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I had in recent months done a review for Prefense Hand Sanitizer and loved the product. Well, due to that review, I received an email from Natural House, another natural cleaning company to review their products. Sure! I love doing reviews and I love getting free stuff I haven't tried before. I was definitely pumped about testing out another cleaning product!
I am SUCH a huge germaphobe, but I hate putting unnecessary chemicals in my home. With a little boy and 3 cats roaming and touching everything around, I definitely need to keep things clean and sanitary, but not use too many chemicals either. I like to be safe and clean at the same time. As well as trying to keep things eco friendly and bio degradable! We may not be able to reverse harm done, but we can at least try to slow the process down now. The option of purchasing natural household cleaning products is something I am really excited about and want to continue implementing in the future.
As stated by the team at Natural House - here are a few great facts to know about their products:
So how exactly does probiotic household cleaners work?
The surfaces in your house are like a garden. If you don’t seed with good plants, weeds will grow. You have the same choice with your household surfaces: sanitize for a moment with harsh chemicals leaving your surface open to recontamination or seed with probiotics to continuously weed out the bad micro-organisms.
Traditional cleaners “clean” a surface for a moment in time; the second the rag is finished wiping the surface, that surface is almost instantly polluted once again with ambient dust, dirt, and micro-organisms.
Natural House probiotics creates mini-ecosystem on a microbial level that produces enzymes which break down odors, dirt, fats, oil, grease, food scraps, waste and toilet paper products on a continuous basis between applications. This creates a natural, clean, balanced environment that is safe for even the most sensitive members of your natural house.
The action is in the foam! When using your Natural House products be sure and let it foam first to release the cleaning agents before going to the next step on the package directions.
As much as I try to promote good health in my family, having probiotic cleaning supplies certainly appeals to me and is a must have in our home from now on! Looking at each product and it's price, then comparing to my current toilet, sink and trash can cleansers, going natural will certainly not cost me more than I am already spending, and will hopefully cut back on expenses due to less chance of becoming ill!
I love the simplicity of grabbing a packet from the container and dropping it in my toilet bowl - watching it "fizz" and the swishing away the germs and grime. The blue Flushy packet explodes in your toilet and helps to not only clean the inside of the toilet bowl, but also to help clear the drains and act proactively to prevent clogs. It left a nice fresh scent in the bathroom that I loved. One thing I am a stickler on is that my house smells good!
With daily cat litter pans being cleaned and "scooped", my garbage bin inside tends to always have a litter smell. The first time I tried the Trashy spray, I was thrilled with the results. I sprayed the inside of the can thoroughly and used paper towels to wipe down the inside. It completely got rid of the litter smell and left it with a very natural clean and fresh scent.
Finally, the Sinky product for garbage disposals was my favorite! We all shove all sorts of things down our garbage disposals to be ground up, and no matter how many orange peels or lemon rinds I toss in there, it always seems to have a slightly "off" odor on that side of the sink. I was so excited to see a product that would dissolve in the drain and help flush it out preventing clogs, and also clean and freshen all the way down. This was WONDERFUL. With a slight citrus scent, it left my whole kitchen smelling wonderful and is something I would love to have under the sink to toss in about once a week to help prevent clogs and to keep the drain area smelling clean!
This giveaway will be open to US RESIDENTS ONLY and will end on Friday September 30, 2011!
All entries must include a valid email address for contact if chosen as winner. Each entry requires a separate comment. If worth multiple entries, it requires multiple comments - one for each entry.
Please leave a comment stating if probiotic cleaning is important to you and why.
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Worth 5 entries Each:
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In the coming months, I will continue my school career, but will be taking on some responsibilities within my family that will cause me to be away from home more. You see, over the last several years, my family has seen a steady decline in the health of my grandparents. This past summer, there came a point that my grandpa had to be placed in a nursing and rehab facility to get back his health. Now, due to many factors, the decision has been made that he will be coming back home, but only if there is additional care within his home for him.
My grandpa has for many years been in what is basically considered a bedridden state. Other than the lack of ability to get himself up and around, his health is really quite well. My grandma as well is in fairly good condition for her age, but she too has begun having ambulatory issues. At her age and state of health, it is just too much for her to lift and move and care for my grandpa full time any longer. For him to come back home out of the nursing rehab center there had to be willingness to have additional in home care.
I have agreed to change my routine and schedule some and be there in their home during the weekday hours to make sure they are safe and taken care of. My 4 year old son and I will be packing up our school work each day and driving to sit with my grandparents. This may be temporary or it may be long term. You never know what will happen or what God will see fit, whatever the situation, I am glad I am available and able to be there.
