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Showing posts from September, 2010

Men have much to teach us (women)

Sometimes I think about my husband and I wonder how we can be the same species. Really. Men are about as different from us as any other animal. But they hold the keys to some pretty amazing talents. Here are just a few of the lessons we can learn from the male half of our species.

Fitness - I almost never go to women (or women's sites - so sorry) when I want fitness advice. Sure, women are great at counting and cutting calories, but men rock at burning them off. They have no patience for slo-mo workouts. They want (and get) fast results.
Women always complain that men lose weight and get muscular quicker. While hormones have something to do with it, their intensity helps too. If you really want to have your butt handed to you (and really, who doesn't? lol) then either exercise with a male partner or check out some great men's fitness sites. Either one will push you to work harder then you've ever worked before. My absolute favorite exercise site is The Fitness Blackboo…

And So it Begins......

Well, it was bound to start at some point..... Yesterday, my son came home and informed me that he was jumped in the school playground. His story changed a few times but from what I can gather, 2-4 older boys repeatedly pushed him into the rocks.

And he just took it. He said he told them to stop, but he didn't fight back. I reminded him that fighting is okay with mom and dad. But just knowing that "fighting is fine" is not enough.

Here's our new plan:

Now, when he gets home from school, we'll start "fight school." Then it's back to homework and the usual..... I'm still working on the details, but increased confidence, muscle, and fighting ability are the goals.

Using Wisk to take out Ketchup Stains!

For the past few weeks, we've been using Wisk to combat various laundry stains. This time, we tried it out on Carbohydrate stains - things like chocolate milk, ketchup, bbq sauce, syrup. We gave it a try on ketchup.


After breaking up a few fights, I brought the stained shirt to the laundry room and pre-treated it with Wisk. I let the stain and detergent sit for exactly 5 minutes. The links in this post may be affiliate links and products are often received for review purposes. Read the full disclosure and the privacy policy.

Armed at All Times!

My sister recently told me that she felt trapped in her own house. She didn't feel safe in her new neighborhood, couldn't go out for walks, or play in her backyard. How sad. I told her I didn't feel that way at all.

What I told her next, surprised her. I am armed at all times. She was shocked. After all, I live in a great neighborhood. A wealthy neighborhood without much criminal activity. Or do I.....
The worst/best thing about living in a nice area is the perceived safety. You feel like you can run around outside and everything's going to be okay. But we all know better.
In fact, most of my neighbors refuse to use the miles of beautiful trails and outdoor amenities in our area. "What if someone comes out of the woods?"
Indeed. What if some crazy just pulls up in front of your house? It can and does happen. But I refuse to live my life in a box because some crazy might be (or is) out there.
Instead, I've prepared myself. And I don't just mean - I …

Premium Naturals StriaFade Review

Got Stretch Marks? Me too. I recently reviewed StriaFade, a product formulate to both prevent and remove the appearance of stretch marks. Check out my video review and scroll down to see the main ingredients below.

StriaFade combines the ingredients used in the most popular stretch mark creams into one bottle. Take a look at the list of active ingredients in the most popular treatments: 
Mederma - Onion Bulb Extract
StriVectin - Peptides
TriLastin - Marine Collagen
Tummy Honey - Shea Butter
StriaFade - Peptides, Onion Bulb Extract, Shea Butter, Antarcticine, Skinmimics, Retinol Molecular Film, Marine Collagen


The links in this post may be affiliate links and products are often received for review purposes. Read the full disclosure and the privacy policy.

National Pet Health Insurance Month & $20 Kroger GiftCard Giveaway

September is National Pet Health Insurance Month and Kroger is once again helping learn more about insurance options. Personally, I wish I had dug deeper last year and got insurance for our pet. Reya just came home from her spay surgery today and it cost a whopping $336! And it's not finished yet. I still have to pay the vet to remove her stitches....


And then there are shots, annual exams, emergencies... Learn from my mistake and look into it before you become a furry one's parent. 


Here's what Kroger has to say about National Pet Health Insurance Month:

National Pet Health Insurance Month September is nationally recognized as Pet Health Insurance month, and Kroger is inviting pet owners to learn more about policy options for their furry friends. This year marks the second annual celebration of the pet insurance month in the United States with pet insurance becoming more and more popular.
Vet care has increased significantly within the past few years. Pet owners can now seek t…

Swords for the Nintendo Wii Review

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to play video games. Especially fighting games. My all time favorite game is The Legend of Zelda. I've played (and beat) every single Zelda game. I even stalk the new games and buy them the first day they become available.

Since there haven't been any new Zelda releases lately, I jumped at the chance to review Swords for the Nintendo Wii.

I have to be honest, I was attracted to the sword fighting but really worried about using the Wii remote to perform all the actions. Nothing beats the game cube remote.

We played this game as soon as it arrived. And by we, I mean my kids watched me play. They were so excited!  To my surprise, the Wi remote was perfect for this game.

