Let's say I try and bite you. How much is it gonna hurt? I'm...

December 12, 2010


I don't even have anything bright to say about this.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

December 2, 2010

You Can't Cheat on the hCG Diet!

I cheated on the hCG diet last night. I had half a cupcake, one chicken nugget, and I ate mushrooms and olives, none of which are on the approved list. I counted every last bite and nibble and I ate 606 calories yesterday. That is 106 over my allotted amount.

I was hoping that even though I had eaten things that were not included in Dr. Simeons' approved eating list, that I would be okay. I even worked out to be extra sure. I worked out for about an hour and burned 400 calories. so, 606 calories minus the 400 calories that I burned off should equal 206 calories. I should have lost weight, right?

WRONG!I didn't lose an ounce. I weighed in at exactly the same amount as the day before! If I had not worked out, I would have gained weight for sure. So in order to combat that, I am having an apple day. Today I am going to eat only apples, up to six. I am also going to have another hardcore workout day to try to make up for the lost opportunity.

Oh, and can I just say - this whole cupcake thing really made me think of the TV show The Biggest Loser. If I saw a contestant on that show trade in half a cupcake for a 2 pound advantage, I would think that they were not in it to win it. I am definitely all about winning this and so that is how I am going to think about cupcakes and chicken nuggets from now on!

Tom's of Maine is Wicked Fresh

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tom's of Maine. All opinions are 100% mine.

My sister, my mother in law, and I are all big fans of Tom's Of Maine products. My mother in law has very sensitive skin and several allergies.  My sister and I also love Tom's for the all natural ingredients and the overall performance of their products.  We use the toothpaste and the deodorant and we love the results.

My sister uses the antiplaque, tartar control, plus whitener.  I like to switch back and forth between that and the strawberry flavor, whichever mood strikes me. I'm excited that Tom's has a new toothpaste available called Wicked Fresh. It comes in peppermint flavor and has a longer lasting fresh breath sensation as well as cavity protection.  Wicked Fresh is also a new mouth wash by Tom's.

click here

In honor of their new toothpaste and mouthwash, Tom's Of Maine is having a contest called the "That's Wicked Fresh"  contest. You can get all the details on the That's Wicked Fresh contest page, but the basic idea is that you share a favorite moment that you can describe as "wicked fresh" on facebook or twitter.  You go to the That's Wicked Fresh contest page and type your tweet or status update into the box on the webpage.  You have to include a tiny url link and a has reference to Wicked Fresh, but the details are on the page and you can just copy and paste them.

There are several different prizes; the main one being a $500 gift card to Target.  Um, hello? That is half a grand for making a tweet!  And it's easy, too!  Watch, here is mine.  "It was WICKED FRESH when my son turned 3 this week! He's the most WICKED FRESH kid on the block!  http://bit.ly/wickedfresh #WickedFresh" 

Booyah, now I am in the running for a half grand shopping spree at target.  I know just what I'll buy... stuff to decorate my house!  Also, a couple hundred dollars worth of gorceries, a steam cleaner for my carpets, some toys for Caleb, and some cleaning supplies.  I wish you the best of luck,   but I also really hope I win!

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hCG is Not a Scam

I have lost 12 pounds in 4 day on the hCG diet. When I first heard about this diet I thought it was a scam. When I looked into it a little further, I was skeptical. When my Aunt said it worked, I wanted to try it. When I learned about how it worked, I was confident. Now that I am using it, I am ecstatic.

The hCG diet is amazing. It works. It takes work, but it works. Today I got on the scale and I am down another 2 pounds, bringing my total to 12 pounds in 4 full days. This is my 5th day on the diet, not including my first two "fat loading" days.

Today I faced the ultimate temptations. I brought Caleb to the mall to see Santa Claus and we went to the food court to get him lunch. The smells of a million different foods were assaulting my senses. All around me people were delighting in the golden brown crunchy goodness off deep fried anything. I got Caleb his happy meal and I ordered a bag of apple slices and an unsweetened ice tea for myself. Disaster averted.

When I got home, I couldn't help myself. Just one bite... which turned into a whole nugget. So there you have it, I cheated. After all of those promises that I had made to myself, I ate that chicken nugget. It was cold already and a little gross, but I made audible yummy noises while I ate it. Then, I went to my mom's house for dinner. She made spaghetti for Caleb's birthday dinner. Now the tomatoes and the onions are on my approved eating list, but the mushrooms and to olives definitely are not. I ate about 1 cup of sauce over 2 ounces of grilled chicken. Then, I ate half of a strawberry cupcake. Oh and did I mention the 3 bites of garlic bread.

I was filled with regret all night. I had already worked out this morning, but I knew that all of that effort went out the window when I scarfed down that old chicken nugget. I realized that it was the chicken nugget that did me in. Once I caved, it was easier to give in to all of the other foods. I am really going to have to get all of that in check before we have Caleb's birthday party. There is going to be pizza, cake, ice cream, and tons of other goodies. I'm going to have to amp up my will power - big time!

In an effort to avoid blowing everything, I did some pretty rigorous workouts tonight. I did 100 crunches, briskly walked about 6 miles, and did 150 bicep curls with a small weight. All of that ended up to be about 317 calories burned according to myfitnesspal.com. I also used this website to calculate my caloric intake for the day, which was around 606. That's 106 more than what I am supposed to have, plus I mixed in all kinds of things that are not approved. Breads, sugars, and oh, I forgot to tell you about the ranch dressing I dipped some cherry tomatoes in... all that stuff is not on the list of approved things I can eat. They can really mess things up for me. Also, all of the oil that was still on that chicken nugget will be eat up by the hCG drops before my extra fat it burned. I really sabotaged myself today. I hope that the exercise makes up for it!

November 30, 2010

I Lost 10 pounds in 3 Days on the hCG Diet

Imagine my surprise when I got on the scale this morning and saw that after 3 full days of dieting, I had lost 10 pounds!I had technically been on the diet for 5 days, but remember the first two days are fat loading days. You eat whatever you want, and don't weigh in. I started on Thanksgiving and ate anything I wanted for two days. Even though I wasn't supposed to weigh in, I did anyway. I wanted to see if I had gained anything over those two days. As it turned out, I didn't. As a side note, I wasn't too surprised about that. It seemed as though no matter what I did - unbridled feasting or severe fasting, I never gained or lost anything, even before this diet.

I've been in dire need of a head start. Some way to lose the weight quickly so that I can keep it off. I just can't stand being hungry. I have an emotional attachment to food. I literally get choked up emotionally if there is something that I want to eat and I can't have it. I can't explain it, that's just how I am.

In the past, I had used the original formula of Trim Spa with great success. The appetite suppressant curbed all of my cravings. The only problem is that the main ingredient in the formula was outlawed at the peak of my cycle, and the sudden interruption caused all of my weight to come back. That was probably 5 or 6 years ago and I have been heavy ever since.

I know I can keep the weight off, I just know it. I just need a little help getting to my goal weight so that I can manage it. The hCG diet has a very strict menu, but the success that I am having has motivated me to stay on track. I am still having an emotional reaction to food, but I am nurturing my own will power and I haven't cheated. I won't cheat.

I would do anything to lose 10 pounds in 3 days. I would lick the floor at the mall to lose 10 pounds in 3 days. If all I have to do is say no to cravings and take hCG drops, then I will do it. What I won't do is starve myself all day to lose 1 pound every week. I need to see results faster or I get discouraged. 10 pounds in 3 days! That puts me 25% of the way to my weight loss goal in less than 10% of the length of the diet.