I love my grandparents, but mostly, I want to be there to help my parents right now. I have seen the strain on them physically and emotionally over the last several months with the daily concern and care. I am excited and feel blessed that God has given me the chance to help ease this burden in their lives. It has been a trying time for all of our family, and it will not be easy in the future. With age comes change. Physical, mental, spiritual, emotional changes are all evident in each of us as we grow older. My grandparents are wonderful people who have worked hard and done the best they could with what they have been given in this life. Unfortunately, time has taken it's toll on their bodies and for now, they need help on a regular basis.
It is not something they want or something that is going to be easy for them to adjust to, and I hate that in many ways, they may come to resent my presence every day. I can only imagine how it must feel to be in a physical condition in which you are dependent upon others to care for you. In so many ways they are able to make it on their own perfectly fine, but in others it is simply impossible for them to take proper care of themselves given their state of health. I pray that I continue to be sensitive to their emotions and feelings, yet remain firm in my ability to make known I won't back down on helping them. Independence is a good thing, but at certain times in our lives, it can be a tough thing to shake. I covet the prayers of my friends and readers as I take on this new challenge and period of time in my life.
My goal is not to hinder but to help. To give back what has been given to me. I know that it will be tough to do so without stepping on toes or invading too much, but I feel like it can be managed. My grandparents health is not at a point that would be considered "terminal" or "fatal", it is simply at a point that needs more care and a bit less independent living. My desire is to keep them together in their home for their last years here on earth, and to keep them comfortable physically and mentally as well.
So, I may be absent from here once again more than I'd like to be, but know it's for a good reason. A worthy reason. A loving reason. I will be taking care of those who use to take care of me. Seeing our family in a place in which they can no longer take care of themselves the way they want and need to is sad, but being in a place where I can be of help and make sure they are safe, clean, and as healthy as possible, is a blessing I am very thankful for. Not everyone is lucky enough to be in the position to reach out and handle these kinds of situations themselves rather than hiring an outside person to come and do it for them.
September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. And the wonderful non profit organization LIFE Foundation is working on an amazing and special project to help raise awareness and funds. This month, they have asked each of us to upload up to 20 pictures to their Facebook wall of our loved ones who have been protected by our purchase of life insurance.
Sadly, many children and young adults are left penniless and struggling when a parent dies unexpectedly. Many are unable to attend college or pursue their dreams and careers because they are forced to work and provide for themselves or siblings in the absence of that parent who was lost. The LIFE Foundation has come together and this year has a special project for the month of September called the "INSURE YOUR LOVE PICTURE MOSAIC". For each picture (up to 20 per person) that is uploaded to their Facebook Mosaic, they will donate $1 to the LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program. This scholarship program helps aid students who have lost a parent achieve their goals of furthering their educations.
It's super easy. Log into your Facebook account, choose a picture of a loved one you have provided for by purchasing life insurance for yourself or their parent, and upload to the Life Foundation Picture Mosaic here.
Will you join me in doing this simple activity via Facebook to help aid those who have lost loved ones and are not able to provide for their own education?
Having just gone back to college myself recently, I totally understand how difficult it must be for a teen to come out after the tragedy of losing their parent or parents and be able to make it happen. I was blessed to be able to participate simply by uploading a picture of my son to the mosaic wall. Please join this great cause before the end of the month. And remember, if you don't have life insurance for yourself and your loved ones, it's simple to get and for pennies on the dollar each month, you could ensure you are providing your children with the future they deserve. I certainly think that cute little red head over there < is definitely worth my time!
Another great book to add to my library! I love a book that has a little mystery and love in it! Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl is another book that takes you outside the box of traditional love. It shows you how love can surpass all outside or social standards. That love is deeper than appearances and wealth but is rooted in selflessness, understanding and compassion. It is a fairy tale that leaves you guessing and wondering what will happen next, and although a great story, unfortunately, leaves you hanging just a bit in wait for the next book in the series.
Young Leo follows his instincts for adventure despite what those around him say. He journeys off in search of a monster and instead he finds friendship that he has never known. Rose Red veiled and hidden listens and talks and shares with Leo that hot summer, and eventually, leads him to the monster he went in search of the first day.
The book leads you on a fairy tale that involves legends and dragons. Although I have not read Heartless, I was able to understand and keep up for the most part and can't wait to read it for myself as well as pick up the next book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, Moonblood. Leo, Daylily and Rose Red are all characters you fall in love with, fight for, argue with and hate in turn. It is said that in the book Heartless, you meet young Leo as an adult. Veiled Rose gives you a new insight into who he is and how he became a man.
