Sunday, January 24, 2016

Truck Driver Problems

Do you ever get worried when everything seems to be going OK and you just know that something is just about to go wrong? Whether it's an illness, a broken bone, your vehicle needs $500 for brakes and rotors when you thought all you needed was just an inspection sticker? I lost track of these fun bouts of bad luck and over the years, I have learned to try to find the silver lining. If anything, as long as we have a home to live in, food to eat, and everybody is healthy, we're good. No matter how bad it seems to get, it could always be worse off.

I have also noticed that bad things actually do tend to happen in 3's. It isn't just a saying after all! As long as we're on the 3rd "bad luck" dilemma, that is a silver lining in itself! Then you have a few months of this fun, "good luck" or just no luck at all, kind of just in the middle. But, you know there is something lurking around the corner and you sit and wait. I think this has happened to my family, at least every quarter! Sometimes, only every other quarter.

My husband is a truck driver and we do have our own truck. That does have it's own list of pros and cons, (as everything does!) and sometimes, like when we need a motor overhaul, everything just starts to crumble. I know it does get hard to find that silver lining but, it is usually always there, somewhere. Oh yeah, by the way, we have been through 3 motor overhauls too! Our last truck had 2, the 2nd being immediately after the warranty expired on the 1st! So, very large monthly payments have been a regular part of our budget for a few years now. On top of regular repairs and upkeep, this can put a damper on things, of course. 

If you are a truck driver or you are familiar with the truck driving industry, you are probably aware of the DOT physicals that drivers are required to have updated every so often. My husband usually makes an appointment with our regular doctor and takes his paperwork in so they can fill everything out and have this sent in and he can get back to work. But, this past summer, our family doctor stopped offering DOT medical certifications and we were lost trying to find somebody else who was licensed.

I don't know if your husband has one of these friends who they always talk to, usually a co worker, but, this friend supposedly knows the answer to everything. (Most of the time, they are very wrong and are just talking just to hear themselves talk!) Well, my husband has one of these friends and this guy calls all the time and every time they talk, I can hear his loud voice on the phone, even if my husband is sitting across the room! Yes, this guy knew right away where to go for a DOT certification! (Naturally.) So, my husband took the info and hung up and called this "doctor" right away to make an appointment, She was able to fit him in right away, which was great! Because, it was due in a couple of weeks. So, everything went fine. He sent his info in on time and we didn't think twice about it.....

A few months later, we receive a letter from Penndot...the DOT exam was rejected and my husband's CDL was being taken away! This was a terrible, terrible day. We had no idea what to think, no clue as to why it would have been rejected, nothing. Sure enough, his buddy who knows everything calls that evening to laugh about that crazy lady who did their DOT physicals. It turns out, she didn't have her certification and she wasn't even a doctor! Seriously.

Well, it was all over the news and in the papers, and of course it made it to Facebook. Apparently, she was just some random lady who once held some sort of medical certification, just not a doctor, and she had fake DOT certifications! I really still can not understand how so many people fell for this and why it went on for so long. She was arrested and charged but, all of these drivers were now stuck! Now, some apparently were well aware that she was fake and they went to her because she would lie a bit about medical conditions. My husband had no idea but, I do wonder if his "friend", Mr Know It All, was aware of this.

Luckily, and I do mean, LUCKILY, we were able to get all of this cleared and his CDL was OK because he called and waited on hold for hours and hours and hours. He found another doctor, one that was much further away but certainly certified! Until, he came home from that appointment and showed me his paperwork. He said the receptionist was having a hard time filling out his license number and birthdate and he had to correct her several times. She finally fixed it and said not to worry. But, it was still wrong. This just led to me having to call repeatedly, trying to figure out if this would cause an issue with his license. They assured me over and over again, it would be fine. Well, it wasn't.

We received another letter from Penndot, this one was certified and had my husband's CDL listed as invalid! More time off of work, more hours at the DOT, more drama and a lot of lost wages, all because of a ditzy receptionist who didn't really fix anything at all. What a nightmare!

