Monday, January 31, 2011

My Test Results

So i've been feeling pretty awful the entire month of January, and turns out this is why:

Please pardon me as things are sure to be slow around here until I pass this part of my new pregnancy. Hopefully soon, but right now with the way i'm feeling I haven't really been feeling like sitting in front of a computer much.

Sony Bloggie Touch Camera Review

The Sony Bloggie Touch is a fairly new pocket camcorder. I like the size of it. It's just perfect for on the go. It's an HD camera. It fits right into my purse and is great for capturing those on the go and spontaneous moments. It has many great features that anyone can appreciate.

These features include a decent sized rear touchscreen. It has built in software that makes it easy for you to share your photos and videos through social networking sites. You can also set up family so that your media can be shared with them as well. With this software, as soon as you're done recording, you select, right on camera, with whom you want to share. Once you hook it up to your computer you just need to click one final button and that's pretty much it.

I also like the fact that you can take still pictures at 12.8 megapixels. You can even snap photos while recording. Totally awesome. The camera has face-tracking and does really good focusing on words, provided the lighting is right.

Some things I would love to see improved about this camera is definitely the zooming. It has 4x digital, but things start to get a bit grainy once you hit that 4x mark. I've also seen where others complain about the orientation ability when you hold the camera vertically. The sides get cut off and there's black on the sides of the video. I would personally like to see a flash added to enhance those 12.8 megapixel shots.

All in all, i'm impressed with the features of the Sony Bloggie Touch otherwise. If you can get around those little other things, it's a really nice camera. It's available in 4gb and 8gb options which will allow for 2-4 hours of recording time respectively. The Sony Bloggie Touch can be purchased at Walmart.com for $139 for the 4gb model and $159 for the 8gb model. I'm recommending Walmart.com because the actual in-store prices at my local Walmart were higher and the online prices were not honored. My video review using the Sony Bloggie Touch follows.






Thanks to Collective Bias for providing the funds for me to purchase this camera.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Winners!



Congrats to:

Cystex:
KarenMed409

Kinoko:
Kristen

Purex:
Cheryl F
Kristen

Progresso:
Ms. Cindy

Are You the Ultimate Party Host? #snackbowl

By now you've probably noticed the banner on my right side bar. You know, the one that says "Be the Ultimate Pro Football Party Hall of Famer?" Well, I just entered that contest and I would LOVE to win it! You see, there is an awesome grand prize up for grabs that among several other things includes a trip for 2 to the Canton, OH hall of fame, and $5000 cash!

The contest was super easy to enter. All you have to do is take a picture or shoot some video and leave a statement as to what makes You the ultimate party host. There's also a side contest where just for voting alone you can win 1 of 1000 $50 gift cards instantly just for voting on a favorite!

This contest ends on February 7, so don't wait too long to enter. Maybe you have a picture or some video already saved to your computer than you can use as an entry. Here's mine:



And for your chance to win you can click this banner:



I also created a Whrrl story if you'd like to check out still pictures for a closer look at the food that we had:


More check-ins at Walmart Supercenter #3891
Powered by Whrrl


Good luck!

*Disclosure: This post is compensated thanks to Collective Bias.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thank You Oscar Mayer!!

Growing up, we had our share of hot dogs at my house. There were eight of us, and being able to feed everyone in a simple, hassle free way was important. I even used to buy them more often; well that was until I heard about the nitrites that are added. This raised a concern for me because of the negative effects that it can have on our bodies (if you haven't heard, I encourage you to Google it). Scary, especially considering so many cases of childhood cancer these days.

I was so excited when I found Oscar Mayer hot dogs free of nitrites and nitrates while shopping at our local Walmart. Bonus 2 for me, they're hardwood smoked, bonus 3, they are made from turkey. They were $1.98 for a pack of 8, and they still taste like hot dogs. It was so ironic because I think it was just the day before that my sister and I were having a "hot dog dangers" conversation. I had to call her right up to inform her of my discovery.

Thanks to Oscar Mayer, I can freely buy hot dogs again. Something I guess nearly all kids love. Peace of mind feels good.

I would like to point out that I am not a doctor or scientist, nor have I by any means been compensated or asked to post this review.

Box Tops for Education Flash Parade #myblogspark



By simply participating in the Box Tops for Education program, America's schools can earn over $50 million this school year.