Veiled Rose is unlike most modern day fairy tales. There is love, there is complication and hurt and pain and more love, but in the end, it isn't wrapped up neatly in a "happily ever after" way. It leaves you wondering what will happen next and what the end will be.
If you like fairy tales, dragon lore, adventure and romance, you can find them all in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, especially in this book Veiled Rose. Although it is a Christian Fiction series, it is not "preachy" or pushy in theme. The love of God and Christianity is a slight undertone in the book that does not overpower or annoy the reader. It could easily be considered a "crossover" book that you could recommend to anyone who likes a good fantasy or fairy tale novel.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and will be purchasing others in the series in the future. It is a bit confusing at times, but in a good way. Veiled Rose is a very enjoyable read. I give this 4 out of 5 stars.
**I was not monetarily compensated for this review. I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. All views and opinions expressed within are my own.**
Just thought I would share one of my favorite pick me ups! I don't know why, but this compilation always makes me smile. Coupled with a pint of Ben & Jerry's Late Night Snack as created by Jimmy Falon, it's quite possibly the perfect way to unwind after a really bad day!
Nothing makes a woman with PMS feel better than loads of junk food. Especially when it's actually pretty good for you!!! :) Last week I received a box from Snack Aisle full of awesome goodies to review that are all healthy! I was really excited about this because I have such a problem during that time of the month with wanting junk food and candies. I need a better for me alternative.
This box came just in time! I opened up and found some of my old favorites (Stacy's Pita Chips and White Mountain Kettle Corn) along with some new favorites Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame and the Winetime Chocolate Raspberry Bar!
I, personally loved everything we received. The Italian Harvest Pita Chips are an excellent snack and are great with hummus or a spinach/artichoke dip. The White Mountain Kettle Corn was AWESOME! I love that slightly sweet flavor of fresh kettle corn at the county fairgrounds. This was wonderful without all the fat and calories from butter. The Dry Roasted Edamame were something I had wanted to try but hadn't yet, and I fell in love with them. They are very earthy, but I thought they were great. My Love didn't care for them at all, but he is picky about flavors and felt it was a bit too "dirt like". I totally disagree - it's more like a natural nut flavor than a roasted, but still, to me, delicious! The Bhuja mix, well, we were all skeptical because of the "fire" most mixes like this have, but it was really nice. It had a very mild kick to it that didn't leave you grabbing the water bottle, but instead wanting more. Even the 4 year old loved it and asked for more. Overall, everything we got was delicious and definitely items I'd grab again in the future.
What I love about SnackAisle, aside from the great snacks, is the fact that they are all right there in one location. You don't have to search all over the web or run to 20 grocery or specialty stores to pick up your favorite organic, natural, gluten free or low fat products. They house all of them in one spot!
Snack Aisle has generously given one of You Brew My Tea's readers a chance to win a $15 Gift Certificate to use toward a purchase of any items on their website!
GIVEAWAY ENDS Saturday September 24th at Midnight Please leave a comment for EACH entry (if it is worth 5 entries - leave 5 comments). Please make sure your email address is in each comment. Thanks! Mandatory Entry: Must visit SnackAisle and tell me what snack you would most like to try. Additional Entries: Worth 1 Entry Each: Like Snack Aisle on Facebook Follow Snack Aisle on Twitter Follow You Brew My Tea on Google Friend Connect Like You Brew My Tea on Facebook Follow you Brew My Tea on Twitter
Worth 5 Entries Each: Leave a Comment on Snack Aisle's Facebook Page Telling them You Brew My Tea Sent you Tweet About This Giveaway Share this Post on Facebook Thanks for participating and Good Luck!
VELWYTHE: Resurrection of the Mind by Bonn Turkington
Honestly, when I saw this book on the Media Guests website with an option to review and join in the blog tour, I was drawn to it simply because of the picture on the cover. I'm not sure what it was, but I thought - "Yes! That's the kind of book I want next." It seemed a bit dark, yet exciting and after reading the description, I was hooked and ready. I was so excited to see it finally arrive in the mail.
Bonn Turkington is taking a new look at how to write a book. He comes to the publishing realm with a vivid imagination and an idea that hasn't been seen before. With a gamers background, Bonn takes a step that is new and exciting. He has developed a website here in which readers can actually participate in the development of the story. This concept allows readers to interact as if they are in the book themselves. Voting and polling on what should happen next and how. This series of books is groundbreaking and exciting. I for one have bookmarked the website and am excited about the continuation of the series.