So, if you know of a doctor who has a good team, especially a receptionist who knows what she is doing, and they don't offer DOT physicals, please, please, please, ask them to get their dot certification training for medical examiners. We need trustworthy, reliable doctors and more of them! I would have never imagined it would be so hard to find a decent doctor who had their certification. I mean, we do live in a very rural area but, close enough to bigger cities that there should be several options! 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

O'Keeffe's Working Hands

** I received a free product from Smiley360 and O'Keeffe's in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own. **

I have always had an issue with dry skin. Especially my hands and feet! Since being diagnosed with RSD Type 1 and 2, I have experienced some of the most terrible and most sensitive and dry skin I have ever had experience with. RSD does affect your bones, muscle, skin, etc, so, while I understand why I have such an issue, I don't get why so many products I have tried in the past, don't seem to help as much.

I am also a mom and even though I am no longer working at the bar (due to my disability, unfortunately, I had to stop working last March.), I am still scrubbing, washing, handling cold, wet laundry, giving bubble baths, assisting with showers, and since I love super hot water, my skin seems to be even worse then before! (I find that hot water provides much needed relief from several different pain layers, so, giving this up is definitely not an option.) You will find several hand creams and foot creams, throughout my house and truck! I have them on my bathroom shelf, my purse/backpack, my center console, my computer desk, a shelf in my kitchen, and in my PJ drawer. I sometimes wonder if some of these brands are made to dry your hands and feet out even more, so that you keep using bigger gobs and buying more!

See? The color matches perfectly with my wallets and purse!

The first thing I noticed about O'Keeffe's Working Hands, is the cool green color and the easy to use and open container. (Having to unscrew and open tight lids when you have dry hands is not only painful, but also sometimes causes your skin to crack even more!) I love how they fit in several different places, they are the perfect size! Not to mention, they stack quite nicely!

The local pharmacy sells both the hand cream and foot cream and at a very sweet price! Which is great! Because, I have been stocking up and using both of these religiously! Even without my smalltown pharmacy and their deals on O'Keeffe's Working Hands and Healthy Feet, I can find them at several locations and also at a reasonable price. My husband is a truck driver and often talks about how he hears truck drivers talk about how awesome O'Keeffe's Working Hands is and how he sees them being sold at every truck stop he has ever been in. Which is why I used to just assume that this brand was geared more towards truck drivers, construction crews, mechanics, factory workers and people who work outdoors. It really never occurred to me, that they would be especially useful for busy moms! (But, they are! I promise!)

While this isn't a cure all, miracle cream, it will certainly help hydrate and help by putting up a barrier to keep water from hurting your skin even more. Any little bit helps and the fact that Working Hands helps with their fancy barrier, makes perfect sense! I also enjoy learning about how this product works, and the fact that they don't have claims like, "Oh, this is a cure all!" BLAH BLAH! Nope, just honest and reasonable and this, my friends, is what I personally look for in a brand :) O'Keeffe's Keepin it real!

One more cool thing about O'Keeffe's, if you find them on social media, you just may have a chance at winning 1 of 5 O'Keeffe's prizes, every Friday! Ok, I'll give you a few clues as to where to find them :)

You can follow them on Facebook....
and Instagram!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My Little Pony Toys From Playskool

** We received a few My Little Pony toys thanks to Crowdtap and Playskool, in return for our review. All opinions are our own!**

I am sure a lot of you remember having My Little Ponies as a kid or maybe your own children or younger siblings. My little sisters had these toys and just loved them! I don't know how many times we had to run through the house, trying to help find those teeny tiny combs and brushes they came with!!

As a member of Crowdtap, sometimes we get to sample new products and much to my surprise, being in the Playskool Crew, we were offered an opportunity to review some new My Little Pony toys! (Yes please!)

First up, is the My Little Pony Rainbow Dash Friendship Bus! This is such a cute toy and full of colorful fun for little ones. The price is pretty snazzy for this bus! Especially when you find out that it includes, Rainbow Dash herself! Of course you will have to buy a couple more My Little Pony toys because the bus seats 3 of them and your little one will need to be sure that this is filled to capacity. That's ok though, because, the prices on all of the new My Little Pony toys are more then reasonable.

The Rainbow Dash Friendship Bus, has a button for little ones to push, a little roller, and a door that swings open. They can also open and close the sign on the bus and yes, indeed, they can carry this easily too!

