Friday, April 27, 2012

Books and Book Reviews and More Books and More Books!!!

We love books, and although I would love to read a book a day, I end up having some kind of small catastrophe that turns into running extra errands, going to the doctor, running to the pharmacy or a grocery store, or just a big crazy "fun" day here at home with some very hyper crazy kids!
I sometimes have to put off reading a book, or finishing one and starting the next, especially when I know it will be a good book and I won't be able to put it down!
As most of you know, I work weekends, and although it is considered my "time off", I have a long weekend some weekends, like this one coming up! I sometimes work straight through the whole thing! So, books, unfortunately have to be put aside. ( for the time being)
But I can assure you, we have some very, very exciting books coming up, some I have had to put off a little longer and schedule as they came in, but there are history books, thrillers, mysteries, all kinds of books, except for children's books! Aaron just asked me last night if he just has off for awhile or what lol! But the kids have been working on their German and Japanese, which is very cool!! The Lightning Fast Series will soon be posted here and this has been an adventure in itself!
There are also a couple reviews coming for some very pretty and well made nail accessories that we received, and soon a couple very cool Father's Day gift ideas! One we are still waiting on, a fogless shaving mirror, and there is a local couple near me who sell and install LED's on anything from cars, motorcycles, Aaron's 4 wheeler is soon coming home with some, even in your home! They save you tons on your electric bill and some people have them installed in their kitchens! I am thinking of doing this! But, I am having a baby shower for our oldest daughter, yes, I am going to be a grandma in July, so it has been real busy with planning and things but still more excitement then anything! I ordered some light strips from BnP Led Lights for prizes and I think this is such a cool idea for Father's Day!! What guy doesn't like crazy bright, super bright, colorful, flashing, lights? LOL! You can get power cords for them and a strip and they can be attached to whatever your husband or dad or friends want! I am going to see what it would be like on or near my desktop because this will take place of the annoying tiny lamp in my room when I'm online! I don't know how good my pictures will get but I will take some soon! For now, if you want to check their page out, there is a link to their store where you can place orders, you can visit them here!
In any case, if you like to read, our schedule is completely booked for a month! So, some will have giveaways with them and these will be announced as they are posted!
In the meantime, if you have a children's book your kids love, or you are an author of a children's book, please let us know! Leave a comment below or email us at

Monday, April 23, 2012

Startup from the Ground Up: Practical Insights for Transforming an Idea into a Business

If you are a small business owner, or would like to be, this is a terrific book that will help guide you with real information, and awesome advice, to get you from start to finish!
Cynthia Kocialski, has founded three technology companies, and has been actively involved in more then dozens of start ups. She is the very successful, author of this book! Who better to get your information from?
Cynthia has her own blog, where she shares many more tips and secrets and provides you with trustworthy pointers and all in a positive way. No frills, no false hopes, it is all real and best of all, you can read lots of posts and even take courses!
There is even an opportunity for start ups to have their companies profiled on her blog! You just have to fill out the form and they will contact you.
"The Entrepreneurs’ Blog is about sharing tips, tricks, commentary and observations about new technology companies. The goal is to provide insightful and practical advice to other entrepreneurs."
I have been attempting the stay at home mom business for a little while now, and this book was a breath of fresh air! I recommend this to anybody who is thinking of starting a business of their own, no matter what product you are selling, making, inventing, experimenting with, this will prove to be an extremely helpful book, and blog!
Do you own a small business? I would love to hear about what businesses you have, would love to start, what kinds of products you would like to create, or do create! We love small business, especially the stay at home mom or the stay at home dad business! Please feel free to share your links and sites, blogs, whatever it is that you sell, make, create, write, or design!
I would also love to hear from anybody who has read Cynthia's book, Startup from the Ground up: Practical Insights for Transforming an Idea into a Business, and tell us what you got out of it!
I believe this an empowering read, and I am happy to have read this and look forward to reading more from Cynthia's blog!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Six Scary Tales Volume 1 by Rayne Hall

You always see books and movies that have Scary, in the title. You never really know though, are they scary? What level of scary? Scary to who? You would at least, (I hope), know the difference between a cover like this one, or a Goosebumps book. So you know who probably shouldn't be reading them!
This cover is very classy, and definitely shows right up front, that this is probably a pretty scary book! ( I apologize, I have found you sometimes have to explain this to some). So, if you are NOT in any way, a fan of horror, or very scary, actually, terrifying stories, you may not want to read this, but pass it along to a friend you know who loves this stuff!!
I was very impressed with this book, being a horror fan for almost all my life, yep, even as a kid. I used to watch these scary shows that were on Saturday nights. (weekends were always cartoons, and Kung Fu theater, lol), then it was those real corny scary shows, they weren't corny back then, but now my husband and I laugh like crazy at all the dorky shows we used to watch!! Anyway, I am a big fan, the scarier the better! That's why I was so thrilled to review this book! I was even more thrilled, when I read the stories and actually was like, "Wow!!"
There are 6 stories in this book, and I like them all, a LOT! I do have a favorite, Four Bony Hands, that was quite a good story, and it is a story I wouldn't mind watching a movie about. This is how all of the stories in this book are, all have a good creepy plot, off the wall shock value, and when you start the stories, there isn't any wait time, you start to read, and BOOM! You are right there. Definitely another reason I really , really like this book!
The author really doesn't waste your time, and she sure knows how to scare people! Brilliant use of adjectives, and I love when authors like this one, use the appropriate and most fitting descriptions and words, so that is paints a very vivid picture in your mind.
I will be reading more from this author! If you check on Amazon, there are many more available!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ethos: Morning Star Book 1 in the Ethos Series