November 29, 2010

I Lost 8lbs in 2 Days on the hCG Diet

Did you see that? Today I got on the scale first thing this morning, shut my eyes and said a prayer. I was hoping above hope to have lost at least 2 pounds. When I looked down at the scale, I saw that I had lost a FULL 3 pounds! That makes a total of 8 pounds over two days!

I am so terrified of not seeing results that I spent some time doing a mild work out. When I say mild, I mean it. I walked in place for about 30 minutes at a brisk pace, about 4.0 mph. So, I walked about 2 miles while I was doing my dishes and cleaning my kitchen. Hey, I can't ever seem to find the time to work out, so I have to get creative and multi task. If I don't work out while I am doing something else then it won't get done.

Today I had my regular skinless chicken breast for lunch. This time I cut it all up and put it over two cups of spinach with vinegar instead of dressing and some salt and pepper. It was nice to feel like I was eating a little salad for lunch. I'll probably do the same thing for dinner, and I think that I will most likely eat an apple in the evening.

As, far as working out, I did a little dancing while I was getting ready this morning. At first it wasn't meant to be working out, but then when I realized I was moving around, I decided to kick it up a notch. I know that diets usually start off strong and then plateau. I really don't want that to happen to me so I am going to do whatever it takes to get skinny FAST

November 28, 2010

I'm on The hCG Diet: Day 4

Holy cow, I lost 5 pounds in one day! I weighed myself after work last night and the scale said I had lost 2 lbs, but I shrugged it off as a fluke and crossed my fingers that the scale would read the same in the morning. When I got on the scale this morning it said I had lost 5 pounds! That's 3 extra pounds overnight! I think it may just be the initial shock response from my body at the start of a new diet.

Today was exactly the same as yesterday, except that it was my day off. I think that being home made it harder for me to stop thinking about food. I felt hungrier today and almost broke down and cheated - almost! I didn't cheat, I held fast. I had the same meals as yesterday, but today I ate 1 of my 2 allotted apples. I'll tell ya, an apple never tasted so good! I was starving, and that apple really hit the spot. I ate it right before getting into bed, and in 15 minutes I'll take my last set if drops.

I am sooooooo hoping that I will lose 2 pounds before I weigh myself tomorrow. I am supposed to lose at least one, but I am trying to set high goals for myself. I hope I don't get disappointed.

November 27, 2010

hCG Diet: Day 3

So, it's my 3rd day on the hCG diet. This is my first actual day that feels like dieting. I have been taking the drops for the last few days, but today is the day that the limitations come into play. Today for breakfast, I had a glass of water that made me want to puke. I don't know if that is because of the drops or if it was because it was earlier than I would normally consume anything other than coffee. After I had my water, I had about 8 oz of hot tea. That was pretty gross too, which was strange because I normally enjoy tea very much. Again, I'm not sure it was the hCG, it could have just been me.

So far I have had mild hunger pains. The instructions say to increase the number of drops you take each time if the hunger pains are persistent. I just waited a few minutes and they went away. For lunch I had a small piece of lean white meat and some cucumber slices with vinegar, salt and pepper. I drank 32 oz of unsweetened iced tea and I'm sure that played a big part in how full I felt after such a small meal.

I had the same thing for dinner after work. I've been using a George Foreman grill and it works really well for draining the grease. I'm not supposed to have any oil or grease because the hCG will burn that first before it consumes my stored fat. For that same reason, I can't even use lotions or make up with oil in them. It's pretty intense. If I cook lean ground beef, I have to rinse it under water after it's cooked to be sure that all of the grease is gone. I feel like it's just so much easier to stick chicken in the Foreman.

I'm feeling pretty hungry, so I've been taking the drops four times a day instead of only three. It seems to be helping me. I'm excited to weigh myself tomorrow. I'm supposed to be 1-2 pounds lighter!

I Started the hCG Diet

A few months ago I blogged about a new diet trend called the hCG diet. Even more recently I have decided to give it a try. I started this diet two days ago. That's right. I started this diet on Thanksgiving. The reason is because the first two days of this diet are "fat loading" days. A few hCG drops under the tongue before you eat, and for the first two days, you can eat whatever you want; the fattier, the better.

After two days of blissful fatty eating, the hard part begins. A "Very Low Calorie Diet" referred to as the acronym VLCD. I mean very low. As in 500 calories a day low. There are also some pretty strict rules on what you are allowed to eat on the VLCD. The rules that I am following were put in place by an obesity specialist named Dr. Simeon. Apparently it works miracles so I am going to follow it.

I should probably caution you as the pamphlet cautioned me, a VLCD of 500 calories per day would not be possible if you were not taking hCG. It would be very dangerous, I would assume eating disorder level of dangerous. You would lose muscle mass and be weak overall. 500 calories is not enough to sustain someone who lives a normal lifestyle at all.

hCG causes your body to use what Dr. Simeon refers to as "abnormal fat"; or, the fat that shouldn't be there. The spare tire, the back roll, the thunder thigh. Those things are going to Be the fuel that your body would normally get through consumed calories. Supposedly, I am going to lose 1-2 pounds per day over the next 44 days. That means in just over a month, I should be at my goal weight. With such small portions for each meal, I should also have a smaller stomach and so I will feel full on less food. That will help me keep the weight off. It's still going to be up to me to build the discipline that it takes to maintain my new weight.

So, according to this diet, by tomorrow I should be one lb lighter and on my way to getting skinny

November 25, 2010

Pier 1 For The Holidays

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 Imports. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I was a teenager, my best friend and I would window shop for hours in our local Pier 1 store. We had always planned to move in together when we grew up and we would walk the store selecting furniture and decorations for each room in our imaginary house. We would pick dishes and flatware, furniture and decorations.  We had different tastes, so of course our imaginary house had about 50 different rooms.

I still love Pier 1, and have even furnished my house with some cute nesting tables that I found on sale there. My tastes have changed over these many years but one thing remains the same, there is something for everyone at  Pier 1 . They have so many styles for the everyday, as well as some uber cute things for the holidays season as well.

Each year, I like to buy a special Christmas ornament. I get one for myself and one for Caleb also.  My goal is that he will have at least 18 very special ornaments by the time he moves out so that he will be able to decorate his first Christmas tree with them.  The goal for myself is to have a tree with personality that reminds me of each of the years that came before it.  Pier 1  has a great selection of original and fantastically priced ornaments.  From cutesy to elegant, as I said before, there is something for everyone.

Seasonal decorations, especially tableware, has got to be my biggest weakness.  I love candy dishes shaped like peppermints and mugs that look like chubby snowmen.  I love the cheery season and the bright colors that we decorate our homes with during Christmas.  My collection od decorations is growing and I am finally having to take down some of my year round decorations to make room for some very special Christmas pieces. My new favorite Pier 1 item, and next on my list of things to buy are the snowflake place mats that are available online.

I would love to have a fully decorated house so that I could do some holiday entertaining.  This is the first time that Shawn and I have lived in a house that is big enough to even have people over. Since Caleb's birthday is in December, we usually do have some people over, but it's not the same.  I want to have a full on Christmas party.  Finger foods, decorations, Christmas Carols and board games; the whole nine yards.  I love entertaining and I love the holidays, so I think it would be natural for me to love holiday entertaining especially.

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November 24, 2010

Newegg Promo Codes

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and that means something very special for the shopper and the retail worker in me... black Friday is almost here. I have only once in my life woken before the sunrise and stood in line to get black Friday deals. It was exciting, I got a great deal on something I really wanted, and I would rate it overall as being worth it. However, I don't think I would do it again.

Why shop black Friday when you can shop my real favorite shopping day - Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is the Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend when electronics websites typically offer their best deals.