Here's what I thought of this game:
It's rated Teen, but it's pretty tame. I personally wouldn't worry about children 8 or older watching this game. My kids are 4 and 6, and it was still fine. There is no "blood" or gory details. Yes, there's viol…

Olivia 2-in-1 Transforming Playset and Plush Review

Who doesn't love Olivia? I mean, really - she eats spaghetti, fights pirates, and gets in all sorts of mayhem. My kids love her story books, and were so excited when we had the chance to review a few of her new toys.
First up - the Olivia 2-in-1 Transforming Playset. My daughter claimed this right away. It is a doll-house right? That's what we thought. She opened it up, added all the stickers and furniture and was having a blast with it. But why did Olivia have a map and treasure chest. Why did she have an eye patch?

After looking at the directions, we realized you could flip the house over and open up an entirely new "house" - a pirate ship! Now my son was interested. There was a lookout, creepy stairs, and pirate gear. Awesome!

They had great fun playing with this set. The best part, though, was the fact that everything fits inside the house and closes up nice and small. You could take this set with you to the doctor's office or grandmas. It's quick and easy…

9 hours on an Airplane with 2 little kids.....

In just a few short weeks, we'll be heading to Hawaii with our two children (and my husband's parents.) My neighbors are in shock! How can you spend 9 hours on the plane with little kids???!!!? Honestly, I spend more than 9 hours a day with them at home, but I understand their concerns.

We've taken our kids on just a few vacations, probably 4 or 5 plane trips for each of them, and for the most part, it's been okay. Sure, they do require extra gear, food, and entertainment, but it's not all that bad.

For one, my kids are old enough to carry their own booster seats. They don't need naps or regular feedings. If they stay up late, it's no biggie. And they can walk on their own! Wahoo! That in itself, makes it a whole lot easier.

But that being said, we do need to sit for 9 hours.... Or do we? I plan to let the kids get up and walk around every hour or two. They can go visit Daddy in first class (lol), run to the bathroom, and just stand up and stretch. If you&…

Link & Win Mondays: Stop in to List and Win Tons of Giveaways!

Link up your giveaways in the Mr. Linky below. Be sure to check out all of the great giveaways for your chance to win!
My giveaways this week: Life DVD 4-disc set (2) $35 Jiffy Lube Gift Card Flat Iron
$20 Kroger's Gift Card

BBC: Life DVD Review & Giveaway

We recently had the chance to review the LifeDVD set. It came at the perfect time. We had just finished our home theater and had hoped to use this DVD set at our "opening night."
We are big science lovers - okay, me and the kids. But we all have an appreciation for the Earth and it's wonders. We went to see Planet Earth on the big screen and it was only fitting to see Life on our big screen at home.
Here's what we thought of it:
I thought the images and variety of life forms covered was fantastic. We really enjoyed watching them!
We thought we could watch it all in one sitting, but we were Sooooo wrong! This set contains 4 discs. Each disc contains 3 full episodes. There's a lot of "Life" to be seen. Overall, the images and the information were great. My kids loved watching and learning about all the animals. If I were a homeschooling mom, I would have counted this time towards a science lesson.
But there are a few things I didn't like. #1 - There are …

FarmRich & SeaPak Review

The people from FarmRich and SeaPak were kind enough to offer me a few of their products for review. I purchased the mozzarella cheese sticks from FarmRich and the popcorn shrimp from SeaPak.
In truth, this is the first time my children have ever had popcorn shrimp (ever) and mozzarella sticks at home. They were so excited about having mozzarella sticks.
And as big shrimp lovers, they were happy we were having shrimp for dinner. They were super surprised when it came out of the oven. They didn't know what to do with them and tried to peel off all the wrapping.
Aside from our initial misstep, the products were thoroughly enjoyed. I've never bought either of these products before, and was impressed with their quality. Both retained their shape, texture, and tastes well with freezing and then heating.
They were easy to make and a nice change from our usual fare. Thank you FarmRich and SeaPak for letting us try out your tasty products.

Going Back to My Roots....

Every year, I think I have my life all figured out, and then I go and learn something new.....and realize I was totally wrong. This happens over and over again, but it seems to always happen with each new gardening season.
This year, I planned. I overplanted my garden, hoping to take advantage of the varying growth cycles and weather changes. I expected complete plant obedience. Everyone would grow during their allotted time, die out in time for the next plant to take it's place, and on and on.
Of course it didn't work out that way. Everything ran amok and my garden was a disaster. To top it off, I spent the entire summer on our remodeling project and really didn't give the garden enough thought or effort.
This week, we are finally "done enough" with our project and I've been putting my life back together. School has started, I'm back to regular exercising (woo-hoo!), and I'm putting my focus back where it belongs. For Reals!
So in the spirit of reorg…

Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale DVD Review

We recently had the opportunity to review Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale on DVD. As you can expect, my daughter was super excited when she opened the package. She loves Barbie, sparkles, and everything glam. She knew this DVD was for her and we watched it right away.

