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

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Features of a perfect family car

Sponsored post.

About two years ago, I was on my way home from an appointment when the car in front of me suddenly stopped. I slammed on my brakes and glanced in my rearview mirror and could see a pickup truck approaching. It was going way too fast to stop - apparently the driver hadn't been paying attention and looked up at the last minutes. He tried to swerve, but he was too late and slammed into the back on my minivan.

Unfortunately, my van was totaled and I was presented with the need to purchase another vehicle. Since I have a large family that meant not only finding a vehicle I could afford and that is reliable, but one that served our needs and fit our family.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Easy Comparison Shopping

In the early 90s, before the Internet exploded with information, you were forced to trudge from store to store to compare the prices of big-ticket items. If you weren't out going from door to door then you were braving the phones and hoping to get accurate information from whomever answered. Nowadays, it's a bit simpler: Just open your favorite browser and search.

Now we're presented with the problem of the number of results we get when we search. Astounding, right? It would be great if there was a site dedicated to doing all of the legwork for you and provide information on the top 10 best products in specific categories. According to, they're that site.

As a consumer, if you question Reviewsbee's rankings and info on various products you can perform a brief search and comparison on a couple of their choices to see what you think. That's what I did when I first heard about the site. I recently purchased an air mattress and I just comparison shopped on my chosen site. So, I took a look at the Reviewsbee choices.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Master Creative Lettering #books

Links for purchases included at the end. Read the disclosure for more information.

I am a sucker for all things creative and I get extra excited when it's something that I can share with my children. We write stories together, make art collages, paint, draw, and do crafts together. When I received the books Hand Lettering A to Z and The Art of Drawing Dangles, I made quick work of sitting down with two of my children to start practicing.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

How to raise money smart kids

From our friends at BusyKid, the online chore chart
As a parent, you have a lot to impart upon your children. In addition to helping with homework or homeschooling, you have to teach them about personal hygiene, housekeeping, car care, laundry and financial responsibility. For a lot of us, providing them with appropriate financial literacy falls to the wayside. However, in order to help our kids get ahead we must teach them the basics of financial responsibility at a young age. It’s never too early to instruct them about the value of working hard, saving money, and accomplishing goals, and now that summer is here we can take some of the "extra" time we have to focus on financial literacy for kids.

Here are some ideas to help children become financially literate well before their adult years.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Nivea In-Shower Lotion #review

I am a moisturizing fanatic. I have to have a myriad of creams, butters, serums and lotions to make sure every base or, in this case, every area of skin is covered. There are foot and hand creams, dry skin lotions, skin softeners, lotions with sunscreen… the list is extensive, as you already know.
Wherever I go, lotion has to be readily available. I normally carry two in my purse, there’s one in the center console of my car, a couple of bottles and jars next to my bed, hand lotion in the kitchen and bathroom as well as body lotion and facial moisturizer (not to mention both face cream & body lotion with sunscreen) where I get dressed.

So you can see I’m well versed when it comes to moisturizers… And, I know, a little addicted. That’s why I had to try Nivea’s In-Shower Lotion. When I saw the television commercial, I was skeptical. Not necessarily because I doubted its effectiveness, but I questioned whether it would leave my skin feeling the way I like. Imagine my delight when I discovered I already had a coupon for it.
The first thing I noticed is you can’t use too much. I don’t know what I was thinking the first time, but I squirted out a big glob of it. I immediately realized my mistake when I tried to get out of the shower and couldn’t move my feet without slipping. (Someone didn’t pay attention to that warning on the bottle.) On subsequent uses I poured out the same amount overall, but in several small squirts.  
Nivea also advise to wash/rinse out the tub thoroughly with hot water after use. It’s a good idea to wash the tub more frequently when you use this because scum builds up on the tub and shower more quickly.
How’d my skin feel afterwards? Although it doesn’t give me the totally moisturized feeling that I like, it did do the job. Honestly, I was surprised. I have an aversion to patting dry so I thought I would rub it all off, but that wasn’t the case. I did add lotion to my arms (have to make sure my elbows are on point) and heavy cream on my feet.
When time is tight this lotion is the ideal. The only thing I’m not fond of is the smell. If you like the original Nivea scent, then you’re likely find it appealing. It was just a little strong for my taste.
The In-Shower Lotion is available four types: nourishing (the one I tried), smoothing, hydrating and cocoa butter. Once I've used all of the Nourishing In-Shower Lotion, I'm going to try one of the others. One of the things I like about it is if you're in a rush then you're able to accomplish two beauty care routines in one swoop. I'm hopeful that one of the others will have a smell that's more to my liking.