The book itself starts out in a rather unusual way. You are sitting in on a conversation between what appears to be a leader and a servant. There is much question and confusion as to why a group of people is going into an undesirable area of their world and there is much fear. The Prologue is rather confusing, but intriguing at the same time. It definitely sets the pace for the book ahead. A book of different things to our normal world here today, and of questions without answers and histories that are unknown to us.
Vaan is the central character of our story. We see him in a life after the tragic loss of both of his parents. A life in which dust and dirt and holes are what his home and life are made of. Nightmares that plague him and a loneliness he doesn't really see as being there. Gradually, the book brings about a new friend who encourages him to pursue what he wants - knowledge.
I will be honest, I did not receive this book until a few days ago and have not had a chance to complete it yet. I have made it about7/8 of the way through, and if I didn't have school and kids to deal with this week, I would have completed it the first night. I have never read a book like this before. It definitely has the creativity and "other world" ness about it that you would find in a video game or in a great sci-fi thriller. Not in the blood and gore, but just the simple creative genius of a world unknown to us. It takes a lot of imagination to come up with cities, towns, housing, people, jobs and typical daily foods and clothing that are similar to our daily life, yet vastly different as well. Bonn Turkington has a wonderful imagination and I am totally hooked now. I have, like mentioned, bookmarked the website and am excited about watching these books progress.
This book, and the series as it grows will be a great way to get a son or daughter to read who normally is vegged in front of the TV playing World of Warcraft with their friends. It has the excitement and the illusion that is common in a video game and it has the interactive capacity on the Velwythe website that will definitely be a lure. Yes, this is a series that I would love to see more of. I can't wait to finish this first book and am excited about the second book being released next summer. Just hate I have to wait so long!
**I received this book in exchange for my honest review from Media Guests blog tour group.**
I don't know about you, but it's always been a struggle to get my kids to brush their teeth long enough. Although both of my sons have always enjoyed brushing their teeth and not had problems keeping up with it twice a day, they never seem to do it long enough. No sooner is the toothbrush in their mouth than I hear "I'm done!". We all know that brushing longer ensures a better cleaning and thus fewer cavities and other problems.
We have purchased character themed electric toothbrushes, but those still didn't work. I have bought the light up toothbrushes, but found that they only stay lit for 30 seconds to one minute and our dentist has always recommended brushing for at least 2 minutes total.
Well, Brush Buddies is a perfect solution! Not only do they have tons of options in character/animal and even now the Justin Bieber line, but all of their brushes will sing or play music and sounds for the mandatory 2 minute window needed to ensure a safe and clean mouth.
I recently received 3 tooth brushes to test out with my kids from Brush Buddies. I let my 4 year old have his choice and Priscilla Piggie was his favorite. He loves that it is a cool character and he now can easily handle brushing his teeth all by himself for the full 2 minutes that is recommended. In fact, if I would let him, he would probably brush his teeth 20 times a day just so he could hear the farm yard sounds! We also got the Bow Wow Brewster brush and love the barking noise it makes! Although, as real as it is, you'd think we had adopted a puppy at brushing time in this house!
The Justin Bieber brush is being given to a very special young lady in our lives and as she is a huge fan of all things Bieber - I can't wait to see her reaction to it!
I am really impressed with the quality of these tooth brushes. Unlike most brushes I have picked up for the kids, these seemed sturdy and not easily broken. With small kids, you'd be surprised at what can and will be broken in their little hands. The choices of animals, characters and now your favorite pop star make it a great choice for any age. Including adults! The Justin Bieber line of products also has dental floss, an adult and kids toothbrush as well as a really cool travel kit.
I am excited about getting more of these for stocking stuffers this year for all the kids in my life. I've always bought tooth brushes as stocking stuffers, but this is a definite step up for my kids! They will all love them!
You may order online at the Brush Buddies Website but also they are available at most of your local Walgreen's, Rite Aids and CVS. You may also call their toll free number at 877-274-8358. I have compared Brush Buddie prices to other tooth brushes and they are very comparable - especially for the quality.
Be sure to bookmark their website and add Brush Buddies to your Christmas Shopping list. The kids and dentists in your life will appreciate it!
Several months ago I was complaining to my Lover about how hard it is to find a decent bra to fit me. And, that all of my "good bras" were being worn out by everyday use. I am a big girl in general, but also have very large breasts. It has been many years since I've been able to buy a bra off the rack in Walmart or a lower end department store and be able to wear it more than a couple of times before it was just worn out. Having DDD+ cup size plus being large in general it is not easy to find a bra in a size that fits. On the rare occasion that I do, they are generally very cheaply made and what I consider "daily use" bras or they are very expensive and only worn when we go out in public. Where many women live in Cami tank tops because they don't have large breasts, I can't do that. I truly NEED a supportive bra all the time, but rarely am able to find one I can afford.