When I was a kid, I always looked forward to bedtime, (yes, I may have been, or am a nerd)because I loved to read. Most of all, I loved to read. I don't know if it was/is the reading that I long for, as much as it is the escape that a very good book provides. I had a few younger brothers and sisters and now that I am grown up, I have 4 kids, so the escape time is very,very important!
I read everything, I especially love history books, fairy tales, thrillers, suspense, horror, I love them all! I was a major book worm, and would read 1 sometimes 2 books per day. My most favorite of all had to have been the Laura Ingall's books, and fairy tales.
I used to have this big green book, I can't remember what it was called exactly, I know it was short stories of fairies, leprechauns, and other forest and magical creatures. I would read this book over and over and over so much that I swore sometimes I saw fairies in my room and around me as I was a kid! (No, I am not crazy, lol) That along with my mother's side of the family, and the strange but so interesting stories of my ancestors who were from Hungary and were gypsies, sent me into the most enchanting and magical worlds I could ever imagine as a kid.
I can't find this book anymore, maybe because i can't remember the exact title, I don't know, but I think about it a lot, and remember the stories that I read and dreamed of.
I read this book, Ethos: Morning Star and almost from the first page, I was sent back down that magnificent journey I once visited years ago. I do read LOTS and all different kinds of stories, and I have to say, this is the first time that this has happened since I have been an adult. Of course, I have read many books I could not put down, not for a second, and yes, I have traveled to all sorts of places, lived in all kinds of time periods, but never as deep as this story took me.
I am not a fan of those vampire novels all the young, (and older), girls seem to go nuts over! My daughter, Bethany, was one of them. I just couldn't get into it. Ethos: Morning Star, (Book 1 of the Ethos series, by the way!!!!), is such a well written story and actually has a good plot, interesting characters, plenty of action, and mystery, and is just an all around amazing adventure!
Bree, (Brianna), is just a regular girl, 21, in college, lives a semi normal life, and lives at home with her parents. An accident happens, and somehow she gets sucked into this terrific journey, meets Kalen, ( I am sure many of you will fall in love with him as well, the author has such a neat way of describing to a T, each character, each part of every little tiny thing, you can not NOT see these characters in your mind).
Kalen is just a babe, and an odd one at that, who tends to have a way of making Brianna "drunk" around him and falling hopelessly in love with him. He has some strange characteristics, and Brianna soon finds out what is really going on with him and where he comes from.
Next you will get to meet the villian, well, the main villian, WOW! This is one of the best villians, terribly evil, on so many levels, I haven't ever read a book with a villian quite like Ellette!
Did you ever hear a band, a song, read a poem, by somebody, and it shocked you because somehow it was as though the author, the song writer, the poet, was actually inside your mind, picking apart the intricate little pieces and was able to see jump right inside your most innermost thoughts, then, as you have tried and longed to do for so long, was able to express exactly what has been so deep down in there, in words?
Well, I have had this happen a few times, and the author of this book has done this in such a way that I am thankful for her being able to write and describe what I have never been able to do.
You will get the picture when you read this novel, and get to the section where Brianna and Kalen end up in a dimension where only they existed, and ended up as being one person.
You can check this book on Amazon
Read about the author, Desiree Finkbeiner here, Follow Desiree on Twitter,
and watch this trailer of her book:

I appreciate and want to thank this author, for sharing such a vivid imagination, and for writing this book. This was a beautifully written story by somebody who is able to captivate her readers by sharing such a pure, and sacred part of her mind. This is something you just don't come by very often!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Dawn of Saudi