Here's what we thought of it: The movie starts out kind of slow and a little negative. But after Barbie heads to Paris, it's all fun and glitter. There's fashion, romance, and tons of glam. My little girl loves this movie and has asks for it over and over.
My daughter is 4, but I'd recommend this movie for 6 and up.
The links in this post may be affiliate links and products are often received for review purposes. Read the full disclosure and the privacy policy.

How to Pack a Healthy School Lunch

Our school offers the option of buying lunch in the cafeteria or packing your own. At first glance, buying from the school seems like a good option. It's only $2.

If you buy the school's lunch, then - as parents- there's really no work or thought involved. Easy. Case closed, right?

Well, no. Our school has 151 school days each year - so buying lunch every day would cost $302. I'm fairly certain that most of my packed lunches will slide in just under $2 (some a little less, some a little more.) If you factor in my time, then the school lunch program becomes a steal. But since I work for free, that's really a moot point.

In the long run, I think we'll save a lot by packing our own lunches. Here's why.

1) The school allots 30 minutes for lunch. After waiting in line for most of that time, children that buy the school lunch learn to scarf their lunch in less than 5 minutes or risk not eating at all. This sets them up for a lifetime of eating too quickly (leadin…

Scientific Explorer Kit: Review

Who doesn't love science? Well...for some reason, a lot of girls tend to think science is hard or not for them. I'm working hard to keep science fun for my little girl, and recently we had a chance to review a product that keeps science interesting for girls.
Giddyup.com has a whole set of Scientific Explorer kits that let girls make spa related items using chemistry, physiology, and physics.
We got to try the Bath Fizzers Kit. This kit is rated for ages 8+ and sells for around $9.99.

This kit comes with everything you need to make the bath fizzers, including a cosmetic bag to keep it in once you've made them.
My daughter was so excited to get this in the mail. She looked at the package and knew it was for her. Since it was "just for her," we waited until school started so she could work on her "science project" without input from her brother.
She was so thrilled, talking for days about how she was going to mix chemicals and make bath "fizzies." S…

Terralina Ultimate Collection Review & Giveaway

As a woman, I never get tired of trying new skincare products. As a mom, I am really concerned about what is IN the products we use. Not that non-moms don't or shouldn't care. I just didn't think much about it until after I had kids.

Still, skincare is an area where I don't go as green or natural as I should. That's why I jumped at the chance to review the products from Terralina. I had the chance to review their Ultimate Collection.
Here's what I loved about it: 1) The entire set came in a reusable gift box and a note encouraging you to reuse the empty bottles. 2) They only contain natural ingredients: Adzuki beans, Chamomilla, Oat, Olive & olive leaf, Olive oil, Shea butter, Soy, White birch bark extract, White tea, and Willowherb 3) They do not contain any artificial colors or fragrances and a whole list of other harmful ingredients
The Ultimate Collection contains 5 different components: 2 cleansers, 2 moisturizers, and a toner.
I really liked the cleansers…

Link & Win Mondays: Stop in to List and Win Tons of Giveaways!

Link up your giveaways in the Mr. Linky below. Be sure to check out all of the great giveaways for your chance to win!
My giveaways this week: Life DVD 4-disc set (2) $35 Jiffy Lube Gift Card Flat Iron$20 Kroger's Gift Card

Help for Depression

Chances are you've felt depressed at least once in your life. If you're a mom, probably more. Maybe you feel depressed right now. You don't have to.
People in our country are so quick to take medicine for....everything. Medicine has it's place, but I think there's a better way. Or at least a better start.
#1 -I'm just going to go ahead and say it - exercise. Exercise really does make everything better. But there's more to it than that, and you can do a mad search of the internet to find out how exercise helps in so many ways.
I'm talking about really thinking through WHAT is causing you to feel so sad. For most of us, depression should be something we can climb out from.
Ask yourself the following questions: 1. Is (or has) someone held you as their prisoner and/or slave? 2. Have you (or are you currently) being assaulted? 3. Are you starving, suffering from a truly debilitating disease, and/or missing a majority of your limbs, senses, or organs? 4. Have you …

1st Grade - Not what I expected!!

We met with my son's first grade teacher this week, and it didn't turn out how I expected. Here's a brief rundown of our kindergarten experience - no recess, no snacks, Phys-ed once a month, mandatory weekly volunteering, and more.
My son didn't really enjoy school because he thought there was "too much sitting." I worried about first grade.
We got a postcard in the mail announcing his teacher and I quickly checked with all my mom friends and found out that none of the students from his kindergarten class, book club, or our neighborhood were in his 1st grade class.
Since he has a hard time starting new friendships, this concerned me. Plus, I really wanted him to get the 1 male teacher in our school. I thought it would be neat for him.
So we went to meet his teacher and check out his new classroom. To start things out, the teacher had a scavenger hunt set up so we got to see all the important classroom locations (lockers, desk, gym, lunch room, etc.) It was a lo…