So, we are lounging in bed one evening watching some talk show, probably The Rachel Maddow Show when an ad came on for the Genie Bra. It is said to smooth and create a nice silhouette as well as be easy to fit any size. The commercial makes it look like a typical sports bra, so comfortable without under wire or too much frilliness. Perfect for every day around the house wear. My Lover nudges me and says, "why don't you buy some of those. They'd be great to wear around the house, and who knows, you might consider them a 'good bra' too".
At the cost of 3 for $59.99 they weren't any more expensive than anything I'd find any other place I shopped for bras, and he was right, they looked comfy, said they adapted to any size and were worth the try. They had a money back guarantee (minus shipping). So why not? They came in basic shirt sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, 1X, 2X and so on and so forth. A few days later, we sat down, pulled up the website and ordered a set. They had a special going at the time where you bought the 3 pack and got 3 more for free and only had to pay the additional shipping. Now, shipping cost was a bit asinine in my opinion, $25.98 for 6 bras - but still, at the end of the day - 6 bras to fit my large chest for under $90 was still a decent deal.
The website said to allow 4-6 weeks for shipping. So, we sat back and waited.
....and the seasons changed....and we waited some more.
On week 8, I picked up the phone and called. They apologized and said that my size had been out of stock but they would expedite it now and make sure I received my bras within a week. Apparently, my order had been shuffled to the "not in stock" list and just sat there forgotten about.
(1) First bad mark against Genie Bra - ordered and forgotten for 8 weeks
I finished my phone call with their customer service (after considerable struggle to understand the gentleman on the phone). I am not one to complain about customer service lines being out sourced to other countries. I do complain though when their grasp of the English language is not enough to make a simple question from me clear. Will I receive a refund on shipping or a discount due to the extended time I have to wait? That isn't a hard question to understand, but he couldn't grasp it at all and kept wanting to add more bras to my order when I asked this.
(2) Second bad mark - Incompetent Customer Service Representatives with severe language barrier.
Another 2 weeks went by and I feared I would have to resort to calling their number again. Oh, have I mentioned their website has a 1-800 number for ordering your bras, but any customer service inquiries have to be made at a regular number? Yes, if you didn't have unlimited long distance or a cell phone, it would cost you additionally to even call and check on your bras. Finally, one day I walked out to the mailbox and there was my package from them.
(3) Third bad mark - lack of 800 number for customer service inquiries.
After over 10 weeks (nearly 11) waiting for my Genie Bras to arrive, they were here! So, I settle into my chair and carefully open the bag/package. I am still in the back of my head miffed over the $26 in shipping they charged for a package that costs less than $6 to ship, but I try to put that out of my head for now. I open up and there are 2 individual sealed bags inside. Presumably, these contain my bras. The ones I have waited patiently for. The ones I have needed for nearly 3 months but have not purchased elsewhere because I had already spent the money with Genie Bra.
I use the scissors and carefully open the first of the 2 bags. I see right away the nude colored bra in it's only little individual plastic baggie and there in front of me is a giant letter "M". I look closer and I realize, very obviously that this bra will not fit me. No possible way. I doubt I could even get it over my head to attempt. They sent me the wrong size.
You see, very clearly in the telephone conversation and very clearly on the invoice I printed after ordering - it shows a much larger size. Even if I wouldn't wear a 2x in everything, I have to in tops because my boobs are just well, HUGE. So, I ordered what was suppose to be 6 size 2x bras. Instead, I received 6 size Medium bras.
(4) Fourth Bad Mark - Waited nearly 11 weeks to receive product
(5) Fifth Bad Mark - Didn't even get the correct size when I FINALLY received my package from them!!!
I actually sat down and cried. You see, this had not only been an issue for me physically with the lack of proper bra for so long and waiting to get these it had also been a financial hardship. It happened, by way of human error, that when the money for these came out of the bank, it put a severe hardship on me. It was nearly $100, and the way it landed, was $100 I really ended up needing. These bras had been a problem from the moment the idea entered my head.
I sat down and called their non 800 number and tried to explain the situation to someone who didn't understand and so I asked for a Supervisor. She told me they had no supervisors. Um?? Really? So I asked to be transferred. She refused. So, I hung up and called back and got a different person. This woman said that it wasn't their fault I got the wrong item. If I wanted it replaced, she gave me the mailing address to ship it to and told me to mail them back (at my own expense!) to them with a copy of my original invoice and a letter telling them what was defective.