This is the second book by Homa Pourasgari that I am reviewing, and just like the first, I could not put this one down, at all!
I do recommend this book to all females, and anybody who enjoys a good mystery with an eye opener as amazing as this one!
What can we do? What do we do? Why is it that we live in a modern world and things like Sharia Law exist? Even apparent in our own country?
America and Americans, thrive and prosper, thank you to MANY great females, why does something like this still happen? Why do we allow such a terrible thing to occur? I will stop before I start getting to political, as politics is definitely something I try to avoid as much as possible with my readers. It kind of goes along the lines of what is illegal to discuss at the bar! (Lol, yes, I bartend and yes, you have to stop religion and politic conversations almost every shift! Especially nowadays:)
This book follows Sahar and Dawn's lives and will hit very close to home. I know you may think that this isn't possible, we aren't like Saudi Arabia, we don't live like them. Well, from page 1, you will find, like I did, we are all alike, no matter where we are, what religion, what country we live in.
You will get to know Sahar, and her family, be in tears after just a few pages, and this will tug and pull at your heart until your chest aches for the new friend you found that is in a book... However, there are many more like her, and they are dealing with this horror right now.
You will also follow the lives of Dawn, and Jason, and when you think you are reading a story about something, it will turn into a crazy tale of mystery, kidnapping, crime, money, and love.
The twist and turns will start to become apparent just right before it happens, and the story just gets better. You will end up happy and relieved and sad when you find out what is going on. The crazy part is that it takes place right here at home, in The United States of America, land of the free! (Just to clarify, the beginning and some of the events, of course take place in Saudi Arabia, but end up here when Dawn finds a way out and escapes here) But she is still not free.
This book will captivate you from the Preface. I recommend this book to anybody who loves a good tale, romance novels, suspense and thriller, mystery, and anyone who loves our way of life, our freedoms, and our rights, as women, and/or United States citizens. This will have you questioning, and wanting to find ways you can help.
According to the author's website, she is currently working on a new book, one that I certainly am anxious to read! Matter of fact, I check rather often, for any updates on her site or Twitter.

Homa Pourasgari resides in Los Angeles, California. She received a degree in Business from Loyola Marymount University, after which she left to live in Paris for one year and attended the University of Sorbonne, focusing on literature. Multilingual, she has been traveling since the age of 5 and has experienced many different cultures. Homa has worked in various industries such as marketing, retail, banking, accounting and fitness but has always returned to her true love – writing. She is currently working on a new book. Lemon Curd is her first novel.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Teach Baby to Talk

I am a mother of 4, one of which is almost 2, and he is a late talker! So, I was excited about being able to read this book and hoped to learn a few pointers to maybe help Deegan start talking!
Ella Jackson, has been an education researchere, a practicing teacher from kindergarten to 12th grade, and she also tutored children with learning problems. She is the author of this book, and a mother of 3 and a grandmother.
I have to say, I actually feel a little more intelligent after reading this book, mainly because I learned quite a bit! I was very pleased with the way it was written, as if I was having a conversation with somebody and they were answering my questions as i read through this book, and they reinforced some of the harder to grasp parts. Yes, I can honestly say there were a few things I found that shocked me! For instance, when a baby is born, he/she actually has more brain cells then an adult! Can you believe that? I never even thought about it, and just when I thought, "Nah ah!", the author explained it again, and it really made some sense!
I have always been a pretty confident mom, and even though I would always still take what people offered for tips, advice, to heart, I usually ended up being stubborn and sticking with my same old routine. Of course I still call my own mom for advice, and even with 4 children, things change, new research and medicines and science. I just have always stuck with what I learned and what I knew. It has done pretty well for us, so far.
But each child is different, and all of ours have their similarities, there are giant differences! Bethany, our first, talked and walked and was potty trained by age 1. Aaron talked at, (you will never believe this, but I swear it is true!), the very night he was born! The nurses and doctors insisted he was saying "MOM!", every time he looked at me and wanted me to pick him up. However, Aaron was in diapers for much longer then Bethany! Genevive, was an early eater, walker and talker, but is still in Pull Ups at night time only!