I do really like technology but there comes a time when toys without screens and even batteries are more important, Mainly for imagination and learning how to play with others. Children need to play with boxes and blocks and make crafts and play with cars and trucks and dolls and My Little Pony Friends! Besides the fact that you don't have to set up a bunch of passwords, connect a credit card, and worry about your toddler making several hundred dollars in purchases at the Google Play Store, (yes, this has happened to me!), the packaging won't make your eyes bleed! It's fairly simple and Playskool has kept it fairly simple. Maybe because they know that little kids just like to play and use their imaginations!

If you have a couple toddlers, be sure to grab a collector's set or 2! You're going to want to have plenty of My Little Pony Friends around for everybody. They can fit one in each tiny fist :)

I am buying a few of the collector's sets and I also need a castle or 2 so, I have been checking prices and sure enough, these are usually found somewhere on sale so it wouldn't take much to just go right ahead and stock up for every little girl (and even big brothers and little brothers will play too!), that you know. We are adding these little cuties to our gift guide and what a fabulous gift they would make for your special Valentine!

What do you think of the new My Little Pony Friend line? Did you play with My Little Ponies when you were a kid? Or are you one of the lucky ones who had to search sofa cushions for those itty bitty brushes and combs?

Monday, January 11, 2016

RIP David Bowie

I am sure every single person on the planet is now aware of the death of one of the biggest, most well known, most extraordinary, most exceptional artists of all time. Most everybody of all ages has heard his name at some point in their lives and most of us can probably at least remember the lyrics to one song that we have heard from, David Bowie. If not, then, you have got to be living under a rock somewhere and most likely, on another planet.

I wouldn't necessarily put David Bowie up in my top 10 or top 20 favorite artists, personally. However, I have to admit, a lot of the music I listen to, most likely wouldn't be here if it weren't for David Bowie and his phenomenal talent. David Bowie is one of those musicians/artists who doesn't even have to try. It just comes naturally and the the fact that he is such a fascinating creature is what seems to have almost broke the internet's heart over the last 24 hours.

I received a text message late last night with the news. (NBC broke it first. At least to me.) I immediately copied and pasted the text message and posted it on Twitter and then Facebook and then texted a few people, my mom was first of course! I expected to see a gazillion posts and pictures and videos, all over the world wide web. It happened almost instantly after the initial post was made on his official Facebook page........ I don't think I have ever seen anything quite like this before. It was mesmerizing, seeing so many people sharing their experiences, their favorite songs, videos, stories about this one individual. It was oddly refreshing to see posts that had several thousand comments and shares and nobody was bickering, not one word of politics, no drama, nothing but people getting along because they all have this one thing in common. They are all saddened by the death of this astonishing superstar who has affected so many and for so long. (and will continue to for eternity.) 

Now, again, I have never been a huge Bowie fan. I mean, I have always had nothing but the most respect for him, considering how he has changed music in so many ways and how he was able to give so much to so many genres of music. I only ever owned one album of his and the whole album is quite good. But, that's the most I have ever really gotten into any Bowie music. One thing I found very interesting, was the amount of artists that I adore, who have been paying their respects and thanking him for everything he has done for them and their own music. I already knew a lot of this, I knew he performed with Trent Reznor, (Nine Inch Nails.), created music with many others, for instance, one of my other all time favorites, Maynard James Keenan, of Tool. This Bowie guy had/has a way with charming everybody, no matter who they are, where they are or what they are into.

My heart is very heavy for all of his family and friends. His supermodel wife, Iman, their daughter, his son from a previous marriage. I can only hope they were all able to spend as much time as possible, smiling and laughing with him in his last days.

What exactly is this post about? I'm not so sure. I found myself being terribly sad over this news all day. The whole internet had this dark cloud over it last night, today, and even still, tonight. At the same time, people are getting along and yes, I know this won't last for very long and yes, I think it's sad that it takes something such as death, to make everybody put aside their differences, just for a few hours, a day, maybe 2. Why can't we do this more often? I think we used to....

I imagine that this would be what the internet would have been like, had it been around when John Lennon passed away. My mom is a major Beatles fan so, I know a little about them ;) For instance, I do know that they were very well loved and I can't think of anybody else who would have topped a Beatles member passing away. I think it's horribly sad when anybody dies and sometimes I have a hard time trying to figure out what exactly the issue is that it takes a superstar's death to make people get along for a little while? I understand that we will always see and read and hear more about them since they are, well, famous. But, why isn't anything else as important to the entire world, all at once? From what I understand about the type of person, David Bowie was, he would have preferred that we would all be able to come together and forget about our labels and differences for a bit.