At this point - I have totally lost my cool with these people. I did nothing wrong but order from them. They messed up every step of the way. Severe delays, over charging and then - now - they send me the wrong thing and want ME to pay to ship it back to them?
So, again, I ask for a Supervisor and this woman tells me she can send a message to the corporate offices but it may be several days before my phone call is returned. Um, okay? I think not. We go over the scenario once more and the final deal is:
I paid $59.99 for 6 bras.
I paid $25.98 for shipping.
I waited 11 weeks to get them when promised 4-6.
I received the wrong size bra when they FINALLY arrived.
They will not give me a shipping ticket or pay for me to return these wrong bras to them.
I have to pay $13 to ship them back because they require all returns be shipped delivery confirmation
They will only refund me up to $8.99 on shipping back to them if they deem it their mistake once they receive the item.
If I chose to not get replacements - they will only credit my account for the $59.99
They won't refund shipping for an item they screwed up.
So - at this rate - I send them back the 6 bras and get a refund and have spent over $30 just for the pleasure of doing business with an incompetent company and not even received one bra to cover my large breast with.
Um??? I THINK NOT!
At this point - the bank has been contacted and the original payment has been reversed. The bank is understanding and hopefully, most if not all of the original $90 charge will be credited back to my bank account. But, there is a chance it won't.
I still have 6 bras sitting in my office that I can't wear and I don't know anyone else who can. Will I ship them back? No. I'm not going to. Not when I won't be getting a refund for my time, trouble and purchase.
Do I recommend them to others? Yes and no.
**I would recommend the bras themselves. They do look very nice/sturdy and supportive. For the price - not bad. But I would recommend buying them off Amazon, ebay or in a store on the "As seen on tv" aisle.
***I would never under any circumstances recommend the Genie Bra website or 1-800 number. I wouldn't recommend using them or their company for didly squat. They get NEGATIVE stars in my book.
The past month has been a life changing experience for me. I went from being a stay at home mom and part time employee, to a full time student. I had done a bit of classwork early in the summer, but this is different. This is full time - 6 classes - loads of homework and assignments and this counts toward my degree. After nearly 15 years out of a classroom and 12 years out of school period: Here. I. Am.
I am lucky that all but one of my classes can be done online this semester, but in many ways, that means even more dedication on my part. A lot of what would be covered in class during a lecture, I am having to read and go over on my own. There isn't a lot of "back and forth" between myself and classmates or the teachers. It's simply reading/comprehending/doing assignments as directed. I am a self starter and don't usually have a problem with that. Actually, I tend to learn better by reading/writing things out myself, so in many ways the online classroom for college is the best way for me to go. But, regardless of my skills and learning abilities, it hasn't been easy.
My routine use to be busy but simple. I spent part of my day doing housework and chores. Things like laundry, dishes, dusting, cleaning toilets and meal prep. Part of my day was spent with the boy doing his schoolwork or just snuggling in front of the TV having some mommy/son time. A good portion of my days were filled with online part time work I do. Then I would blog, check out and read other blogs, do a little "social networking" here and there and spend a couple of hours reading books that I had received to review on my blog. I was a typical stay at home mom and part time employee.
Now, well, every day is a struggle to get it all done. Getting up early and running from that second until midnight or 1am is routine. The hours I spent doing my part time job before have now been pushed back to the late night hours when it's quiet in the house and everyone else is asleep. My down time to read or hang with my man and my son is pretty much gone. An hour television show makes me feel guilty because I need to be studying or writing or in my office blogging and reading others blogs. I mean, really, if I expect you to read mine, then surely I should be out there reading yours right? On top of these changes, I am also driving to class 2 nights a week leaving my family at home and missing out on time with them. That part is hard for me. Even more time I am not with them.
This is a different world for me but one that is well worth it. I want this. I need this. I am growing because of it. I have learned that dishes in the sink all day awaiting my Lover to help that night is okay. He can fold clothes and put them away just like I can, and he enjoys it. My education takes priority right now. Not only is it good for me, but in the long run, it will be good for our family. We can deal with sacrifices here and there. It's worth it.
Now, if only someone could tell my head and body that I am fine with 4 hours of sleep a night there would be no problems at all! When my sons were babies, I know I survived and thrived on less sleep than I get now, but I honestly think God equips us moms with some sort of super adrenaline rush we need during those first few months. Maybe my need for sleep now is me FINALLY making up for all I lost back then?
