned about them. 

Based in California, is an online fashion boutique that serves customers in more than 150 countries. They're in the business of providing the "latest fashions at amazing prices." 


Sunday, June 19, 2016

5 Ways to Fix a Love/Hate Relationship

I have a love/hate relationship with my blog. I could leave that statement like that and continue on from there, but that would be deceptive. The truth is, I realize the love/hate relationship I have with my blog is a metaphor for the love/hate relationship I have with myself.

When I look at my blog I see something I really love, but I also see something that needs a lot of changes and updates. Regardless of how badly I want to update it, I can never seem to get it like I want it when it comes to design. And I can never figure out what I want to write. It's mainly because of "chemo brain" that this happens, but it also has to do with my inexperience lack of understanding with design and HTML. If you've been pregnant before then you'll understand what I'm talking about when it comes to "chemo brain" because it's similar to "pregnant brain" or "new mom brain."
Image courtesy of tigger11th at

You see, my most recent battle with Multiple Myeloma along with my struggles with fibromyalgia and Sjogren's Syndrome have left my brain a little off. Regardless of how many ideas I come up with, I'm unable to see them through and regardless of my efforts, things don't turn out quite the way I envision them.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Avoiding a Construction Zone

I hate to admit it, but I don't have any solutions for avoiding construction zones. However, after I figure out this blog template I am hoping to have many solutions for you. In the meantime, please click around and read some of my old posts. Here are a few of my favorites:


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Put Pen to Paper for Letter Writing Month

I'll be the first to admit I've fallen "victim" to the call of the keyboard. Its melody swirls around me and forces me to text, email or send a Facebook message. You  know, much like how a mermaid's siren song lures fishermen from their vessels. 

It's easy to give into it; it's convenient, quick and oftentimes succinct. In my case, it allows me to continue what I'm doing without interruption but to also stay in touch... Sometimes having complete conversations. (it really only works well if both people are good at that form of communication.) 

When I was an adolescent and even into my early 20s, I got immense pleasure from writing and receiving letters. I couldn't wait for the mail to be delivered because there would be a letter from my first love (I was 14) or my grandmother. As I got older, life got busier and technology more commonplace, letter writing was one of the first things to let go. 

Let's try to change that. Well, for this month at least then we'll see where it takes us. Pick up your paper, markers,gel pens, colored pencils, stickers, postcards and stationary (or just the regular stuff, if you like) and hand write some letters and notes to those who are too far away for frequent visits. There's still something special and even magical - when it's not a bill - in sending and receiving mail. 


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Choose professional essay-writing services

Let's face it; if you're a college student at any level it can be difficult to keep up with all of the work especially when it's time to write essays and papers. When deadlines are looming and your strengths do not include essay writing, consider employing a service to complete the task for you. One of things I always tell clients, and anyone who will listen, if you can't do it yourself or it's not your strong suit then hire someone to do it for you.

My advice is the same when it comes to essay writing. Think about this: You hire professional plumbers, electricians, mechanics and others that you may need, why not do the same for something as important as this. Some may tell you it isn't a good idea to have someone else write for you, but when you do all of the research, give them the key components and work with them to get your essay complete it isn't their (the essay writer's) work, it's yours.

You can always do your own research and find an essay writer to work with, but can you imagine how much time that will take if you don't already have a recommendation, service or person lined up? Too much time when you're on a tight deadline.

To save you some time, here's an essay service you should look into: 

'We are a custom essay writing service, and we are heavily experienced in this field. Everyone on our staff has an advanced degree in his or her respective field. Many hold more than one degree, some even PhDs. But it's not just about the prestige. It's about the quality of our work overall. We believe, as do our thousands of repeat customers, that we simply offer the best available work in the world. Chances are that you'll feel the same way about us once you've experienced the process for yourself. Custom essays are more than just something that sounds cool. In fact, there is no other way to describe the process we've developed for our customers. Each and every one of our essays is custom written to your specifications, to the point that neither you nor your professors will be able to detect a difference between your writing and ours. That's probably a good thing, don't you think?'


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Birthday Celebration: The Day of my Bone Marrow Transplant

"My how time flies." That's one of the most overused phrases, but it's one that is so very true. The more our society speeds up, has more to do and continues to get more advanced technologically to help make everything faster then the more time flies. It's a vicious, time-warp-like cycle. (Kind of like the time warp that's between the time you grab your keys to leave the house and get in the car. If you're like me then you swear it only took you three to five minutes, but the clock says 10 to 20 minutes.)

With everything passing so quickly we tend to miss a lot.There are some of us who are making a concerted effort to take time for the special moments. It's something I try to do as well. I'm not always successful in acknowledging important occasions hence the reason I missed my birthday.

Not the day of my birth. I missed the chance to celebrate and honor the day I was given the opportunity to begin life again. A healthier life. It's the day I had a bone marrow transplant: December 24, 2014.

The month of December is a little hazy for me because I was packing to move again (the second time in about three months) and the circumstances surrounding the move weren't pleasant. I was resistant to the move and could not get into a place that I wanted. And the last thing I wanted to do was celebrate Christmas, but the children are always extra excited about the holiday so I focused on packing and present purchasing.
Early in 2013

It wasn't until about a month ago when it dawned on me that I didn't acknowledge the day. What would I have done had I taken the time then? More than likely I would have prepared a special meal or taken us out to dinner and definitely had dessert. I would talk with the children about the importance of the day and go around the table asking each of them what is different compared to the same time last year - in 2013 - or even the year prior.