One thing that strikes me about this person is the fact that he was somehow able to keep his personal life, personal. I'm not sure how, but somehow, we didn't know about cancer and neither did his close friends. I think I understand why it was kept a secret and I actually think it was done to help his close friends and fans and most of all, his family. I respect a star who doesn't have all of the drama and ridiculous stories following him or her and who is well respected by famous people and just us regular people, of all shapes and sizes. I also respect a person who has done so much and hasn't blabbed about it to magazines and talk shows but kept it a secret, simply because he/she is a kind, genuine soul.

I read this post on Yoko Ono's Facebook page today and it brought tears to my eyes. So, celebrities have feelings and hearts and they do things for others behind the scenes and not for attention. (I knew this and hope more people are aware of this as well.) Because of this post, I started researching and reading more about this enchanting "human" being and everything I have found, just all pleasant things. I now have a new found respect for this individual and I can't even think about how anybody could think of him under any other light. Hopefully, more stories will continue to pop up over the coming days....

I hope that more people will take something from this tragedy and turn it into something wonderful, in his honor. Even if it's just little things like, treating others' nicely, being polite, putting aside differences, putting other people first, understanding that it doesn't matter what somebody looks like, or what they do or where they live, what matters is what is inside. Even if you don't have any of those things in common with somebody, one thing you most likely have in common, is music. While it may not be, David Bowie himself, BUT, it may be an artist that you admire who was also influenced by this generous soul.

One more thing, I am certain that many of you have already watched David Bowie's chilling video for his newest single, Lazarus. I almost think he released this album and this video, to prepare everybody for what was happening to him and what just occurred. I can't think of any other reason behind this song, the lyrics, the different parts of the video, such as: levitating from the hospital bed, the skull on the desk, the wardrobe that the "healthier" David Bowie walks into at the end, the blindfold... it is such a compelling and gloomy song. After watching it and wondering why he made such a song, I couldn't help but think that just as he has done in his life here on earth, he is still, after death, putting others before him.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

doTERRA Essential Oils Intro Kit Giveaway

I love using essential oils in our diffusers through the house! I haven't really gotten into mixing oil blends just yet, but after finding some pretty cool ideas on Pinterest and on the doTERRA website, I intend on starting asap! (Another new year's resolution I hope to add to our health and wellness list!)

I use our diffusers on a daily basis and try to use specific oils for whatever the ailments may be or just to make everything smell lemony or like peppermint! I also like to use doTERRA blends. (My kids think that the newest blends, peace, motivate, and cheer, are all for happiness, finish your chores, feeling content, and having fun!) Which is sorta caused by me since I try my best to make everybody smile, have fun, GET ALONG, and do their chores. But, most of all, fill the house with laughter :)

Yes, I did tell them what the oils are "for" and it seems to have made a difference actually! It's fun to let them pick which oils they would like in the diffuser and then they start to run around and finish chores. (Yes, this I am being serious!) I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that they are able to choose their own blends and this makes them feel independent. I know with my children, at least, if they play a part in making decisions, they seem to be more anxious to actually do things such as, chores. This is true for eating healthy too! If they play a part in helping to decide our menu, make a shopping list, even help gather the ingredients at the store, and prepare the meals and snacks, they are more excited to try healthier foods!

My youngest likes to help our dogs out by diffusing oils he believes will help them feel better and have a good day :) I think it really does work. I have seen the dogs smile and they tend to be more relaxed depending on the oils the little ones choose for them!

So, after finding so many ideas for blends, (I have to start pinning asap!), I think I will have them create some of their own and write out some recipe cards so they can conjure up their own magic potions! I enjoy including them in the decision making process and we are always looking for ways to teach them about everything from figuring out money, "paying bills", deciding what they would like to wear, what charity they would like to donate to, all the way to learning about what each oil could help with and how to make their own roller bottle blends (with mom's help of course!) and now, diffuser blends.