Deegan, who will be 2 in May, was born with club foot and cleft lip. ) I have many miracle stories about this little boy, as some of you may have read, but we were told several times that he would be born with many, many issues, and he wasn't!). Most recently, we were told that he had some missing pieces of his brain. He was also diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome, Chiari Malformation, and Hydrocephalus. Well, we just refused to believe this, seeing that he showed not 1 symptom, and the doctors and specialists were going on and on and insisting that they were right during my pregnancy. We took Deegan to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, for a second opinion. Here is another unbelievable story, they told us Deegan is perfectly healthy and fine! I was in tears and tried to keep from being so happy and relieved because I felt horrible for the other families that were there that morning. The pediatric neurologist told us that his MRI's had a missing tonsil, which actually wasn't missing and the pictures were just a bit off and goofy but only because Deegan moved his head during the MRI! Wow.
Anyway, my point behind this is, I am very happy and much more content since reading this book! I have been afraid to ask our doctors about Deegan not really talking much just yet. I figure they will start the tests and diagnose him some more, so I have been trying to help him talk.
What I found with Deegan, is, he just doesn't feel like it. He does this thing where he talks with his mouth closed and you can kind of make out what he is saying, but very rarely will he talk while his mouth is open. He does say Mom, Dad, what, thank you, he even says your welcome. Some days he doesn't say anything except for mom. Some days he is talking like crazy, but still mostly inside his mouth.
I am very thankful for this book, and have been able to feel more at ease, knowing that there are late talkers and there are things I can do to help Deegan along the way!
At the end of this book, is a section that explains what ages in months, should be considered "normal". Suffice to say, Deegan is "normal", and I am quite content now, knowing that at 24 months Deegan should be saying 7 true words, and understanding 50.He should also be able to comprehend simple spoken directions, like, "Give me the cup", which he has for a long time. (Trust me, he is a naughty little man, so he does hear lots of simple spoken directions, as he smirks at us and kind of does what he is told lol).
By 24 months, he should be speaking 2 word phrases, which he does, point to body parts when asked, yes, and understanding when called from another room, YUP! So, unlike a lot of what I hear from other moms, magazines, and even the doctor's pamphlets they give at each visit, (You know the "milestone reports"), Deegan is fairly doing just fine.
Of course, as the author suggests, if you would happen to have a doubt in your mind, you should talk to your doctor, about a possible hearing assessment. Deegan does have his hearing checked every 6 months due to his cleft lip, so we are good there;)
Back to the book, is it worth your money? Yes! Is it a well written book? Yes! Would I recommend this book to family and friends? Yes!
Not only does this book help you teach your baby to talk, and give you examples, facts, and back up the research, it has lots of very cute activities for you and your babies and toddlers!
Each chapter offers more information, I always say I try to learn something new everyday, and this book most definitely taught me plenty!
I liked how they explained the differences between the different ways you can talk to your baby, and teach your baby to talk. Each way has their own examples, explanations and activities. I am going to be a grandmother this summer, and I enjoyed reading about the bilingual and sign language options, and I believe that would be very interesting to talk with Lillian in German, or Japanese, (yes, me and the little ones have been learning these 2 languages). I also was happy to read about how we should talk to our babies and use mimicking and touch, as ways to help them learn and make the connections between objects and words.
We have always, well me especially, (since I tend to talk a lot), spoken to our babies, from day 1, as though they were an adult, or at least a big kid. I tell them what we are going to do today, where we are going, what we will do, point out colors and animals, what is in the cabinets, the bathroom closet, etc.
I have to add just a couple more things I found very useful and interesting in this book:
If your children are saying a word or two or more, with a different sound or letter, for example, "gog" for dog, try saying "dog" with a thumb or a bottle or a pacifier in your mouth;) I never thought of it this way. You should also not say "gog" back to your child, you should still say, dog, correctly!
My favorite part of the book, (well, one of my favorite parts), was; newborns are capable of expressing emotions through their facial muscles. They can in fact smile, and frown, and much more!
I know some people and doctors say they are not smiling at us that early, but they are!
Another cute thing for you mommies and daddies out there to remember, when your babies are moving their little mouths, you should consider this as a sign that they are communicating and trying to talk to you!