When I am out and about in the retail stores doing my shopping, I always consult with my iPhone to be sure I am getting the best deal. I scan the bar code in one app to read reviews on the product, and another to see how much the same item is going for online. I'm able to make a decision in a few minutes, and I can avoid having to shop around.

Shopping on Cyber Monday is totally different. You don't have time to shop around even if you wanted to. You are competing on a limited supply of inventory with the entire World Wide Web. You have to act fast and trust you are getting the best deal before the product runs out. The benefit is that nearly every website has special promo codes either already in effect, or special for Cyber Monday.

If you're shopping for electronics, you're probably already planning on visiting Newegg.com. Whenever I shop online, I always check for Newegg promo codes before I go to check out. You can just click any of these links to look for Newegg coupons and be sure that you are getting the best deal on the web. Many times, you can get free shipping, and sometimes you can get a percentage off of a particular item. I'm a fan of asking my sales person what kind of deal they can get me, but with my Newegg promo code, I can just take care of the special discounts myself.


I first discovered Zappos.com about 5 years ago when I was shopping for some super cute work shoes that i simply couldn't find in my size. I googled the name of the shoes and found them on Zappos.com for less than they were charging at the mall. That's all it takes for me, I was instantly sold. I remember being impressed with how quickly I received my new shoes, and since then I have been using Zappos.com pretty frequently.

A couple of years later, I was looking for a wallet to match a Roxy purse I purchased at the mall. Where did I find it? On my favorite shopping website, Zappos.com. The website had either grown into more than just shoes, or I had never noticed the name brand links on the page that lead to different items like bags and clothing. Zappos.com totally came through for me again and I won't soon forget it.

This year for Christmas, I am going to buy myself some presents. It might seem wrong, but I don't think that anyone else is going to get me anything, and there are a few things that I really want/need. All of the girls at work are sporting new handbags from the outlet malls. While I really want/need a new bag, I don't think that I want to fight the crowds on black Friday to get a deal. I'm browsing the selection at Zappos.com right now and they have great prices and an amazing selection. I like to think that all of my shoe purchases have helped them build their site into what it is today.

There are so many awesome name brands on this website! They have Adidas, Vera Wang, North Face, Teva - you name it! All different brands, styles, prices... there is everything you need here to get your Christmas shopping done in one swoop! Shopping online isn't just for therapy anymore! Now it is more productive and efficient than ever because of the success of Zappos.com - unofficially due in large part to my repeat business!

November 17, 2010

Birthday Party Planning

Party planning for Caleb's 3rd birthday has begun! I have booked his party at a local pizza place. I will release the information about the location after the party when I write my review of this place. Which, so far, is not so stellar. Not bad enough for me to pull the party, but nothing really impressive.

He has been saying for months now that he wants an alligator cake. Except for the last few days. Over the last few days he has been saying he wants a Star Wars cake. Except for today. Today he says that he wants "little cakes" (cupcakes) with alligators and Star Wars. I think I can accomplish that.

The nice thing about having his party at an establishment is that I don't have to do any planning. I don't have to worry about making food, or planning activities. We are eating pizza made by the part place, and we are playing on their bouncy house or whatever play structure they have over there... I'm not sure, I've never been there.

That's right, I have never been there. Caleb has gone with his grandparents and he loves it. It was no surprise to me that he wanted to have his party there. Every time he goes there for dinner, he talks about it for weeks afterwards. He is so excited about his party being there that he has been telling anyone who will listen that he is going to the pizza place to turn 3.

Boudreaux's Butt Paste Really Works

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boudreaux's Butt Paste. All opinions are 100% mine.

<p>Caleb’s potty training is going very well, thanks for asking.  He is still having trouble getting the poop in the potty, but his pees are at 100%!  Even though he is pretty much potty trained, I still keep a tube of Boudreaux's Butt Paste in his bathroom drawer.  Caleb has very sensitive skin; he always has.  It doesn’t take much to irritate his little bottom. 

<p>Last weekend, we drove to Seattle to visit with friends and check out the Harry Potter Exhibit at the Pacific Science Center.  In order to make the drive a little easier, we left early in the morning .  We were hoping to avoid traffic, and allow Caleb to sleep most of the way there.  Since he was asleep, I had him in his diaper for the car ride. 

<p>All of that time in the car and in the diaper was pretty rough on him. I was sure to bring along our tube of Butt Paste.  When we got to Seattle we met up with friends, and I changed him into his underwear.  I was also able to put the Butt Paste on him.  I wouldn’t have done this with other diaper creams.  The Butt Paste is easily cleaned off, and doesn’t stain clothing.  It also has a pleasant smell, unlike other diaper rash creams.  I did the same thing on the way home, and we were able to avoid any discomfort whatsoever. 

<p>My son’s comfort is so important to me.  Why would I want him to suffer at all?  My son’s comfort is important to Boudreaux's Butt Paste too.  It was recommended to me by our pediatric nurses when Caleb was born, and also by his doctor after we took him home.  It works quickly and effectively, and that’s what matters the most to me.  I want to know that when I am doing something to help keep my song clean, healthy, and happy, that those things are exactly what are going to be accomplished.

<p>If you’re not completely convinced, then you can try it yourself for free.  You can stop by the Boudreaux's Butt Paste website and claim your free sample today.  Or you could just invite me to your baby shower .  I always include a tube of Butt Paste with every baby shower gift that I give!

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Earn Your MAT Degree Online

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of 2tor. All opinions are 100% mine.

<p>I’ve been considering going back to school and completing my degree.  I’ve mentioned it on this blog several times.   One of my friends from high school is my dentist and another is a geologist – that’s right, a scientist.  Still another is a middle school math teacher at the local school.  She will probably be my son’s math teacher.  It can be disheartening to look at the people around me and see the achievements they have made.  While I am excited to see them succeed, I am also a little sad that I feel I haven’t.  I know that I haven’t reached my full potential yet.

<p>The USC Rossier School of Education’s MAT at USC can change all of that.  Not just for me, but for anyone.  They are offering current educators and even aspiring teachers the opportunity to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree online.  If I ever did finish up my degree and then decide to go for a Masters of Arts in Teaching, I would have to learn online.  I would need the flexibility of an online or distance learning course in order to work while I complete my degree.

<p>Flexibility is a must, and the groundbreaking tuition reimbursement program is the icing on the cake. Another huge must is the ability to get it all done quickly.  With this accelerated program, you could have your Master of Arts in Teaching in as little as 12 months.  That is just one year until you can take the next step in your life. 

<p>Rossier and the MAT@USC were awarded by AACTE for innovative use of technology in education.  While the program does obviously use technology to get you in touch with your classmates and your instructors, they combine online learning with field-based experiences.  There is also a Technology video that introduces the interactivity of the program.  You can find more program information here.

<p>After you have completed the program, you will have your Master of Arts in Teaching from the prestigious USC, and be a part of the USC Trojan Family. So, you’ll be able to rock those fancy USC alumni license plate frames.  You’ll be a part of the proud history of this university whish has over 100 years of educating teachers to be agents of change.

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Which Baby Formula is Best?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

<p>When I was pregnant with Caleb, I had planned on breast feeding.  I had these lofty goals of exclusively breast feeding for the first year.  There were some women in my church who were doing it and it seemed to be going pretty well for them.  If motherhood has taught me anything,it's how to catch a curve ball. Caleb was born just a couple of weeks early, and he was only 5 lbs 6 oz.  his placenta had become detached from the uterine wall and he had not been receiving enough nutrients.  Therefore, he could not wait for my milk to come in, he needed to be supplemented with formula.  the hospital had some free Similac to give me and so that is what I used while I was there.  When I went home, I had the same brand of formula stashed in my closet pantry.  I had receive 4 full cans of it free in the mail. I continued to supplement Caleb with formula, but he mostly breast fed and sometimes went several weeks without formula supplement.  I thought we were doing just fine... then another curve ball.  