Box Tops For Education was created by General Mills in 1996 as an easy way to help make a difference for kids and schools. Since then, schools have earned more than $375 million through the program to help get the things they need-from books and school supplies to playground equipment and computers. Help make a difference in schools by clipping Box Tops from more than 240 brands, including Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Hamburger Helper, Kleenex, Ziploc, Hefty, Juicy Juice, Avery, Welch´s, Land O´Lakes and Brita. Find out how much your school has earned and learn other ways to earn cash for your school at www.btfe.com.

This video and information is brought to you, thanks to MyBlogSpark.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Visit Frugal Family Fun Blog for Your Shot at an iPad..

Go to Frugal Family Fun Blog to enter to win an iPad and an assortment of children’s books courtesy of Target! (Direct link to enter giveaway is HERE)




More On My First Mom Blogger Conference

I've posted little things here and there about having the pleasure of attending my first Mom Blogger Conference. Something i'd been wanting to do and finally got the chance to. This particular conference was hosted by Child's Play Communications. I didn't have to get on a plane (yes!), but we did have to brave Chicago traffic. And it was worth it. I had a great time and i'm looking forward to more opportunities like these. Hopefully in the near future.


I really appreciated the mom blogger panel and some things that I learned as a blogger, to help carry me a little further. The brands I had the pleasure of meeting included:


I'm sure we've all heard of Playtex. They make wonderful products for infants and toddlers. From bottles to sippies to diaper pails and more.


We also got to meet and greet with a representative from Road Rippers. More than likely you've seen these little cars when visiting the toy section of Walmart. If you like pressing buttons on toys (like me), you've probably done that too. My boys enjoy the little cars they've received.


Then there's Restaurant.com. I really like that you can get savings at local restaurants at deep discounts. $25 restaurant gift certificates cost you only $10. And they often have specials where you get them for even lower. Talk about saving some money.

Cold Stone Creamery was also there. To try them is to love them. I first became familiar with them when my husband was stationed in California and i've been hooked since.

The of course there was Mega Brands. They make building toys bigger so that younger children can safely play with them. They also debuted some new toys, including a tattoo pen for kids. My kids really like the Thomas Train track.


We also were re-aquainted with these juices by In-Zone brands. Of course kids love them because they feature popular characters that kids can relate to. I'm sure we can appreciate that they're made with 100% fruit juice. They are now available in smaller sizes for younger children. The smaller sizes contain 40% less sugar to be easier on your smaller children. The representative pointed out how moms often add water to juice to cut some of the sugar, well they've taken care of that for you, so it's ready to go.


Any mom can appreciate these toys by Summit Toys. There are the backyard toys. These are going to get your children away from the tv and make outside explorers out of them. Then there are the Zillionaire toys, that help instill money smarts. A skill that's important to have for a lifetime.

And finally, we got mini facials and more information from Mary Kay. They have a line of products that are natural looking and in no way overdone.

I had a wonderful time getting my feet wet with Child's Play Communication. Oh, and the brunch was right on target.. I'll close this post with a couple of the pictures of what I had.









Bwahahahaha!!!

I really try not to let parenting get the best of me, but anyone who has kids in their lives can agree that at least 95% of kids are going to try to get over on you in some way, shape or form at some time or another. My kids are constantly trying me. I'm fighting back.

Old Challenge...Revisited. When it's time for my kids to get themselves cleaned up, they can put up the biggest fight. No one ever wants to go first. I've even tried to convince them that whomever waits may not have hot water. That rarely works. I have devised a new plan. I think i'm going to have to put it into play the very next time they can't decide who's first :).

Oh. You're probably wondering what it is? Well, i'm thinking since the television is the biggest distraction i'm going to make them all go upstairs (where our bathroom is located) and as they finish, they can come down and relax. That way, they'll want to be first so they don't have to hang out up there. I'm thinking this is definitely going to bring about the change i'm wanting to see. Fight fire...with water.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Believe In Jesus and I Love Him Too.

This past week, I experienced something that i've experienced before, but normally something that comes and goes. My heart racing for reasons beyond my explanation. It happened, I believe Wednesday night and then again Friday. I'm not use to having this happen to me more than just every so often. So Sunday evening, after service, I decided i'd take a nap. I woke up to my heart racing again. I asked my hubby if he would just take me to the hospital. We dropped the kids off at my dad's and went on.

