Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Coming Soon ...

Product reviews. I recently was contacted via e-mail about possibly being sent some products to review. I agreed to give it a try, and I will share my thoughts here. (Probably on Vox, too.) I am going to share part of the text of the initial e-mail because who better to tell you about the company and products than the individual who is representing the company. So, here is the important info:
... I represent ECOSTORE USA which is an extension of a 20 year old New Zealand company http://www.ecostore.co.nz/ that makes plant based, non-toxic HOUSEHOLD CLEANING, BABY, and PERSONAL CARE products that contain NO NASTY CHEMICALS(tm)** ... We are an e-commerce site that will be launching at a major Midwest retailer, MEIJER, in early spring.
This is a small part of the initial e-mail I received. Anyway, I immediately checked out the Web site to see what this is about. If you haven't caught on yet, I'll spell it out simply for you. They sell products that are plant-based and containing No Nasty Chemicals™. They have a wide range of products from baby care and pet care to laundry and cleaning products. I was sent the following:
I have tried each of them once, but would like to try them a bit more before I form an opinion to share. After that, I'll post reviews of each in separate posts - with the exception of the shampoo and conditioner! ;-) That said, my first impression is good. The products seem to be a good quality, and I'm enjoying the scents! For those of you (like myself) with no Meijer stores nearby, it's nice to know that you can purchase their products via their Web site, too.

For more information about EcostoreUSA and their green - and safe - products, check out the following links:
Watch for my first review coming soon!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Short Update

Sorry to be absent so long. I've been busy and really haven't had much to write about. I will be back soon, though, with some new product reviews. Until then, I thought I should update.

I GOT ONE! :-) What you ask? Well, read this post. If you don't wanna, read it, I'll just tell you. I got my Wii Fit! :-) A friend of mine in a neighboring community (which is smaller than the community in which I live) happened upon a new shipment at Walmart earlier this week. They got about 20 in on Monday night, and she called to see if I still wanted it. Of course, I said YES! :-) The plan was that she'd pick it up Tuesday morning and bring it to me Wednesday. Of course, she woke up sick and wasn't able to get there. But, her son was going to Walmart that afternoon and she had him get one! :-) There were only two left, so I'm glad he was able to get there when he did! I'm so excited!

No, I haven't used it yet. I've been sick all week! :-( I have had hardly any energy. I'm still not quite well, but hoping to get started with it tomorrow or Monday!

Anyway, I realized I'd complained about no Wii Fit here and thought I'd update. I'll share my opinion of it when I get going with it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Never Saw It Coming

It's amazing how having babies changes your life - or at least how it changed my life. I'm not talking about the stuff like years of being sleep-deprived, suddenly loving driving a mini-van, having leftover baby fat, or other typical - and somewhat expected - changes. I'm talking other things. Things I never in a million years saw coming.

Seven years ago (I say seven because six years ago I was pregnant with Abby and the changes were under way), I was so different it's amazing. Well, not just me - my life. My husband and I had some close friends with whom we'd stay up into the wee hours of the morning playing games and just hanging out. (We still have those friends, but they moved to another state and we don't see or hear from them much.) Oh, yeah, and I worked second shift as a copy editor - a job I generally hated. I hated reading all those boring news stories, then having to write headlines. I think I've mentioned before that I'm not very good at that - and knowing that made it all the worse, especially when TPTB like puns. I hate punny headlines - so overused - and I could never write them. Well, not never, per say, just VERY rarely!

Seven years ago we had a nice house (we still live in it) with new carpeting and a dinky garage we were hoping to replace in the near future. That garage was so small that one of my sisters thought it was a shed the first time she saw it! LOL Pathetic - and, really, that's all it was worth. We could barely fit a Dodge NEON in it, let alone anything else! In that house, we had one cat and were planning to get another one - we ended up with two more. The first cat, Shadow, was our "first baby" - as I'd referred to her many times. She was a sweet cat, and was my pet before DH and I were married. So, naturally, she was part of the package - marry me, marry my cat. And I was one of those people who doted on her cat. I bought her birthday and Christmas presents (and presents from her for DH) and loved her to pieces. All that despite the fact that she was literbox-challenged to the worst degree. She would NOT pee in a litterbox to save her life. She had had a couple of UTIs, but even healthy she flat out REFUSED to pee in the litterbox. Thankfully, she did at least poop in there, but the pee's almost worse. The smell - and the fact that it's next to impossible to get out! Let's just say I wish we'd gotten rid of her long before we did. It was heartbreaking to do so - she's such a people kitty and really was my furbaby. We gave her to my ILs, who were planning to keep her outside. She's disappeared. :-( I feel guilty - a tiny bit - but less so than I did a couple of years ago. Anyway, what compelled me to get rid of her was - you guessed it - the kids. I was pregnant with Grant when finally I'd had it. I was ready to let her go. By that point, we already had Zeus and Huckleberry - angels compared to Shadow. Well, unless Huckleberry's antics were bothersome - he'd attack the toilet paper, shredding an entire brand-new role when we weren't looking. He'd done plenty of other things, but that's the one that most sticks out in my mind. I think what Dh and I referred to as "the voices" would tell him to do it. Either that or the toilet paper was taunting him! We'll never know, but - thankfully - he has out grown that. My point is I was one of those people who doted on her pets. Loved them and even referred to them as her babies. Until I had babies. Poor cats were forced to take a back seat when Abby was born. I still tried to give them attention and whatnot, but they definitely became second-class citizens. That's something I'd NEVER thought would happen.