<p>My milk production was unable to keep up with Caleb's enormous appetite during a growth spurt when he was 6 months old.  I started feeding him rice cereal and without the constant nursing, my milk just stopped.  Caleb had formula for the next 6 months. I kept buying the Similac because it was the only thing I knew about. I wasn't prepared to buy formula. I didn't have a budget for it, or any knowledge about it and I felt like I was stuck. I bought the Similac at Costco so I could get a better deal, but between that and the diapers and the wipes, I was really breaking the bank.

<p>If I had only stopped to think.  Where did all of that free formula come from?  If every woman with a baby in the hospital was given as much free formula as i was, who paid for it?  Companies who give things away like that don't do it without expecting a return.  I was reading an article today about name brand vs.  store brand formula.  I had never thought about it before but all of those "free" samples drive up the costs of name brand formulas.  All formulas have to adhere to minimum nutrition standards, and so you aren't skimping on nutrition when you get a store brand formula.  That's not to say that all formulas are created equal, but it's wise to understand what you are paying for.

<p> Some estimate calculate your savings as high as $600 a year if you use a store brand rather than a name brand.  If you think that name brands are a high quality than store brands, you may want to think about this.  Many Simliac formulas, the very kind that I fed Caleb, were recalled last month.  There was apparently a chance that the affected packages contained a small beetle that could cause upset stomachs in little babies.  Now, an upset tummy may not sound like much, but no one wants to see their baby suffer unnecessarily.  On top of that, a tummy ache for a baby can mean a long and sleepless night for mom and dad.  And to add insult to injury you fed your baby a bug!

<p>I'm a believer that "the Breast is the Best", but I also believe that you should be educated on all of your options .  So, if you are pregnant or nursing, then I suggest you look into what kind of formula you would feed to your baby if the need should present itself.  


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November 16, 2010

Wedit! Wedding Videos

I was kicking around the web today and I heard about a new way to do wedding videos. My wedding video was SO important to me, but we didn't have a lot of money to get it done. We ended up paying more than we wanted to for a video so terrible that it is practically useless. One of our relatives, who is known for not being able to control his children, did just that. He let his kids stand up in their chairs and fight with each other in front of our only cameraman. We couldn't afford to have the video edited and so we just bought the raw footage, which was horrible. The sound was bad, the video was bad, and we only had one point of view the entire night.

With Wedit, I wouldn't have had any of those problems. Wedit is a Do It Yourself type of Wedding video option. You contact Wedit and they send you 5 handheld High Definition video recorders. You choose which of your wedding guests are going to be your videographers, or let your guests pass around the cameras all night. With 5 cameras and countless points of view, you're bound to end up with hours upon hours of wedding footage.

The next step is to drop the cameras into a postage paid box and send it back to Wedit where they will upload all of your footage for you. You can then edit it all yourself, adding background music and special effects, or they will handle the details with your input. once the video is complete, you get 5 DVDs (I only got one!) and unlimited digital sharing online! You can post your Wedding Video to Facebook! Imagine the possibilities. If you're getting married anytime soon, you should check out Wedit to preserve your memories!

November 15, 2010


I've got a terrible cold that is just kicking my rear! I am exhausted! Fortunately, Caleb is well... but that means that he has just as much energy as ever, and I am left feeling wiped out before the day even really starts. Oh what I wouldn't give to go bacjk to the days when he had two naps a day. And I am not even going to think about when he had 3 naps a day.

Don't get me wrong, Cal is a great kid. He is very obedient and caring and he wants to be good. He is pretty understanding of the fact that I don't feel well, but he still wants to play and wrestle. One thing that has been helping us get through this are his new love of board games. Shawn and I picked up Chutes and Ladders at Toys R Us, and my mom got him Candyland. We are able to sit and play the games pretty quietly. I am still interacting with him, but it's pretty mellow.

Right now I am trying to get him to take at least one nap today. I am in my bed wishing he would settle down. I am always afraid to sleep before him now that he is older. He has always been a little explorer, but now his exporations include the forbidden land of the kitchen counter, the inside of the fireplace, and the garage. The downside to having a smart kid is that he gets bored easily and he knows how to unlock doors.

October 21, 2010

Super Mario Costume

Super Mario costume

Content by Reid Dawson

This Halloween my brother and I are headed out to a Halloween party as Super Mario and Luigi. It's being held at my friends house and we're all really looking forward to it. We've been dressing up as pairs every Halloween for the last 2 or 3 years, so it's kind of like our thing. We were able to get together this past Saturday to head down to the local malls and whatnot, but were unable to find any Mario or Luigi costumes. Apparently its a pretty popular ensemble and they were sold out at every store we went to. The next day my brother called around and located a store that still had the costumes. Only problem was that the store was pretty far away. We decided to make a road trip out of it and gathered a bunch of snacks and drinks that night. The following day I set the home security alarm(click for more info), picked up my brother at this place and we headed out on our road trip. Even though the drive took four hours, it didn't seem to take that long. Once inside, we found the costumes complete with giant white gloves, hats, mustaches, etc.,. The sizes were a little big, but at that point we were willing to take anything. Plus, we figured we could stuff the clothes for a better fit and to make us look fatter!

October 20, 2010

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

We rented "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" for Caleb's Halloween party about 3 weeks ago. Since then, he has watched it every single day. My Netflix program is an old, 1 at a time, two per month for 4.99 that isn't offered anymore. I keep wanting to upgrade it, but never have. Now may be the time, or I will never get another movie. Caleb just can't get enough of the Peanuts gang in It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

It's so cute because he has started reciting lines from the movie. Yesterday he was playing with his trains and I heard him murmur, "I wouldn't want to be accused... of taking part in a rumble." Which is Sally's line from the movie when she asks if trick or treating is legal. He has also been saying some classic Charlie Brown lines such as, "good grief" and "I can't stand it".

There is an extra short on the disc called, "It's Magic, Charlie Brown". One show plays seamlessly into the next and I am pretty sure that he thinks they are the same show. In this episode, Snoopy turns Charlie Brown invisible. Caleb thinks this is hilarious. Especially when Snoopy tries to make him visible again. He covers Charlie brown with a sheet, ties a neck tie on him and gives him boots. Charlie Brown ends up looking like an executive ghost. It scares his sister, which always makes Caleb howl with laughter.

There is just something about these Peanuts movies that enchant children. I remember adoring "A Charlie Brown Christmas" when I was a little kid, and I'm sure that Caleb will love it this year as well. I really enjoy being able to relive these movies and holiday memories with Caleb. When you have a little one, it's as if everything is new again.

The Office

The Office

I appreciate the guest post, Hazel Turner

My favorite premier show of the new fall season happens to come from my favorite TV show, "The Office" (shock!). It debuted on September 23rd and was titled "Nepotism." I actually forgot to watch it that day, but thankfully I was able to catch it the next day because my satellite TV from www.bestchoicetv.com/satellite-tv/ca/ automatically records new showings of "The Office."