Monday, March 14, 2016

Find writing gigs

If you know me or have been following me for awhile then you know that I'm always doing something. Selling JewelScent candles, sharing It Works products as well as the company and my writing. Among it all, you know that writing is what I like to do the most. It makes me happy, I'm good at it and plus I have a degree in Journalism so I'm serious about it.

About me

I've been a writer for 22 years. I started off working for a daily newspaper then a weekly newspaper and a monthly news magazine, onto monthly publications and freelancing. My freelancing turned into blogging and web content. That's probably the quickest and easiest explanation of my career I've ever done that covers the 20 plus years. I haven't realized all of my writing dreams and goals, but I'm well on my way to still seeing them come to fruition. As a freelancer, it's sometimes difficult to keep up with other writing projects while you're trying to make a buck and if you have a family and other commitments it makes the task even that much tougher. But, it's still possible. It just takes perseverance.

And connections!

Where are the gigs?


Thursday, February 25, 2016

So Charming: Perfect Gift for Girls #review

I always get excited when it's time to shop for one of my girls because there are so many fabulous choices in such an array of colors. Whether it's clothing, toys, books, games or jewelry, you're sure to find something special for your little lady. One of my favorite choices right now are Sweet Charm Elegance's deliciously fun charms.

Now, just in time for Spring, they're introducing some more realistic looking ice cream baked charms (chocolate, raspberry, and orange cream). The last time they released charms, we chose the Wedding Cake Charm and a gorgeous slice of rainbow birthday cake - their bestseller. My tween daughter, Amareah, is fascinated by her Sweet Charm Elegance charms and bracelet and I'm more than happy to continue to add to her collection.

Sweet Charm Elegance's almost-realistic treats... uh, charms... are great for young girls ages ---- and those young at heart. I was perusing their site and found some bling that's ideal to add to my own Spring wardrobe. I mean, Most of the charms are priced at $12 each, but you'll find a few at $10 and there are also other goodies waiting for you.

We really love charms around here: My oldest daughter recently received a Pandora bracelet as a gift (I'm so jealous! LOL) and we're also in love with CHARM IT! Detachable Charm Jewelry for Girls. (Click the link to read my review.) Easter is March 27th this year and the Sweet Charm Elegance charms are perfect to add to Easter baskets or eggs.

My review

The quality of these little charms is without question A+ and the details will have you staring at these goodies in awe and admiration. Best of all is the fact that they're a hit with the girls. Not only am I drooling over them, but when Amareah saw she had two more charms she seemed to sparkle with excitement, which is exactly the reaction you want when presenting a gift.

About Sweet Charm Elegance 

It all started when they "discovered" clay about a year ago. They are always up to trying something new and started playing around and created different types of charms. "First, came the sweet stuff; fruits, candy, cakes, pies, you name it. Pretty soon, Sweet Charms quickly expanded to fashion, foods and animals... My tea pots charms are my biggest draw!."

They also added to the collection when the designer happened to get a beautiful free gift of gorgeous vintage Swarovski crystals. "I quickly learned how to create all different types of jewelry. With its distinct cuts, Swarovski is one of the most recognizable brands in the jewelry business. Each crystal  is handled carefully as pieces are created...Swarovski crystals have some serious sparkle to them!  Like anything, we are constantly learning new techniques and follow jewelry trends."

"At Sweet Charm Elegance, we create jewelry inspired by all things that are sweet, sparkly and shiny! All designs are handmade, using the highest quality crystals. Most of our elegant line offer color options for weddings, bridal showers, proms, or any big event. We exclusively use Swarovski Crystals and freshwater (dyed and undyed) pearls. "Made With Love", each piece reflects Sweet Charms personal style."

Visit Sweet Charm Elegance ("Handmade jewelry for the sweet and elegant") online and take a look at all of their little goodies. Believe me, you'll have a hard time clicking away without making a purchase.

Do you have someone in mind that would love some charm jewelry?


Friday, February 5, 2016

Last-minute Super Bowl snack with Garden Lites & Jarlsberg

You may not realize this but for millions of Americans, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest food holidays of the years. Instead of resorting to the same old fatty, greasy, unhealthy snacks and food why not make a healthier noshing choice?

Lucky for you, I have an answer for you. Try Garden Lites Muffins and Garden Lites Broccoli & Brown Rice Veggie Bites. I received coupons to try these little goodies, but they have been misplaced during my move and I haven't tried them yet. However, that doesn't make me any less excited to recommend them to you because I've heard good things about them. And, I'll write a review at a later date.

Garden Lites Broccoli Bites
“Garden Lites Muffins and Garden Lites Bites are always a crowd pleaser during the Big Game Day party, and now you can indulge your sweet tooth without post-game remorse,” says Julie Gould, brand manager for Garden Lites. 
Instead of just plopping down a package of the package of chocolate muffins you can make Oozy Boozy Mudslide Cupcakes (for legal drinking age - 21+! - game watchers only). 

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