You can find Teach Baby to Talk on Facebook
Follow their blog
and you can order this book, along with some very cool freebies, here!

The Actor's Detective Guide to Writing Letters to Celebrities, Book Review

I was anxious to read this book, and even more anxious to see that there is somebody else out there who still believes and uses the traditional way of communication, and shares a love of writing letters!
Everybody is online, Tweeting, posting, sharing, linking, emailing, it is easier, and doesn't take as much time to write online, or get delivered. But what if you wanted to contact a celebrity, yes, there are still some out there that are worthy of receiving fan mail, and are indeed very good role models for our children.
They are so used to receiving emails, getting Youtube videos made for them by fans and reading the Tweets and Facebook posts from the people that love them, go crazy for their movies, shows, songs, football games, and so on. But, the author of this book, and his children, are right! If you really want to stand out, if you really want your favorite sports hero, or celebrity to notice you and reply, a letter that you write, using a pen and paper, is definitely what will get you noticed!
Chris Lucas, the father of 2 boys, ages 7 and 9, has captured the art of letter writing and taught this to his boys, and has an amazing book that you can use to get the best tips on how to get your letters noticed and receive replies, maybe even a phone call, or an autographed item.
My kids absolutely LOVE getting mail, and I actually have to fight them on an almost daily basis, when I bring the mail in! Genevive, who is 5, will accept any piece of junk mail and pretend it is a letter from a friend. When grandmas send a letter or a card or a small package, you would think it was Christmas here! But when there isn't a Lego magazine or a card in the mailbox, she loves opening junk mail and those credit cards they send with the applications!
I am excited to have them start with this book and write letters to their favorite celebrities, and I am hoping they get a couple replies!
Chris Lucas' little boys love to write to stars like, Derek Jeter, Will Smith, Katy Perry. Just take it from his little boy who said, "Going to the mailbox is like Christmas and your birthday, rolled into one!" Lol! That is enough to make me want to start with this neat concept for my kids, right away!
This book will not only inspire you and your children to write, but it also gives you A+++ advice on how to compose a letter, he explains the "do's and don'ts" pf contacting celebrities, how to write to the stars in a way that will compel them to write back to you, and even gives you examples of letters that have been successful in getting a response. It also explains how to find celebrity addresses, and what you should do before you mail the letter, and the tools you should have before you mail the letter.
You can purchase this book on Amazon, or you can purchase this directly from the author's website!
If you do want to purchase this book, the author has a lot of extras, over $100 worth of extras, if you buy directly from the website. These include; a free gift, valued at $40, and you will also find a very special email inside the book that you can use to get 5 celebrity addresses of your choice! (This service is valued at $100)
If you sign up here,
you can get a free sample of the book emailed to you and receive their newsletter.
I will keep you posted on whether we receive replies or not, who we attempt to contact, so far, Spongebob Squarepants seems to be Genevive's choice. Aaron would like to write to that weird Fred from Nickelodeon, lol!
This book and all the extras, is definitely worth $10! I assure you, you will get a lot from this book, and maybe your kids will be opening their own mail, rather then all the junk mail that comes to the house, like mine!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Our Yard Could Use HELP

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have a crazy yard, and an even more crazy dog! She digs holes, and wrecks gardens, and grass, drives us nuts!