I will have to come back and let you know if we found any fancy blends that make the whole house clean itself or add a few hours to each day, lol! Of course, this post will have the dandy Rafflecopter giveaway attached so, please, feel free to leave a comment! Let me know if you have any ideas for a blend you use at home! What kinds of decisions do you allow your little ones to be a part of? Thanks so much for coming back and for entering!

We really, really, really appreciate all of your comments, Tweets, shares, follows and if you are a blogger, please feel free to leave your links!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 8, 2016

Stella & Dot New Stylist Specials

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Welcome to 2016! If you're an enterprising stylista with "Make more money and have more fun" on your new year's resolutions list, then you're in the right place at the right time! Now through February 2nd, Stella & Dot is making it possible for you to sign up as Stylist for only $199. Plus, you'll get $450 in free jewelry and accessories! 

Becoming a Stella & Dot Stylist is the perfect way to start off your new year. In addition to getting special discounts on the jewelry and accessories that you love, you'll also have the freedom to style your own financial future by doing something that is fun, fabulous, and fashion-forward. 

When you sign up as a Stella & Dot Stylist, you'll also get ... 
  • An incredible business to call your own
  • The ability to work from home and earn extra income sharing the jewelry that you love with others
  • Training and support from amazing and successful women
  • Free jewelry, as well as significant discounts
  • Expense paid vacations
  • A personal website and online business center
  • and so much more!
Sign up as a Stella & Dot Stylist in January for only $199 + get $450 in FREE accessories!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Hurry And Redeem Your Stella & Dot Dollars

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Dot Dollars spending time has arrived! If you earned Dot Dollars between November 12th and December 15th, you can now apply $25 Dot Dollars to every $50 you spend and that today is the LAST DAY to apply their Dot Dollars (ending January 5th, 2016 11:59pm PT, some exclusions apply). 

Please keep in mind that Stylist orders do not count for Dot Dollars. Your Dot Dollar codes are now available on the Stella & Dot Account Page. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Should I Scoop Out My Bagel (RSVP For A Twitter Party Too!)

When it comes to eating the right foods - there is so much information out there. What diet should you follow, can you have a cheat day or drink a glass of wine? Don't you wish you had a best friend that could answer all your questions about what is truly important and actually relevant to your health? Should I Scoop Out My Bagel and 99 Other Answers to Your Everyday Diet and Nutrition Questions to Help You Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Live Healthy is written in short chapters that answer 99 questions that you probably wanted to ask - but never had anyone to ask. Ilyse Schapiro and Hallie Rich have twenty-five years of combined experience in the health field and they are able to cover the multitude of questions that constantly top the list, including:
  • Is eating a wrap healthier than eating a bagel sandwich?
  • Is it time to get on the gluten-free bandwagon?
  • I have salads for lunch every day, and I’m still not losing weight. What am I doing wrong?
  • I’m tired of feeling tired. What can I do to lose the urge to snooze?
  • I eat well, so what’s the point of a multivitamin?
  • Learn about GMO's and Organic Foods
The book is like talking with your girlfriends. They provide practical advice that makes sense. This book is what every woman needs to read to get the answers they have been looking for!

About The Authors:

Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified dietitian/nutritionist who holds a master’s of science in clinical nutrition and dietetics from New York University. Before launching her own practice, she was a dietitian at Joy Bauer Nutrition and served as a clinical dietitian at the Hospital for Special Surgery. She resides in Mamaroneck, New York. Hallie Rich worked side by side with both her father and grandmother at her family’s dietary supplement business, where she rose through the ranks to become a senior executive at the Company. Following the passing of her father, Hallie founded Rich Vitamins. Hallie received her BA with honors from the University of Michigan and resides in New York, New York.

Twitter Party Details:

I am so excited about this Twitter Party! The authors will be at the party to help answer your questions! Plus you can win awesome prizes including Amazon Gift Cards (or Paypal Cash) and copies of the book Should I Scoop Out My Bagel! Make sure you RSVP. Date - January 14 2016 at 9:00-10:00pm EST
Enter Below on the Giveaway Form for a chance to win $25 and a Signed Copy of Should I Scoop Out My Bagel and 99 Other Answers to Your Everyday Diet and Nutrition Questions to Help You Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Live Healthy! Plus come back for out Twitter party for more fun, prizes, and useful information!