More about the lotions:

Nourishing: This one is great for those with very dry skin and it contains almond oil.
Smoothing: This contains Shea butter and is for those with dry skin.
Hydrating: It's for those with normal to dry skin and it's made with sea minerals.
Cocoa Butter: The cocoa butter in this version is great for those with dry to very dry skin.

My overall opinion:

This a product I will definitely recommend. Despite my dislike of the fragrance, this does exactly what it says, it feels good on the skin, and it lasts all day.

Have you tried the Nivea In-Shower Lotion? What do you think? If not, do you plan to try it? And tell me about your favorite moisturizer.



Sunday, April 23, 2017

3 Ways to Achieve Island Calm at Home

When I began writing this I was sitting poolside at Villas by the Sea on Jekyll Island. You're probably wondering why I'm sitting poolside and working/writing. The answer is simple: Island life sparks my creativity.

It could be the relaxed nature of being on an island... You know, in such close proximity to the ocean... which, by the way, I could see from my bed. And listen to its soothing sound as I fall asleep. I mean, how can one not be inspired? This isn't the first time I've vacationed on an island/near the ocean and every.single.time I realize my desire to permanently live the island life. Or at least along the coast.

What's keeping me from moving? Number one: I have minor children who are from my previous marriage and their father would not be amiable to me moving out of the country and out of the state with them. No worries if I go on my own. Number two: I have an adult daughter and a granddaughter who I would greatly miss. Right now, I see them - at minimum - once a week.  Number three: The rest of my family. Although I don't get home to Maryland very often at least when I do I don't have to worry about making arrangements to fly across countries or spend more than two and a half hours on a plane.

Jekyll Island seems like the best of both worlds. It's about a five-hour drive Atlanta, but once on the island I can take slow, leisurely drives to wherever I want to go. Thirty-five miles an hour mostly.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How to Cope When You Forget Your Phone...

Includes affiliate links. Disclosure policy.

Yesterday I got out of my van at the Atlanta Veteran's Hospital and left my phone on the dash attached to its magnet. I was well into the facility before I realized that my hand was empty; surely the phone must be in my shoulder bag, right? WRONG. When it dawned on me the phone was in the car a feeling of dread came over me.

You know what I'm talking about, right? What if you need to call someone, do you remember the phone number? What if your child, boyfriend, husband, wife, girlfriend, babysitter, child's school, or that long-lost cousin try to call you? How will you play a game, check your email, write your grocery list?

Okay, breathe.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Celebrate Diversity in Children's Books #ReadYourWorld

This post sat in the queue of my brain too long and as a result, I'm late posting. Sometimes when that happens I make a decision to skip posting because the timeframe has passed. This time, I decided that just because Multicultural Children's Book Day was on January 17th, just one day of the year that doesn't mean it - and all of the authors and sponsors - shouldn't be recognized. Plus, I committed to it.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. The mission of the MCCBD is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity on home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators. Young readers need to see themselves within the pages of books, and other media, they read and they need to be able to experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions. 

The MCCBD team encourages readers, parents, teachers, caregivers, and librarians to follow along with the event details, author visits, and fun book reviews by following a multicultural children's book linky and via their hashtag #ReadYourWorld on Twitter and other social media.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Give Greeting Card Gifts #Lovepop

Samples of Lovepop cards were provided for review purposes, however, opinions expressed are my own. Click for complete disclosure.

If you're like me, when it comes to choosing greeting cards you put a lot of time and effort into finding the ideal one. You try to find one that looks good (image is everything, right?), expresses the right sentiment, and will mean a lot to the recipient. With the sheer number of cards, it can be quite a task. 

That's why when I was delighted to find out about Lovepop greeting cards and share them with you. Lovepop cards are elaborate 3D paper sculptures designed by naval engineers using cutting edge software slicegami™ and then hand-crafted in the Asian art form kirigami, which is the folding and cutting of paper into ornamental shapes.

They are more than just cards; they're gifts in envelopes.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

In the Moment: Say No to Toddlers & Smartphones

Contains affiliate link; any opinions expressed are my own. Disclosure policy.

My granddaughter was about a year old when she started looking at photos, watching videos and listening to music on her mommy's phone. In fact, by the time she was 2 years old, she could swipe better than I could and knew the ins and outs of the phone's galleries and games. That's why when I became aware of #BabyLove: My Toddler Life, a new children’s picture book by Corine Dehghanpisheh, I had to check it out and share it with my granddaughter, Autumn.

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