Between Grant and Natalie we got a puppy. I don't know WHAT possessed me, as it was my idea. And, yes, I'm still kicking myself for that one! Grant was 6 months old when Sawyer was born - on Abby's third birthday. He was about 8 months when we brought Sawyer home. The cute thing is they are like buddies. They're growing up together, sorta. It's neat to see their bond. Anyway, Sawyer is a PITA. Now, I grew up with cats. So, perhaps part of the problem is this dog is much needier than any cat I'd ever had. I'm sure I'd have enjoyed him more if we'd gotten him before kids. Now, he's just extra work - an extra kid, if you will. But not an extra kid - they trump him. ALWAYS. I found myself thinking of him today as just a dog, and all of the pets in this house as "just animals." GASP! That's what prompted this post. It made me realize just how much kids change things you never see coming!

I had more on my mind, but it's gone. Maybe having to write between feeding the kids, letting the dog out, and other things is to blame! LOL Yeah, that's it! ;-)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Woe is Me

Like almost every other American, one of my goals for this year is to lose weight. No, you don't get to find out how much I weigh! LOL No one needs to know! ;-) But, I have had three babies in the past six years - and you can tell! It sucks. I gotta do it a little at a time - I'm getting close to my first goal, but not close enough! After my first goal, I have to lose about 10 more pounds to get to my pre-Natalie weight. That will be cause for much celebration indeed! Then, there are another 10-15 lbs to get to my pre-Grant weight. That will be cause for even GREATER celebration. Beyond that, there are another 20-25 lbs to get to my pre-Abby weight. THAT will be the celebration of a lifetime - well, at least since the birth of my babies! ;-) Beyond that another 15-20 lbs would be nice, but I'll be THRILLED just to get to my pre-Abby weight. Can I do it? I sure hope so - but I'm skeptical. See, as much as I hate to admit it (out of shame), I'm lazy. If something's work, I don't wanna do it. BUT, if that work can be made fun, I'm all for it! For instance, I HATE exercising - it's a chore and takes a long time to get noticable results. BUT, I love dancing - I was on the poms squad in junior high and in high school and LOVED it. Lost weight when I joined both (there were 3 years between the two - for various reasons I'll spare you for now), and looked great. If there was a way to do that kind of thing again now that I'm 32, I'd be there - and I'd likely lose the weight! But, well, anything even remotely close to that - Zumbo, I think is what it's called, for instance - is pricey. I don't have money for that right now. Plus, if I were to take it and get results and want to keep going, it'd be a recurring expense - no room in the budget for that right now. What I really wanna do is get a Wii Fit and use that. I know it's not anything like Zumbo, but I know I could enjoy that. But, of course, I can't get a Wii Fit to save my life - and I'm sure as hell not paying upwards of $100 for something that regularly is priced around $80. No way, no how. But, let me tell you, it's all I can do to keep from just saying screw it and ponying up the money! I am sure part of the problem is the aforementioned other Americans with the same goal - and likely a similar plan. I just wonder when the Wii Fit craze will die down so I can walk into Wal-Mart, Best Buy, or Target and buy one then and there. I feel like the king dude (I can't remember what they are - lemurs?) in Madagascar - "HOW LONG IS THIS GOING TO TAKE!" So, for now, I'm using Wii Sports. That tennis gets me moving pretty well. It's better than nothing, right?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Another endangered show

This is another one of my FAVORITE shows. Apparently I'm great at picking unpopular shows! :-( I personally think the writers' strike last year killed it, as it started last year with pretty good success. This year, it fizzled. There was too much time between the first and second seasons. It's a shame. This show is funny, dramatic, tongue-in-cheek, and just a ton of fun! So, again, with it being endangered, I never know when it's on next. So, I'll be watching my widget for this one, too! ;-)