When I arrived at the hospital, my pulse was taken before entering the ER waiting room. The nurse informed me that it wasn't too bad. Around 100. My blood pressure was in a decent range. I made it back into the room and had an EKG done along with blood tests and continuous monitoring of my pulse. Even while resting, my heart rate made it up to 124. Something that can cause panic, but I decided i'd pray about it and call my Pastor's house for prayer.

I talked to our First Lady, who i'd already thought about. How she recently had to get something done medically. I thought about how she quoted the scripture "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all." When I explained to her what was going on, she replied with "You shall live and not die to declare the works of the Lord." Another scripture that Pastor had quoted during that morning's service that i'd been quoting. I'd also called prior to leaving for the hospital to let them know i'd be going to the hospital. My dad was praying, had my kids praying, and also had others praying as well.

I was given IV fluids while waiting for test results with my heart continuing to be monitored. I just kept praying. Wanting to hear that they found the cause of whatever the problem was and hoping it was nothing serious. I was hoping that maybe my iron was a little low or I was deficient in some vitamin or mineral. Those tests came back mostly negative. My iron was a little low along with my potassium, but not enough that the doctor thought that would be the problem.

I was then told that I would have to get a cat scan. Something I have dreaded. I've heard that it's the equivalent of having 200 x-rays! I've known of family having to get these, and even my son, who is only 8 has had one because he constantly complains of headaches. The reason I had to have one was because they thought that I, at the age of 33, may have had a blood clot. Possibly near my heart. I was wheeled off and given a heads-up of what to expect. I had to have dye injected into my body for the cat scan to be effective.

I waited. I'd already made up my mind that I was going to trust God. I realize that He allows every breath. Every heartbeat. So who better to trust. The results came back. They were negative. I called my Pastor's wife back and also my dad and shared the good news.

This ordeal has given me a fresh outlook on life. I really want to trust in God more. I'm so thankful that he didn't allow me to become overwhelmed in fear. I'm so glad that I had people who love me out there, who are concerned about me and took the time to pray for me. As i've experienced this rapid heart beating, God has kept me with a measure of peace. I believe i'm going to be all right. I believe He's going to heal me completely. I have a risen Savior, by whose stripes I am healed.

I've taken the time to share this experience with you, hoping that I can encourage someone. Sometimes life will deliver the unexpected, but it ALWAYS helps when you have God to lean on. He cares so much for us. He loves us more than we could ever imagine. He'll give us peace when the storms are raging. That's why I love Him so!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Our Christmas In Rewind

The first picture is of our Christmas Tree. It's the only source of decoration we had up for Christmas, and yet a step up from what we normally do as far as decorating, which is nothing.
The second is my oldest brother and his beautiful wife.

These two are my oldest brother's youngest two.

My oldest brother's oldest is in picture one. Picture 2 is of my knee baby and my oldest brother's only son.

The first picture in this set is of a guest that my sister invited. I caught her off guard in this one. The second is another guest who went to my youngest sister's and youngest brother's old church.

My youngest sister and my daughter are in the first pic and my youngest brother is in the second. I caught him off guard too. If I hadn't, he may have refused to let me snap this shot.

My sister decided to get a little crafty. She and some of the children put last minute decorations on our tree. I think that looks pretty neat.

We decided we'd play Jenga. It was really fun. My youngest sister, the risk taker, tried to set us other players up. She ended up setting herself up.


This is a picture of how things looked after we wrapped everything up. We had so much fun inside, we didn't care much about what was going on outside.

And there you have it. It wasn't all that I would have liked it to be. I was hoping my mom would drop in and surprise everyone again like she did last Christmas. My sister who is next to me, who normally gets everything situated as far as the time, date, and dishes decided to move south around Thanksgiving time. She and her children weren't there. It just wasn't quite the same without them. I have a couple of other older brothers as well, but they were with other family celebrating. And my dad would not come out with the weather being the way it was. 

We did have guests though. The one that I caught off guard, well I had not met her before this particular evening. She did make me feel good though, because she was so thankful that she didn't have to spend Christmas alone, thinking about the brother she's lost. She also kept complimenting the food. Our other guest has just become a family friend. She announced to us shortly after her arrival that she was getting married.

Some of our family may not have been able to make it, whether for distance, other plans, or weather, but i'm glad for all that were able to. All in all, it was a good time.

*Disclaimer: This is an entry to GiveawayBlogs.com “ 2010 Holiday Photo Contest”
If you are looking for a place to get prints of your pictures, check out www.uprinting.com






AP EXCLUSIVE: US says too much fluoride in water

AP EXCLUSIVE: US says too much fluoride in water



  This is an interesting read (click the yellow highlight above to read it if you haven't). I've heard in the past that whomever it was that convinced the government to add flouride to the water supply needed a way to get rid of his over-abundance of it. My youngest son has fluorosis, which is mentioned in the article, and upon asking the dentist about it, I was told that only time will tell if he'll suffer with it through his adulthood. She explained that this condition is caused by too much fluoride in the water supply. I'll have to be more careful with his teeth than normal, because he lacks the protective enamel that is supposed to be there.

My question is, if too much is unsafe, and can cause bone abnormalities and brittleness, how is even a little safe? Isn't water just fine the way God designed it? Why are we subjected to this unnecessary additive? Some things just really annoy me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Progresso Prize Pack #Giveaway #myblogspark


I was challenged to come up with my own commercial. You know, the Progresso commercials where the people talk to the Progresso chefs through the cans. Like this one:

                                        

I felt a little challenged when seeing the humor in these, and so, this post is more delayed than I would have liked for it to be. While I attempt to get it together, I don't want to hold you all up from this giveaway.

Maybe i'm mistaken, but I think Progresso soup needs no introduction. I'm thinking most of you have tried it and found the perfect variety for you. Just in case i'm wrong, here is what comes to mind when I think of Progresso, I think high quality soup. I also think about the many varieties that are available. They even have light versions for those who are watching their weight, along with reduced sodium and high fiber varieties. 

Now when you think clam chowder, you probably think about how fattening it can be, but Progresso has managed to create even a light version of clam chowder that's suitable for even those who are on the Weight Watchers Program. I like the way Progresso thinks ahead, with us consumers in mind.

I was given the opportunity to try their new Chicken Tortilla soup. I really did like it! It's a part of their New World Recipes lineup. This lineup is made using authentic Mexican ingredients and seasonings. You can also find Meatball and Rice, Black Bean and Jalapeño and Chicken and Vegetable as a part of the New World Recipes line.

Win It:
One of you will win the prize pack pictured at the top of this post. You will receive VIP coupons for two cans of Progresso soup, so you will be able to pick your flavors of choice.

Mandatory Entry:
Leave a comment below letting me know which variety of Progresso soup is your favorite. If you've never tried it, just let me know which one you'd like to try.

Extra Entries (please leave a separate comment for each):
1. Become a public GFC follower
2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway with a link back to this post. If you want to use the Twitter share button below this post, that's fine as well. This can be done up to 1x/hr
3. Leave this comment on my Facebook Fan Page up to 1x/hr:
 "I just entered to win the Progresso Prize Pack #giveaway #myblogspark http://is.gd/kgJmf
4. Become a public GFC follower of Blog Neighbors
5. Subscribe to updates via email or RSS

This giveaway will end 1/23 after which a winner will be randomly selected.

*Disclosure: The product information and prize packs were provided thanks to Progresso through MyBlogSpark. The views and opinions otherwise expressed are my own. No further compensation has been provided.

Remember that Purex #Giveaway I Promised? Well Here It Is...


Let me first start with a heads up on my Purex Crystals Softener. I first used them actually on New Year's Eve. If you're with me on YouTube, you may have seen the video where i'd just brought our laundry back after drying them. Well, our laundry items that I used these crystal softeners still has the pleasant scent embedded into them, though I will admit that the scent obviously isn't as strong as it was just short of a week ago. Yup, my laundry still smells nice, and I feel confident using these crystals because of all of the wonderful things I learned about these Purex Crystals Softener.

I'm here with the giveaway that you've been waiting for. You know, the one where 2 of you will win coupons to try out for yourself.

Mandatory Entry:
Of the variety that is offered, let me know in a comment below which one you'd like to try: The choices include Fresh Spring Waters, Lavender Blossom and Tropical Splash.

Additional Entries (leave an additional comment for each):
1. Become a public follower via GFC
2. Follow me on Twitter and share the giveaway by clicking the Twitter share button below this post up to 1x/hr
3. Share the Giveaway on Facebook using the Facebook Share button below this post up to 1x/hr
4. Subscribe to this blogs feed via email or RSS
5. Become a public GFC follower of Blog Neighbors

This giveaway will end 1/20 after which a winner will be randomly selected

*Disclosure: As a Purex Insider i've received product samples and coupons. The opinions expressed are my own. Sponsor will be providing coupons for the winners. No further compensation has been provided.