Going back to school at age 29 isn't something I ever saw myself doing. For years I felt like I wasn't smart enough. I didn't think I could cope. I was told I wouldn't be able to cut it. I was belittled and pushed down to a point that I felt I was worthless. I am proving to myself and to those out there who doubted that I can and will succeed in life. I have a lot to offer and it goes way beyond simply being a good housewife.
Forgive the absence of normal posts these days. Please know that I want to follow and read your blogs, and one day I hope to get back at it full time. Be patient. Remember this - I am doing something to empower myself and to be a better partner in my relationship. But mostly - I am doing this because I know it's what God wants me to do. To become a better person and have better options in this life for me and my sons.
I have been a part of BzzAgent for some time now, but recently I was given my first opportunity to be a part of one of their Campaigns. I was actually quite excited to see the chance to review an Internet Security product by Trend Micro. Having worked in the IT field off and on for a few years now (and working toward a degree in IT currently), I admittedly am somewhat of a Virus Protection/Internet Security snob. There are many very popular mainstream companies out there that offer great protection at very high prices, as well as at the detriment of your computer and it's ability to function in a smooth and easy manner.
Initially going to the Trend Micro website to install my free one year subscription was very easy. Their website is laid out in a way that any novice could understand and easily be able to purchase, download and install their Trend Micro Titanium 2012 software without help from an IT professional.
After installing my copy of Trend Micro Titanium 2012, I took a few minutes to familiarize myself with the layout of the software page. Along with the general Internet Security and Virus Protection (and removal), I was offered the chance to get a free one year subscription to Trend Micro Safe Sync. After both programs had been installed and I had looked them over, I found that they were easy to use and very clearly categorized. The home page of the program includes a section for Parental Controls, System Tuner and Subscription Status. Below that on the bottom of the pop up homepage, you find an area to select a scan or to change scan options. It is initially set to a basic quick scan which scrolls through your main system files in about 10 minutes checking for any obvious viruses or malware. By changing your scan options, you can set Trend Micro to scan only particular files (pictures, data files, videos) or you can choose to scan your entire system. It is very simple to adjust to your preferences and while I tend to do any scans of this nature while I'm not "working" on my computer, I did run it the first time in the background while I did some online browsing and was working on a paper for school. The Titanium program ran easily in the background and did not appear to cause any stalls or problems in my computer. Although it does take up a bit of space and uses some resources, it is not as "trying" or hard on my system as other mainstream Internet Protection software has been in the past.
My only complaint about the programs is in the Safe Sync system. This is a typical online backup software that is through Trend Micro. It is a great place to store your data (pictures, videos, word documents, spreadsheets, etc.). You log in to the Safe Sync software and it immediately begins searching your computer for files to backup to it's online server. When it works correctly, you have a safe place online to access your data should something happen to your computer system or hardware. It ensures you that you won't be losing all the wedding photos or the legal documents that you have saved on your desktop should something bad happen to your computer. Safe Sync works fine in it's capacity and yes indeed keeps a thorough backup, but unlike other online backup programs I have used in the past, Safe Sync truly almost shuts you down completely when it is "storing" your files. This is not a software you can turn on and be able to do anything else on your system and expect a good performance. Admittedly, my system isn't as new as it could be, but it has plenty of memory and should not be affected as drastically as it was. For the money it costs, Safe Sync is a good deal (especially when bundled with the Titanium Internet Security). I would suggest though to someone wishing to purchase and use this, that you should be prepared to only do the file transfer and backup when you have a large chunk of time you can leave your computer to do only that.
Overall, I think that the Trend Micro Titanium 2012 software is a good deal for the amount you pay and is an excellent program to protect and help keep your system safe, as well as remove threats. Overall, I give the software bundle 4 stars. And in the words of an IT professional, that is speaking pretty highly of something of this nature.
**I received this bundle pack of software as part of my association with Bzz Agent.**
When given the opportunity by New Leaf Publishing to review this book, I was thrilled. Although I don't plan on homeschooling my son outside of this preschool time, I do want to be prepared with educational materials should circumstances change and that become the plan. I also want more Biblical history books that I can do my own research and compare to, as well as teach my son about history with. Of course, it didn't hurt that my Love is a total history buff as well and loves anything Archaeological.
Unveiling the Kings of Israel: Revealing the Bible's Archaeological History by David Down
This book is a great addition to any historical or Biblical library. It truly does go in depth about the Archaeological finds that confirm Biblical history as we know it. The book itself is a hardcover edition that is sturdy and beautiful. The pictures and descriptions inside are gorgeous and well stated. It was easy to read, easy to make my young son understand and yes, I learned a few things too.