One of my favorite shows

This is one of those shows that's soon-to-be no more, much to my dismay! :-( As such, I never know when another one's scheduled. So, I'm posting this to help me remember! ;-) I don't know if there's a chance that ABC will change their minds, but maybe if more people watch the last few episodes ...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Year in Review

A follow-up to my New Year's post, if you will. My friend Lisa posted this on her blog and I had to follow suit! You go back through your blog and copy the opening sentence from a post (or two) for each month. I began this blog in March, so I will start there - obviously! LOL

Below is the opening sentence from a post from each month. (Any italicized text is a comment I'm writing NOW.) To read the whole post, click on the date/month name:

March: I had a bunch of stuff that I wanted to write. (Is that the story of my blog or what? LMAO)

April: I saw my allergist yesterday, and he said it doesn't sound like an allergy to food!

May: I've never been good at titles - or writing headlines, for that matter.

June: That sums it up perfectly!
June 25: My precious baby girl was born.

July: Around 9:30 p.m. our power was restored!

August: A few months ago, once my daughter got into the wonderful world of Webkinz, I bought her a couple I knew she'd LOVE off eBay.

September: I was just starting up a Baby Einstein DVD for Grant.

October: At this point exactly 12 months ago I was getting to know my sweet new baby girl, Natalie.

November: There is so much going on in my mind right now.

December: DH got home yesterday!

In looking this over, I have to say a couple of things. One, I need to blog more. And two, I need to be more creative in my first lines of my posts! It was hard finding something interesting. No more first sentences being one-word sentences! LOL So far as blogging goes, for 2009 I resolve to write more and better! Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Book Review: The Crown Conspiracy

The Crown Conspiracy The Crown Conspiracy by Michael J. Sullivan

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I must admit that when I obtained it I was slightly skeptical. But, I was given a great deal - and even got a signed copy! :-) So, I set about reading it. And I could NOT put it down! I read this book in a few days - and probably would have read it faster if I wasn't sick this past week. That said, I'm going to be somewhat vague in my review, as I hate spoilers and prefer to avoid writing anything that might ruin the book for others! ;-)

Anyway, this book was so much better than I'd expected. I loved Hadrian and Royce - despite the fact that they were master thieves! Most of the characters were well-developed and quite interesting. The plot moved quickly and had very interested twists and turns. The descriptions were detailed and really helped me "see" everything as I read.

One thing - the description of the sword fights lost me. I know nothing about fencing or whatever, and some of the terminology was over my head. But, the plot was awesome and I couldn't put the book down.

I do wonder if Mr. Sullivan is planning to make this into a series. There were things that happened that made me wonder if more was coming that would expand on some of the events in this book. I certainly hope so! If there is another book (or more) to follow this one, I won't waste any time obtaining it. I might even pre-order it! Either way, I will be looking for more books from Michael J. Sullivan!

View all my reviews.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I cannot believe that 2008 is now a mere memory and 2009 is upon us! Wow, that happened fast! A year ago I had a 2-month-old baby and was just beginning my stint as a stay-at-home mom. Abby was in her last year of preschool before starting Kindergarten in August. Grant has grown from a 2-year-old toddler to a talking, running, reasoning 3-year old. Natalie, well, she's gone from newborn to full-fledged toddler - they go through so many changes that first year or so that it's impossible to catalog it all! Me? I dunno - I've continued to slowly lose the baby weight. Slowly. I weaned Natalie about a month ago, so hopefully more weight will come of quickly! DH - well, he's working. He spent 30 days in Austin, TX, for work - working with FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. It was all about the money - that's a lot of OT and extra cash. And we desperately needed it. In fact, I suspect he'll be doing it somewhat regularly (not necessarily Austin - wherever there's need) to help make it possible for me to continue to SAH. Oh, and he had his vasectomy - no more surprise babies for us! ;-)

So, what are my hopes for this year? That's a very good question.

  • Lose weight - at the very least get to my pre-Natalie weight. That's a start. I eventually want to get to my pre-Abby weight, but that's 60 lbs away, so I'm not kidding myself that it'll happen this year!
  • Get off the Zoloft - I've been on it for three years in February. I didn't get to wean off after weaning Grant like I'd wanted b/c I got knocked up. Now that there's no chance of that, I wanna get off it. Natalie's weaned, so the only thing working against me is possible PMS issues. But, I don't wanna be on the Zoloft forever!
  • Be a better housekeeper
  • Stop spending and help us get out of debt. Don't know how yet, but stopping spending is a first BIG step! ;-)
  • Get back in the habit of attending church regularly.
I'm sure there are more things I'd like to change, but really having too many goals can set one up for failure. I already might be setting the bar too high. Time will only tell. That said, HAPPY 2009! I wish you all many blessings and much happiness this year!
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