I found out about Scotts ® Snap® Spreader System, and I am very impressed and anxious to try and grab one of these asap!

Scotts® Snap® Spreader System

This picture is a part of our yard,


the worse part actually, and my poor husband is constantly trying to fix it and throwing grass seed around, and it will start to look nice, but then we have grass seed all over the place, and a big mess! I often wish there was an easier and quicker way to take care of this and then I came across this product!! I "liked" their Facebook page, because they are having a contest right now! They are giving away Walmart gift cards and other very cool prizes, and  was hoping to find out more info on this product.

Snap perks on Facebook

I do love how easy they make this look, and the part of no mess all over the garage floor, makes me want it even more!! The bag also self seals, so you don't have to worry about waste, spilling, and it has an EdgeGuard, so you won't have this all over places you don't want it!



Snap, Lock, Go, Store, pretty simple? Yep and I love anything that helps my hectic days, much less hectic!!

Who knows, maybe I will have to start doing some yard work for my husband, and maybe he will start cooking dinner, and running the kids to their doctor appointments lol!

I would like to have one of these, and with my RSD and small children, it would help a great deal. It would give my husband more time to do whatever it is he does in his garage, (and not have a mess!), and best of all, our yard can look like a yard should!

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Weight Loss Programs

I know most of you already know a little bit about me, but for any new friends who are reading this, I will give a little background.
I am 37, a SAHM of 4 crazy, but beautiful little angels, (or devils lol), ages, 1 (almost 2), 5, 8, and 19. Our oldest has been blessed with a child and we will be grandparents later this year. Needless to say, we are done having children!
I do work outside of the home as a pt bartender, on the weekends when my husband is home, it gives me time to relax and get out of the house believe it or not!
Anyway, I also suffer from RSD. I hate to say suffer, but I don't know how else to word it. The RSD is in both of my legs and that makes it hard not only to bartend without limping and having to deal with a LOT of pain, but it also makes it very hard to walk, play with the kids outside, do regular things other parents can do, and also EXERCISE!
I have a hard time with this, as some of you are already aware, I have bad days and good days, but not being able to walk and things that I once was able to really hurts sometimes.
So what does somebody like me do? Of course I could surely find ways to get exercise, but I never have the time! I wish I did and look forward to this later in life. (Although I wish my children would stay small), I still dream about some free time once in a while. That is when I plan to get to maybe a gym, learn ways to exercise without using my legs as much, anything! I am not terribly overweight, but I did have 4 kids. After our first, I kinda just lost all the baby weight right away. I was young and thought that was so super cool!
Our second, I gained 60 pounds, and when he was born, I lost almost all of it right away, but that annoying extra skin kinda stayed. Our third was similar to our first and most of that left, all but maybe 5 pounds. Then, came our little miracle baby, in 2010, and I gained 60 pounds with him. I don't know what I lost with him, since I don't check scales, lol. I do know it was a decent amount and I am now at 152. I wouldn't normally know this but unfortunately, my doctor knew how to figure out what kilograms were at my last visit. YIKES!
Maybe that isn't super huge, but I am only 5 '1". So, I am pretty small, and my size 10 jeans aren't as comfy all the time anymore.
There seems to come a time when you tend to not care as much, personally cause I am to busy, and in a lot of pain, but all the extra skin left in your stomach that is so hard to lose after having children, you tend to think, "Well, I may as well fill it in and make it look better then flabby skin!" (I am not trying to gross anybody out, just being honest;)
I would love to lose like 25 pounds, I used to be 120, and that would be nice, but I would be happy with 125. But how do I do it?
I often see Facebook pages of different programs and I hear mixed results, some from very close personal friends. I understand a lot is just losing water weight and then of course it comes back. Well, I would really rather not spend money on something I have heard very iffy results from and I was searching for another plan.
My question is, what have you tried? Do you know anybody who has tried any of these plans that are all over Facebook?
Have you or anybody you know ever tried this plan?
I have to say, it kind of sounds rather amazing, I did hear a few people actually say it did help them lose weight, and I am wondering if I should try it...
They have a 90 day challenge:
Its where you get healthy, get fit, lose unwanted weight and gain lean
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As part of the challenge, we drink a shake mix that
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I kind of like the cake mix part;)

Plus, they have a very cool deal on their site, if you sign up for their monthly kit, and you refer 3 friends, you get your kit for free that month!!
I am anxious to hear what you all think, if you ever tried this, tried a plan like it, or heard from a family member or friend who used this plan!
It is soon summer, UGH, and us mommies sometimes don't spend a lot of time on ourselves, and we rightfully should!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Aaron's Favorite Book The Incredible Shrinking Bully