Overall, I think this is one of the best Biblical History books I own currently. I think that Mr. Down did a fabulous job compiling not only the Biblical facts but also the real scientific Archaeological facts that back them up. I give this book 5 stars and encourage anyone who is a homeschooling parent or just a history or Bible buff to grab a copy here and add to your collection.
**I was not monetarily compensated for the review of this book. I was given this book by New Leaf Publishing in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.**
Once again I have the privilege of reviewing a product from my favorite adult store: Eden Fantasys. This month we chose to try out the Love Essentials Kit in their Sensual Love section.
As always, with Eden Fantasys, I love their excellent and quick customer service and discreet packaging. It seemed that no sooner had I placed my order than a package was in my mailbox and I was getting my latest review item from them. For us, reviewing adult products can be daunting. It's such an intimate part of our relationship and between just the two of us. It's awkward at times to know where to start in picking an item that we feel is tasteful yet would be something we could both enjoy in our alone times. Eden Fantasys provides so many areas to choose from that I have never had a problem finding something that we could both enjoy, or that I would be timid about reviewing here on such a public forum.
The Love Essentials Kit is a great way to relax and unwind with your partner. It includes Honey Dust, Lubricating Love Liquid and Original Oil of Love. This is part of the Karma Sutra line of adult products. You get a very nice box that could easily be wrapped as a gift. When opened, the container of honey dust is nice sized and upon further inspection, you find a plastic bag that has been tied off to ensure the "dust" doesn't spill. There is a velvet packet that you can store your feather (included) and the oil or liquid in as well. We tried out the Honey Dust right away and found that what we received was very light and easy to brush on the body with the feather that was included. After we played a bit, we both tasted the honey dust and agreed that we loved it. It tasted just like brownie or chocolate cake mix! Who doesn't like a little chocolate powder licked off our erogenous zones? The Love Liquid and Oil of Love were both equally as nice in flavor and texture on the body and non irritating to our sensitive skin.
As always, I am pleased with Eden Fantasys and want to give them 5 stars for excellent product selection, layout of website and amazing customer service!
**I was not monetarily compensated for this review. I received the product listed above in exchange for my honest review on this blog.**
I have long since been a fan of Jerry B. Jenkins writing style. Yes, I was one who read all of the Left Behind series of books that he co- authored with Tim LaHaye, but I have also read many of his other fictional and non fictional works. When I saw the chance to grab an advance issue copy of The Betrayal from Tyndale to review, I was totally pumped.
I was of course a little concerned because I had not read the first book in the 11th Precinct series entitled The Brotherhood. I am always a bit worried that coming into a series without reading from start to finish I will be confused or lost about the storyline and characters. Although this book had some hints at the first installment, I wasn't left feeling like I was missing something. In fact, as much as I do want to purchase the other book in the series, I felt very well acquainted with the characters and background. As always Mr. Jenkins did an excellent job in pulling a new story to life with old characters.
This book takes us to the life of Boone Drake who is a detective for the Chicago Police. The first chapter leaves you feeling as if you walked right into the scene. Although some details from the first book surely would make it easier to comprehend the abrupt opening to this book, it was not lacking in draw and understanding. We follow Boone as he struggles with an almost life threatening and near debilitating shoulder injury that happened during what could be one of the largest busts of the drug and gang world in Chicago's history in some years.
Boone and his fellow officers dive into what is a three ring circus of conspiracy, cover ups and life threatening plots to cover up indiscretions of the elite in the "fine" Chicago Police Department. At times you are left wondering who you can trust within the inner circle in Boone's life and anxiously awaiting the outcome to prove if your hunch is right or wrong. The suspense, honesty and even a little romance in this book make it an excellent choice for nearly anyone. As always Mr. Jenkins weaves his characters lives together seamlessly and makes room for subtle yet clear truths from God's Word. The Christian overtures within the book are not pushy nor flowery. They are real, easily mixed into the plot and understandable. I love the fact that Mr. Jenkins always manages to include his faith in each of his fictional works without making it be so "preachy" that a non believer will be turned off by the book.
Reading and advanced copy of this book definitely had it's ups and downs. I was blessed with the privilege to review the story as a whole, but also amused at how much editing had not been done as of yet. I can't wait to get a copy of the final cut of this book to add to my growing collection of works by Jerry B. Jenkins.
The Betrayal by Jerry B. Jenkins gets 5 stars and 2 thumbs up in my book!
**I was not monetarily compensated for this review. I received the above mentioned book in exchange for my honest review on my blog for Tyndale Publishing. All opinions and views expressed within this review are mine alone.**