Anyway, the show starts off with a cultural reference to a youtube video where hundreds of students from the University du Qubec Montreal lip sync the song "I Gotta Feeling" from the Black Eyed Peas in one continuous take. This was probably my least favorite part of the show, but it was a good segue-way to reintroduce all the characters and their personalities. Plus it was hilarious to see Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak) wearing his WUPHF.com t-shirt advertising the website he promoted in the last episode of the past season. Next up, we see Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), who now owns the industrial park with a stack of keys on a key ring (kind of like a janitor). Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) has apparently planned a lengthy prank to overload Dwight's key ring with fake keys. Jim's wife Pam (Jenna Fischer) reveals the plan to Dwight by laughing, upsetting Jim. This sets up the Pam trying to prank Dwight sub-story where the 2 end up stuck in an elevator together.

The main story involves the entire office turns against their boss, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) when he refuses to fire the new intern, Luke (Evan Peters), who has a terrible attitude, causes the sales staff to lose clients and doesn't do any of the other things he is supposed to do. It just so happens that he is Michael's nephew. Typical Michael hilarity.

October 12, 2010

Sick Baby

Motherhood has thrown me yet another curve ball. Caleb woke up sick two days ago. The poor little guy came into my room about 4 am and fell asleep next to me. The next thing I know, it's morning and he is coughing. I asked him if he was okay and he instantly started throwing up on me. The poor little guy.

The night before, Shawn had stopped by Toys R Us to pick up a board game for the family. Caleb is almost 3 now and its about time that he started playing structured games with us. He didn't get home until after Caleb was asleep, and we thought it would be fun to wrap the present for him in the morning. We didn't know he was going to wake up ill.

It turns out that wrapping the game was a great idea. It made Caleb feel a little better. It was so sad to hear his sick little voice croak, "I have a present?!" He slowly tore back the paper and saw Spiderman. Shawn had picked up the Marvel version of Chute and Ladders!

We opened up the box and played the game a couple of times. Caleb's attention span is still a little lacking, and he never did make it through a complete game without losing patience and moving his character to the end of the board. Even so, he loves the game. He calls it "Chutes and Numbers". The next game on our list is Hungry Hungry Hippos. That one should be a load of fun!

An Early Christmas Gift

Guest post written by Amanda Pherson

Christmas this year is going to be great. It usually is, since we get to see the kids and all, but this year should prove to be extra amazing, simply because my husband and I will be spending the last half of December celebrating off the coast of Florida and to Hawaii.

We've decided to splurge and take a Disney Cruise trip out to Hawaii to celebrate our belated 40th wedding anniversary, and we couldn't think of a better place to do it than in paradise. We've always been big Disney fans, as cheesy as it seems, so it'll be great to see the shows and characters performing on a ship in the ocean. And I hear Hawaii is gorgeous that time of year, though when is it not gorgeous? I actually had an aunt who lived there back in the day, and I always wanted to go visit but never did. So I'm definitely glad to see her old stomping grounds!

Now that we've got this planned, I've finally got the motivation I need to check out getting HearingAidsbyMiracleEar . Since we're paying so much to go, might as well make sure I can enjoy it to its max! Is it December yet?

October 7, 2010

Playstation Move

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of PlayStation MOVE. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I first heard about Playstation Move during E3 this year, I was skeptical. It seems as if all of the major players in the console gaming industry are trying to get people more integrated with their game. It started out with being able to name and create your own character, or choose your own adventure, and now it's putting your very own body into the game.

I watched the demo videos online and decided that the Playstation Move was probably going to work better than the Microsoft version of kinetic game play. It wasn't until I read some reviews from IGN about their 2 hour demo with Playstation Move did I decide that I was willing to try it.

Playstation hasn't made any really large updates to their game controllers since... well, ever. The DualShock gave you pressure sensitivity and vibration. That's nothing to scoff at; it changed the way you were able to play on your console, but there wasn't any real change to the way the controller looked.

The new Playstation Move system looks totally different than the DualShock, and different even compared to the already wildly popular Nintendo Wii. There is a right and left handed controller, and unlike the Wii, they don't have to be tied together like nunchucks. The right hand controller has a globe on top that looks like it houses an LED light which identifies it by color for the player, if I'm not mistaken. This controller also has a main button, and the action buttons of geometric shape that have been on every other PS controller. The left controller also has the shapes, as well as a directional toggle similar to the DualShocks. Lightguns are available for certain shooter games. The main controller fits inside similar to the Nintendo Wii Resedent Evil game.

The nice thing about the Playstation Move is that if you already have a Playstation 3, you don't have to buy a new console. It works with the one you already have, it just needs a few additions. You can get a bundle to make your PS3 compatible for around $99. If you don't have a PS3, now is the time to get one. It seems like there are a million popular titles out there that are going to be move compatible.

Far from the nifty marketing ploy that I assumed it was, the Playstation Move seems as if it really does enhance gameplay. I would never assume that a title as vital as SOCOM would risk the ability to play their game with a chincy controller. The Playstation Move gives you full control over your character and the game. Movement and targeting are quick and accurate which is key on an online gaming experience. If you're using a cruddy PS Move controller and you can get wasted by opponents using DualShocks, why would you make a change?

I'm excited to try this system out for myself. I have never been a fan of FPS games like SOCOM, but I love light guns and I love playing online. I think that this system will allow me to finally play these FPS games with a functionality that will make then easier to control. I am terrible at lining up shots on a DualShock, but if I can just point and pull the trigger, I am sure I will be unstoppable.

Visit my sponsor: PlayStation®Move

September 30, 2010

TV catch up

It's just suddenly dawned on me today that I have not watched Bones since the middle of last season! I love that show! I even loved where I left off, but I just got really super busy somewhere around the middle of Season 5 and never watched what was on my DVR until it was deleted to make room for something else.

TV had never been a huge priority of mine, but the new season is already in full swing and here I am left in the dust! I am going to have to try to catch up via netflix if I want to even think about watching the new season before the videos expire online!

Another show that I need to catch up on in Supernatural. I am not as involved with Supernatural, but I'm not as far behind either. I have only missed a couple of episodes this Fall and so it will be easy to catch up.

Guess I know what I will be doing tonight, watching TV. OH! And I will be doing it in my living room with my newly cleaned carpets! That's right! I had the carpets cleaned! They look sooo good too, and it was FAST. Super fast actually, and they even pre treated my stains! So I am highly recommending D&H carpet cleaning in the Vancouver, WA / Portland, OR area. The dude was super friendly. We started off on the right foot when I told him that I had already moved all of the furniture out of the way and he said, "Oh, thank you!" so sincerely I think he might have had to move a waterbed at the last place! Check 'em out, they are awesome!

September 29, 2010

Who Wants to Be a fat Chick?

It's no secret that I have been unhappy with my weight. I blog about it on here all the time. I am always trying to do this or that and it never seems to work. The very first blog post that I ever wrote was about losing weight and guess what? I'm the same weight. I've heard about this new diet called the HCG diet. It's not the kind where you have to inject anything, believe me, my friends and coworkers already jumped all over me about that.

This HCGis just a few drops under the tongue, no prescription required, and it has a money back guarantee. Money back, that's how confident they are that you will lose weight and be satisfied with the results. Even more impressive than that is the claim that there is no hunger on the HCG diet.

Not being hungry and still losing 1-2 pounds per day? Sign me up! You don't have to see a doctor, and they still offer one on one support as often as you need it. The shipping is free in the US and they will ship to you next business day.

There are testimonials at http://www.facebook.com/yourhcg.
Or you can visit http://www.yourhcg.com to learn more about the offers. I'm going to become a fan on facebook so that I can see what others are saying about this product. I always recommend that you do your research on everything, and this looks like a winner to me!

September 26, 2010

Baby Lily!

I'm very happy to say that my new little niece, Lily Mai, was born on Friday. She was 8.8lbs and 20.5 inches long. She is such a little cuddle bug and a very well behaved baby! Her mama says that she is eating well and that she falls right to sleep afterwards. Lucky mama!

Congratulations to my brother Brian, his wife Bethany, and their 21 month old daughter Victoria. They now have a new addition to their family and I'm sure it makes it complete!

September 24, 2010

The Other Guys

Last night Shawn and I watched The Other Guys and we laughed our rear ends off! Neither of us were expecting the level of campiness that this movie had to offer. It was a cop movie, poking fun at cop movies, without calling out certain titles specifically. Instead, the entire genre is slammed in this fast paced and witty comedy.

This movie is simply ridiculous. The only thing that could have made it any more over the top would have been if the actors made eye contact with the camera Ferris Bueller style. If you are think that you'll be able to take a single scene seriously, think again.

I love watching cop movies like Bad Boys, but I also love to poke fun at them while I watch. They are full of stereotypical characters fulfilling stereotypical scenes. The honest cop who cares too much about doing the right thing and blows up too many cars and buildings along the way is outrunning a fireball. Can I even count how many times I have seen this happen?

Marky Mark and Will Farrell worked fantastically together. I could easily see a long line of buddy films bud from this movie. I felt as if they had a lot of chemistry, and I would have loved to have seen them together on the set. Typically, when think of Mark Wahlberg, I remember him as the guy in baggy jeans from the poster in my preteen bedroom. Any other time and I am thinking of him as a brooding good hearted cop with a troubled past. Man, does he do a great job of making fun of his own stereotype!

I'm giving the movie 4 stars. I can see it as a staple in my movie library that I would watch over and over again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Hell's Kitchen

I'm smack dab in the middle of the second hour of Hell's Kitchen tonight. The girls just finished dinner service on the second night. As far as I can remember, that's pretty impressive. I think normally it takes them a few more episodes before groups normally accomplish that.

I can't quite decide if Raj is a real person, a character, or a plant. Did the producers just throw him in there to see what would happen? He's got a personality ala Windy City Heat. It's just too awkward to be real. On one hand, he only drags the team down. On the other hand, he's darn entertaining to watch.

Oh my, and can we talk about Vinny for a moment. Yeah, yeah, he over stepped his bounds when he told customers they shouldn't order sides. What I really want to talk about is his John Stamos hair. Seriously, all I can think of is Uncle Jesse.

In past seasons, Chef Ramsay has shown that regardless of team harmony or personal vendettas, he has always been concerned most with the quality of the chef. I have noticed that this time around he is keeping folks although personally, I think they are of little to no value as a chef. Instead they are volatile, vindictive, clueless, and irritating. Seems as if they are staying in the game to make the show more appealing. As if the cry baby contestants needed anything else to stress them out.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

September 21, 2010

The Heater Won't Turn Off!

The heater won't shut off at work and the temperature has been climbing all day long. We close in 15 minutes and we are at 79 degrees. I wonder if we will make it to 80 before we go home.

I have worked in places where the air conditioning goes out and that is bad enough. But to feel the hot air blasting you in the face is another story. It's almost nauseating.

Hopefully, they get someone out here to fix this FAST! Otherwise, I'm going to be one cranky workbear.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

September 20, 2010

Tivo: More Than a DVR

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of TiVo. All opinions are 100% mine.

Recently, I had lunch with a friend and we were talking about which TV shows we have been watching. Since I have been missing the South, I have been watching Swamp People on the History Channel. She has been watching Glee and Modern Family.

I had meant to watch Glee since it started. Then, I meant to catch up on it. Now, I'm just so far behind that I'm pretty much lost. The ads for the new season of Modern Family have really appealed to me lately. It's another show that I am thinking about getting into. Bleh, but catching up is such an investment.

"Just Tivo it," she told me.

"Well, yeah, I can record it, but I still have to find the past episodes, get them on demand, find time to watch them, blah blah blah."

"No, TIVO it." I almost asked what the difference, but then I realized something...

In order for a noun to become a verb, it has to be pretty special. "Google it," for example. Yesterday, a customer was telling me how her 5 year old grandson told her, "Just Google it, Grammy!" It's because Google has changed the way we look for things online. I think that Tivo has changed the way we watch TV, but it you haven't tried it, then you don't know.

Tivo makes recommendations for you, based on your favorite actors, genres, and more. If I had Tivo oh so long ago, I wouldn't have missed the first two seasons of Angel when it spun off of Buffy. Tivo would have recommended it to me. Then, I wouldn't have missed the first 3 seasons of Bones after Angel ended. Tivo would have seen that David Boreanaz had a new project and would have not only made the recommendation, but would have recorded for me and saved it until I was ready to give it a try. Your DVR won't go out of its way like that!

So if there is anything new coming out this year for Fall TV, your Tivo will let you know about it so you won't miss out.

If you're even remotely interested in trying Tivo, now is a great time. They are giving away their newest product, a slide remote, everyday until Sept 22. If you don't know what a slide remote is, think if a smart phone and a remote control had a baby. Best feature possible on any device ever? Full keyboard! I'm all about Qwerty! If they put a Qwerty on a Casio watch, you know I would rock that. You can also check out a picture of it on the Enter to Winpage. You can also check it out on their Facebook Fan Page. I suggest becoming a Tivo friend on FB so that you can learn about the newest promotions fast.

Visit my sponsor: Fall’s Hottest Entertainment

September 19, 2010

iPhone Crashed After Stupid Update

Arg! I was using my iPhone as a modem tonight when iTunes prompted me to update my phone. I chose to download only and not to update. For somes reason, when the download was complete, my iPhone went into restore mode. Since you can't restore your iPhone without the internet, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. My only option was to use my husband's netbook to restore my phone. That means that I will have to restore to factory setting and lose EVERYTHING on my phone!

Fortunately (debateable) Appled juiced me for $99 this year for mobileme. I'll be able to get all of my contacts back through a wireless sync. Also fortunately (confirmed) I did a hard sync to my laptop today, so I will get all of my stuff back on my phone in a few hours. Still, ARG!

Not a great time for this to happen to me as I am deciding between an iPhone 4 or a Captivate. I am pretty sure that the Captivate is a better long term investment. I will probably give it another 6 months before I decide... Unless this happens to me again.

Party Prep

Caleb is really excited about his party on October 2nd. He keeps asking me to go to the computer and show him to picture of the skeleton cupcakes we are going to make. I can't really blame him either, they are so cute.

I got the recipe from the Woman's Day website. They also have a recipe for a sherbert punch. My mom used to make this for all of our parties when I was growing up and it was a favorite of mine. For Caleb's party, we are going to add dry ice for a smokey effect.

I'm also going to make deviled eggs for his party. At first, I wanted to decorate them with little horns. Then, I decided that it would be easier to place one sliced olive on top to make them look like eyeballs. My mom is making a veggie tray and we are putting the dip into a hollowed out gourd. This is another idea from Woman's Day magazine, but I'm not using their recipe.

Today we started making homemade decorations. It might sound cheap, but it is great fun to do crafts with him, and I love to use them for seasonal decorations. There is nothing more precious than a handmade treasure from your little one. We cut out orange circles from construction paper and glued on cut out triangles to make jack o' lantern faces. We also cut out bats to hang from the ceiling. Another decoration to hang from the ceiling are little spiders cut from paper plates with pipe cleaner for legs.

It's hard to say which was his favorite to make. First he liked the spider the most because he got to use the pipe cleaner. Then, he liked the pumpkins the most because he got to use the glue. After that, he was mostly into the bats because he wanted to cut with scissors.

September 17, 2010

Halloween Party

Caleb's "So Long, Sucker" party, which celebrates his one full month of not using his pacifier, is coming up in two weeks. Today, he said, "Mama, my party is coming up. My party is in two weeks." The funniest thing is that he has been saying his party is in two weeks for the last two weeks. This time I was able to tell him that he was right on the money.

Today, I decided to introduce the idea of a Halloween party to him. He remembers last Halloween, but at the time he didn't understand what was going on. He will talk about how he dressed up as Yoda, stayed up late, and people gave him candy. Now, I am able to tell him that was Halloween and that we are going to do it again this year.

I showed Caleb some of the treats and decorations that he could have if we chose a halloween theme and he is SO excited! His favorite are the Skeleton cupcakes.

September 9, 2010

Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Woodrow Wilson. All opinions are 100% mine.

I just learned about an interesting program called The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship. It provides recent college graduates and career changers in STEM fields with a $30,000 stipend to complete an intensive master’s degree program at a participating university.

If you're wondering what "STEM" is, it stands for science, technology, engineering, math. So, if you have recently graduated college in one of these areas and would like to obtain your master's degree, this program may interest you. I have just been at their website http://www.wwteachingfellowship.org looking up information.

It seems as though the goal here is a noble one. To ensure that we can fill our schools with high quality teachers, and to ensure that schools in need get the teachers that will help them to flourish.

Competitive candidates will:

  • Have completed an undergraduate degree in a STEM field by June 2011.

  • Have graduated with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

  • Demonstrate a commitment to the program and its goals.

Fellows will:

  • Complete a field-based master’s degree in teacher education.

  • Commit to teach for at least three years in a high-need school.

  • Receive intensive support and mentoring in the classroom.

As you can see by the required list, an applicant has to maintain a certain grade point average and really prove that they are devoted to the program. I can think of so many people who would be perfect for this teaching fellowship. People who truly care about the state of our country's education system. People who want to see the youth of today succeed in being the hope for tomorrow.

Visit my sponsor: The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship

Date night with my hubby

Thanks for the article from Jermaine Haynes

I always enjoy myself on date night with my husband. Getting out of the house, just the two of us, is important. Since our daughter was born, we've rarely gotten time to ourselves; finding a babysitter is sometimes very difficult.

Lately, my husband's Mom has become more available so we can go to a movie every couple weeks. So we pack up our daughters things and get ourselves together, set the home security alarm and get into the car, check here for more information. After dropping her off at Grandma's house, we are off to the theater.

We both share an interest in similar movie genres; action, comedy, and thriller. Most of the times, I get to pick the movie; luckily he'll likely enjoy my choice.

My favorite thing, aside from watching a great movie on the big screen, is getting the popcorn at the theater. I always ask for the bag half-filled so that I can put butter and salt in the middle. It's awful to get to the middle of the bag in the middle of the movie and have it taste so bland from no seasoning.

Another great part about these dates is spending time with my husband sans child. I love my daughter more than the world but we need our time too.

September 7, 2010

It's Still Summer

Ya know, somebody should tell September that techincally, it's still Summer for another couple of weeks. Ever since September hit, it's been raining. We had two nice days, and granted they were on the weekend, but I think we deserve a little more love in the PNW.

We had the rainiest Summer I have ever experienced. So far, this is the rainiest year since 1944; I think I've mentioned that before. I was really hoping that since Summer took so long to get started that we would have warm weather stretch a little further into Fall.

No such luck. September was right on cue. As soon as the calendar switched to September 1st the rain started. One thing about September this year, it's on the ball. No wasted time.

I don't have anything against September in particular. In fact, Autumn is my favorite season. It's the rain that I have a problem with. I love a crisp, cool Autumn morning. Breathing in the air is like biting into an apple. It's refreshing and invigorating; there isn't anything like it. The rain, on the other hand, I can do without.

When it rains in the Pacific Northwest, it doesn't stop for days. The rain pours without ceasing until the ground can't take it anymore. The soil stops being about to obsorb the downpour and then the water starts to rise up from the ground. The beautiful Autumn leaves that have fallen to the ground are soggy and rotting. Freezing cold water slushes over the tops of your shoes and the rain from the sky feels like little ice bullets.

That's how it is today already. If I have to suffer through all of this rain, and I dont get to see any snow, I think I will go ahead and try to move when my lease is up.

September 4, 2010

Missing Mississippi

These past few weeks, my heart has been longing for home. Even though my family left Mississippi when I was 6 years old, it still feels like home. It's not that I don't feel at home here in the PNW, but there is something magical about the South.

Most of all, I miss my extended family, but also, that dirty water, those cypress trees, the spanish moss, and the food. I started a garden this year, just so that I could have some fried green tomatoes. Back in MS you can buy those in the grocery store, but not here. Here, the only okra you can find is frozen or pickled, and not even everyone knows what it is.

The problem is that I don't want to just visit Mississippi, I want to live there. There are some things about the South that I detest. The heat is number one, the bugs are a close second. The heat comes in 3rd again. I don't like way that hardly anyone spays or neuters their pets, no matter WHAT Bob Barker said.

There are things about MS that you can't find anywhere else. It's true what they say about Southern Hospitality. Even the punk, snot-nosed teenagers have respect for their elders. The food is beyond compare. People aren't afraid of pitbulls. Everyone is close to their family, and their friend's families, and their friends' friends' families. People sit outside their house on their front porch drinking iced tea all day, so if you drive by, you know they are home.

Other things I love about the South include:

  • Chicory Coffee

  • Casino Boats

  • Party on the Shrimp Boat!

  • Fishing off the Pier on the gulf and watching the pelicans dive against the sunset

  • Crawfish Boils - fun even though I refuse to eat the nasty-looking little things.

Master of Arts in Teaching USC

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of USC. All opinions are 100% mine.

A friend of mine recently went back to school and received her Master of Arts in Teaching. Originally, she majored in English and Art when she was in college. After she graduated, she made her living painting. She was commissioned to make several different types of artwork, and I really love her work.

As time went on, she realized that while she loved paint, she wanted to do something more fulfilling. She enrolled in an accelerated program and earned her Master of Arts in Teaching in about a year. She worked a part time job while she was going to school, but because she was taking her classes online, it was easy to manage her time. Studying online allowed her to have greater flexibility with her work, school, and free time.

The USC Rossier School of Education’s MAT@USC program is an innovative combination of highly interactive online learning with field-based experiences in your local area. Benefits include full USC student status, participation in commencement ceremonies along with free lifetime Alumni Association memberships.

USC has a 100-year history of educating teachers. This program has received awards for its innovative use of technology in education. It seems like an obvious choice. Teaching is a fulfilling and rewarding career. You have the opportunity to teach others and to enrich their lives.

We all have a favorite teacher. From preschool to college, everyone has at least one person who has touched their life in such a way that it will never be the same again. Now my friend has the chance to be that person for someone. She teaches art class at a public school in Ohio. She looks at her students and remembers a time when she and I were young and the a world of possibilities were open to us. She is not only teaching her students art, but she is encouraging them and motivating them to follow their dreams and to reach for the stars. It seems almost magical to think that her students will look back at their time spent with her and remember the way she made them feel. That the support and confidence she is giving them can make a difference in them for the rest of their lives.

If you're an aspiring teacher, check out this website for program information.

Visit my sponsor: Master of Arts in Teaching degree online from USC

September 3, 2010

Muchas Gracias is People

Last night, Shawn went out to procure a little late night meal for us. He went to the Muchas Gracias on East Mill Plain blvd in Vancouver, WA. This Muchas Gracias Mexican Food restaurant is 24 hours. We used to go there quite a bit when it first opened up because we just lived down the street.

We each ordered a breakfast burrito with bacon and eggs. I got mine with potatoes, and Shawn got his without potatoes, but with extra cheese. Shawn said that his was delicious, except for that he didn't feel like there was enough extra cheese. Mine was amazing... Or so I thought.

So, I'm grubbing on my totally yummy breakfast burrito and the first thing I notice is that the potatoes are cooked perfectly. Sometimes they are in a hurry to get the food out and the potatoes don't get cooked all the way through. I was excited that things seemed to be going my way.

The next thing that I noticed was that the chunks of bacon were huge. It wasn't made with strips of bacon, it was made with big ol' honkin' pieces. This could possibly be the best breakfast burrito in the history of the world.

Thrilled, I took another bite only to find myself with a gigantic piece of something yucky in my mouth. It was about one cubic inch in size and even though I didn't bite into it, it tasted really bad in my mouth. I spat it out and saw it was a large piece of pork fat. Very firm, and with no meat attached. Hey, it happens; I tossed it to the dog.

After two more bites I found another piece, just the same as the first. All white, no meat, very firm, and straight up nasty tasting. I threw it to the dog. What the heck? Is there no quality control at this place? Two really big pieces of fat? They didn't notice that when they were prepping, or at least while they were cooking the food?

A few bites later and I found a third piece just the same as the other two. "What IS this?!" I exclaimed. I was beginning to question if this was an accident - and even if it was pork! Are the people at Muchas Gracias trying to dispose of a body by chopping it up and slowly adding it to breakfast burritos?

It's not as far fetched as you would hope. Serial killer and rapist, Bill Suff is thought to have cooked his victims up in his award winning chili and serve it up to the same police force that was trying to hunt him down.

Even more eerie is that directly across the street from this same Muchas Gracias in question is a building that used to be a Mongolian Grill Restaurant called Gengis Khan. It's a different place now, but when it was the Mongolian Grill, Amy Weir used to work there. After she killed her boyfriend, she cut up some of his remains and systematically took them to the restaurant to dispose of them in the dumpster.

A few years ago, another Muchas Gracias patron found a swine heart valve in his carne asada. He tool a picture of it and an article was written about it in a local newspaper. I don't think it was the same location that I am speaking of, if memory serves me right.

So, I'm calling Muchas Gracias out. Are you killing people and feeding them to me like in Soilent Green? If so then I think you're the best Mexican Restaurant in town and please don't kill me and feed me to people.

Seriously though, I won't stop eating at Muchas Gracias; they're just too good. I will probably just stop taking such big bites out of my breakfast burritos after 1:00am.

September 2, 2010

Mobilty is Freedom

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of NMEDA. All opinions are 100% mine.

My grandma is disabled and has been for quite sometime. While she isn't able to drive now because of her state of mind, it was something that she had to give up too early. I say too early because it wasn't something that had to be forfitted. These days, there are a lot of different ways for persons with disabilities to get around.

No two people with a disability are the same, and the people at NMEDA know that. NMEDA is a non profit trade associate that specializes in promoting safe drive and equipment for people with disabilities. They have a personalized “in-person” evaluation (their quotation marks, not mine) in which they customize a driving solution taylored to your specific needs.

There are several premodified wheelchair vehicles sold over the Internet or through catalogs, but these are like a one-size fits all type of solution. NMEDA has Dealers AND Quality Assurance Program (QAP) dealers. The Quality Assurance Program (QAP) is the only nationally recognized accreditation program for the Adaptive Mobility Equipment Industry.

Visit my sponsor: NMEDA

Anniversary Bummer

I'm super bummed out! Shawn just told me today that he wasn't able to get off of work or our anniversary weekend. I was really looking forward to surprising him with our trip to skibowl.

I told him about what I had planned and he said that it seemed like something he would really enjoy. It was sad because there really isn't another weekend that we will be able to do it. It's about to get cold on the mountain and the adventure park will close down and the ski area will open up. Plus, Oktoberfest is only that one weekend.

Hopefully, we will be able to find another weekend to go away together. I really want it to be soon, but that means it will be more of an autumn/winter get away. I'm sure I will be able to think of something, but I would prefer it to be something Summer. Maybe I am still in Summer mode. Perhaps Shawn would like to go snowboarding this year instead. That would be a pretty good surprise.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

September 1, 2010


This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Boudreaux's Butt Paste. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I was pregnant with Caleb, I asked everyone for advice. I asked one friend to count how many diapers she used in one day with her infant, I asked another to write down her son's nap schedule, and I asked everyone for reviews. I had people suggested everything from shampoo or toenail clippers.

When it came to health care and hygiene items, I went straight to the experts. Pediatricians and Pediatric nurses. One thing that was the same across the board, no matter who I asked was that Boudreaux's Butt Paste was the best product for the diaper area. It was recommended to me by my pediatrician, the nurses in the maternity ward, and even by my midwife. They all said the same thing, "The name is funny, but you'll love it because it works!"

"It works" was the clincher. Every person would throw in their own 2 cents of course. "It doesn't stink," "I saw it on Oprah," and "It cleans off easily" were pretty common. But the one thing that every person said without fail was, "It works".

When it comes to your little babies most sensitive areas, you want to know that the product you are using is going to work to soothe and heal them, and you want it to work FAST! Boudreaux's Butt Paste does just that, it works and it works fast. Not only did it sooth and heal diaper rash, but it helped to prevent diaper rash as well. If Caleb drank a lot of water before bed, I would smear it on him at bedtime. That way, if he filled his diaper in his sleep and didn't wake up, I knew that his skin would be protected through the night... of course he usually woke up and let me know all about his wet diaper!

I also used Boudreaux's Butt Paste on hot Summer days. I could only just imagine what it would be like to be a cute, sweet, innocent little baby on a 100 degree day. That diaper is meant to hold in moisture and they don't seem to be very breathable. I would put Boudreaux's Butt Paste on Caleb to protect him from heat rash or diaper rash from sweat.

Long car rides is another time I would use Boudreaux's Butt Paste. If he had to sit in the car seat for a long time, I was worried that he would sweat or get uncomfortable in his diaper. I would usually change him every hour or so, even if his diaper was dry, just to freshen him up. The idea of sitting around in a diaper sounds very unpleasant to me, and I wanted to keep him as clean, fresh, and comfortable as possible. Boudreaux's Butt Paste helped me to do that effectively.

Visit my sponsor: Boudreaux's Butt Paste

August 31, 2010

Christmas On My Mind

You may not realize it, but Christmas is right around the corner! Retail stores start counting down the weeks until Christmas around August and in September they begin the battle plans. I figure that I should probably get a jump on things as well. Caleb's birthday is in December as well, so that means that I have to save up even MORE money.

I have been looking into some different sales that are going on and Ikea is having a couple of 1 day, 1 item type sales coming up this month. September 4th, they have duvets for $9.99. There are only 3 types to choose from, but I think that I am going to get one for myself and one for Caleb. Then, on Sept. 11, They have dish sets on sale for $4.99. My brother's girlfriend is going to be moving from her mom's house into her own apartment soon and I know that she will need some of those.

Toys R Us is also having quite a few sales recently. They sent me an email saying that all of their electronics were on sale on their website. That didn't pertain to me very much since Caleb is not really at the electronics age, but it's good to know for nieces and nephews.

So, I am going to be keeping my ear to the ground and seeking out these sales. You can get info on them as well if you sign up to receive emails from Ikea and Toys R Us. Ikea is pretty good about not sending you junk email, and they only send out regular mail if they are having a sale, or once a year for their catalogue. Toys R Us, on the other hand, bombards my email inbox several times a day, so beware of that!


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