We reviewed this book a little while ago, and we are still reading it and discussing what we gained from this wonderful story!
Aaron had a very special surprise in the mailbox last week, and was so thrilled to have a copy of his own!
We especially love the illustrations, and the lesson taught about courage! This was truly an excellent story, very well written and a lot to be learned from this book.
Mona is an amazing storyteller, she also has a cool character named Chick-E, who we also admire. (Especially me, since Chick-E is a trustworthy young lady who answers some of those questions you probably won't be asked to answer by your own pre teens and teens.)
Mona Scmitt, the author of these 2 fun and encouraging books, sent Aaron his very own copy with a sweet message inside the cover. He was so happy to receive this and we are lucky to have been given the chance to review this author's work.
We look forward to many more stories, and i love checking in with Chick-E on her Facebook page!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Book Reviews and More Giveaways!

I have to apologize to everybody for the extended lapse of time between book reviews.
I had a slight emergency last week with eye surgery and didn't expect a longer recovery time. However, I am fine now, and will be back on schedule with all reviews and new giveaways!!
If you have a book, (we also review products and anything that is awesome, something we can't live without, and something we would highly recommend to our readers and friends), please email me at!
We would love to read your books, post reviews for you on Amazon and other sites you prefer, and promote your sites, books, products, all over our social networks and blogs.
We can embed your video, make a video, post pictures and of course, host giveaways!
We are still a little under a year old, but we have a decent size network that is growing every day.
We also offer ad space, blog buttons, whatever you need help with promoting, we will be glad to help. Most only requires that we have a sample, the book, of course, a product, and ad space is simply $5 per month and this includes promoting all over our social networks.
We are normally on time, but due to my recent eye issue, I have fallen behind some but will be caught up this week!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dear RSD,

I am not sure if you know who I am, or who my family is, and I was wondering if you knew how our lives have changed since you decided to take over.
I don't appreciate the sleepless nights, or the arguments it causes, or the missed free time I have for errands, grocery shopping, or time with my children. I also don't appreciate the many different layers and types of pain and no matter the weather, the severity of the pain, and my children don't care for it either, especially since we can't go for walks, since I can't walk on uneven surfaces, up or down hills or steps, or even for a half block. And that's if I can lift my feet up at all. Thanks by the way, for the enormous amount of pain and crushing feeling on the tops of my feet and ankles, and the forceful pain that makes it impossible to lift my feet to take a step!
My children and I also don't particularly care very much for the fact that I can't coach a soccer team anymore, or help out with different activities for school. And although we do enjoy shopping online, it would be nice to shop at a mall, and be able to get through the mall, and even a grocery store, the whole way through without having to pay for the walk later.
We also aren't real thrilled about the missed work, and income, and the medical bills. My husband and I especially thank you for all of this! I am disappointed with lots of different parts of my life since you forced yourself here, and turned our house upside down. Everything from my job, our income, our children, medical expenses, medications, some that have made me ill, most that make me tired, groggy,unable to do things with my family as often as a mom should be able too.
You have made it impossible for me to walk through an amusement park, which by the way, was one of my favorite things to do, and I had fun with Bethany, our oldest daughter, going on all the roller coasters. I also looked forward to Aaron, Genevive, and Deegan, to grow up, and go with me to places like Hersheypark, and we always plan on taking small field trips to museums and fun places the kids would have so much fun at, but can't until Deegan is a little bigger and can walk around places like that all on his own, without wanting to be held, since I can no longer carry a child and walk more then a few steps at a time.
I miss wearing regular clothes all the time, and I do miss shoes a great deal! I miss being able to shave my legs, and not "prepare" to shave for 3 hours beforehand, with very hot water and 9 times out of 10, I can't shave anyway. I miss not having to be embarrassed when I at least can wear capris, and have to have slippers on and not be able to cover up my giant swelled up legs, especially my ankles. Why doesn't the swelling ever go down???
I miss not having to take tons of pills, I am happy that I don't take all of them, even with half, I have no idea most days, how I will get through the day without them and I hate the headaches that come from some.
I miss being able to drive for long periods of time, and drive without pain, I miss being able to sit without having to shake my legs around and have to take a few minutes each time I get in and out of the truck and having to prepare myself for the brutal pain that's coming after I get in or out! I miss working without pain, well, at least half the pain would have been ok, but you had to come and take over my entire body.
I miss my shopping and coupon trips with my mom, pain free days, walking with my children, Deegan has very rarely been in his stroller, I miss being able to go out for a few drinks with my husband and I miss having family and friends over for drinks and food and boxing matches. I miss the way I was once able to live and I would appreciate it if you would please give it all back.
I am sick and tired of the embarrassment, the swelling, the red welts that burn like fire that appear and disappear on my legs, my giant ankles, the electric shock pain, the feeling that my legs are on fire, the tingly pain that never ever goes away, the crushing pain on the tops of my feet, the crunching pain in my ankles, the numbness in parts of my feet, my ankles and my legs, the part when it feels like cinder blocks are on top of my feet,making it hard to walk or even limp and I have to then drag my feet behind me in order to move, the goofy colors and changes in my skin and nails, the bruises and discolorations on my legs and ankles and feet and how the burn blisters that I get from time to time when I didn't burn myself, and how they take months to heal. I hate feeling like I am burning from the inside out, and the prickly, stinging feeling that travels up and down my legs, all day and night. I can't stand the part where if I get sunburn on my legs, the pain from it is magnified a million times, and Noxema doesn't work anymore. The same thing with mosquito bites, every time we go camping, I am stuck with giant, ridiculous mosquito bites that burn and hurt a thousand times more then normal, and they never go away and nothing not even Bactine helps! I am sick of how the bug bites and sunburn come back to haunt me, it seems, throughout the year, as if you are just reminding me of the pain again and again. I hate the ice cold and bluish purple bruises on my right leg and how it gets ice cold, Sometimes when it hurts to wear anything, socks, slippers, pants, I just want to scream!! I have been trying to find relief and it doesn't seem possible.
And when will you seriously stop spreading? I really hope I don't find out at the eye doctor today, that you indeed did spread to my eyes. What happens then? Where will you show up next?
I do have to thank you at the same time, although I am disgusted and in horrible pain this morning, I must say that thanks to you, there have been some positive things happen due to this mess you have put me in.
I have had quality time with my children and husband, with all of the missed work, we have had to find more frugal ways to live, and that is a very valuable lesson to learn, and we have relearned a few things. I do believe everybody needs to re learn some of these types of lessons several times throughout their lives, just so they aren't forgotten. I have also found a neat outlet online with blogs and social media, and I have learned a lot of new things about all of this. I also met a lot of wonderful people online, and I do still have my legs, whether they work or not, they are still there.
But please all I seriously want is some relief, and if I can't have that, can you just please not spread anywhere else? I don't believe our family can take anymore, and I really hope you will just leave my eyes alone.
I would appreciate it! Thank you for your consideration.
I wish I could say it has been my pleasure, but it hasn't.

Brandy Oliver

Learning How to Deal With CRPS or RSD

Just a few days ago, I think I finally realized that this isn't going to get any better.
I have always had a very hard time accepting things, life changing events, and things that aren't what I would prefer were happening. Not that I try to pretend that it isn't really happening, or that I act like
it isn't there. But, I try to steer clear of discussing my fears and have always tried to stay strong and be happy, no matter what.
One thing I will never understand is how some people go through horrifying life changing events, and how they stay strong, and I will never understand why and how people get through chronic diseases, being told they will die from something, or that they have only a few months to live, etc etc. These things bother me, and I have a problem with trying to imagine what it would be like to be that person, and how I would cope. I feel sorry for these people, and families, and I feel guilty sometimes that I am happy and content where I am, and that I complain about things that seem so irrelevant, when there are people out there living in the streets, dying from cancer, and being told that their child just passed away from cancer. I think this is why I have always taught my children, and myself, that there is always somebody worse off then you, no matter what. This is true, and it helps to cope with things that are happening in my life that aren't what I would consider, positive.
I believe this is also a fault in some ways, and I tend to then overlook what is happening in my own life, and when I am in pain, I think in my head, over and over, to stop complaining, because all I have to do is turn on the TV or the Internet and I will see somebody who has it much, much worse then me. That normally stops me from being so miserable about my own life and situation.
I still can't grasp the fact that I have a real disease and that even though I may not die from it, I have had to endure and will continue to endure, some fairly rough changes. I tend to feel selfish when I think about what I think may be "small" changes in my life, but then again when I look at what has changed in my life, how it has affected my husbands life, my children's life, and others around me, I start to think that RSD is a pretty awful disease. I would never wish this on anybody, and feel terrible for the "new" RSD sufferer's I meet online and at my doctor visits. They have no clue, I think to myself.
It has been several years since I have had to deal with constant pain. It started a long time ago, back when I was a teenager, when I would walk to the mall, school, my friend's houses. I just assumed it was weak ankles and I did walk a lot! Plus, it wasn't constant, yet. I did have some sprains and joint pain, and never thought for even a second that this pain would end up following me through the rest of my life.
When I was a mom for the first time, I took my little princess everywhere;) We would walk in town to eat lunch, shop, and walk around the malls and shop, lol. We would go for walks, and go to the park, and a few years later, when she was a toddler, I also started working a few jobs, (I guess to pay for all the shopping lol!!) I always waitressed, and also took a few pt jobs when I could, normally seasonal, at toy stores, video game stores, (they always at least gave a nice discount for employees;)
Anyway, my point is, I was on my feet, much longer then normal, and I figured that was why my ankles hurt like crazy. I have been a bartender since 18, (just about 20 years now), and as much as I love my job, it seems this is the real always opted for a walking cast, although now, I have no idea as to why the patient was allowed to choose this option! But, I wanted to make sure I didn't miss work, or anything else that is important to me, and having a cast would have driven me nuts!
Thanks to my ridiculous choices, I ended up with several busted bones in odd spots that just never healed and arthritis, a couple torn tendons, and of course some major pain! But yet, I still tried to hold treatments off. I just didn't have the time to deal with such an issue, and I didn't seem to have a doctor any of the times that I did break a bone, who told me that it doesn't matter what I have time for. So, I continued down this path of being, well, a complete moron lol!
Years later, I finally had enough, after lots of arguing with my husband and my mom, and the fact that I really couldn't walk without limping and crying in pain with each step, and sometimes, I couldn't lift my feet off the ground, I couldn't wear shoes anymore, due to the pain and severe swelling. I had/have to drag my feet, due to some unseen force that makes it impossible to lift either foot, (typically my left is much worse)
I went every month for about a year, each time with even more swelling, and pain, and it definitely wasn't getting better. He finally sent me for x rays and sure enough, had a few page report from the hospital about my feet and ankles. He had already started to search for somebody to help me, and was having a hard time doing so. Quite a few doctors stated, "I wouldn't know where to begin", or "I would rather not be involved with that mess". I should have realized then what exactly that meant, and I wish I would've searched for a surgeon, rather then accept the first one who said they believe they can help me...
Finally, after another year, I had my reconstructive foot and ankle surgery done. She was going to do my right foot and ankle a few months after the left one, but due to all of the unforeseen circumstances, that never did end up happening.
I will have other posts about this ordeal, and I am sure you are getting bored and wondering when this will end, lol, so I will skip some of what happened next. (You are welcome:)
Anyway, a few months after this "surgery", my surgeon would no longer see me, return calls, or give me a note to return to work. I went in the horribly busy facility and demanded to be seen and finally a nurse came out with a referral to see pain management and even though I couldn't walk, and they knew what job I had, she asked if I feel I can go back to work, I replied, "I don't know how, but I have too! This is why I have been trying to get a hold of my surgeon!" and she stated that she can't release me for work until I just answer the question with a "Yes", so I did, and she quickly wrote a note and told me to make an appointment with pain management.
I am very grateful for my pain management doctor, She is really an excellent doctor, and so are all the nurses and staff. I do feel I am getting the best care and treatments I can get at this office, whether I like what is happening to me or not. The diagnosis I received, RSD, or CRPS, I had never heard of, and had no idea what either meant. I asked tons of questions and they answered them all, and no, I did not/do not like the answers, I am happy I have a doctor I can trust.
For the past few years I have had to cancel quite a few appointments and reschedule and I hate doing that, but I have 4 children, 3 that are still pretty little and have their own appointments and the travel time is tough, plus, I know now what some of the answers are and some days I just don't feel like being let down again.
I figured the last few years, that this will go away and I will get better, and I keep thinking positively. Even though I have yet to meet somebody who has "gotten better", other then the small possibility of a remission period, I kept thinking that there has to be a cure, there has to be somebody who knows how to fix this. I had lots of hope for the future of this disease and for myself.
I can't do a lot of things anymore that I once could, even with the amount of pain I had before RSD, I was still able to do certain things, and as much as it hurt, I just dealt with it and did what I could, of course a HUGE part of me is very, very stubborn.
I can't work like I once could and I can't figure out how to make up the income I have lost over the years. My husband works like crazy with our small trucking business. (he is our only driver;) and so I started the online earning opportunities. However, a lot of the time, sitting and even lying down, are much more painful and almost impossible, compared to walking or standing.
I am always trying to find ways to earn money, so I can stay away from having to apply for disability, I feel like I would be giving in if I apply, just as I felt when I finally gave in and took advantage of my handicapped parking placard. So, we have been doing without some things, and I do work pt at the bar, and I work on my blogs. But until we win the lottery, or until I end up as big as some other bloggers out there, I need to do something.
I don't know what it was, maybe the new layers of pain that just started last week, or the realization that this just keeps spreading and getting more painful and harder to sleep at night or walk or sit. But, I feel that if I apply for disability, I am succumbing to this disease and that is one thing I do not ever want to do. Stubborn or not, I have to do something. It is for my family, and I think that is what finally got to me
I consider this a fault of mine. Not wanting to accept things like this and just when I think there can't be anymore new types of pain, worsened pain, more spreading, there is. I started to wonder just last week, when does this end? Does it spread to your whole body? What happens next?
I am still learning about this disease, and what I am learning, I am not to thrilled about.
I will be starting my adventure on finding help and accepting my "fate". I do hate this and I hate to have to depend on others and I am not looking forward to this , don't think I have a choice anymore.
If you have any suggestions, tips, advice, on RSD/CRPS, disability, anything, please feel free to comment below!! I enjoy meeting people who share this horribly painful disease with me, and I hope to help others out there too!
In the meantime, please consider donating for RSD Awareness! There are tons of beautiful RSD angels out there, and they long for people to be aware of what happens to us, what RSD is, what it does, and maybe to help find a cure.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Copy-Kids DVD Giveaway!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway