Monday, August 28, 2017

Research Before Buying A New Car

** Sponsored post **

One of the most annoying things in life is making a large purchase. Whether it's a car or a house or anything that requires several days worth of phone calls, gathering paperwork, signing your name on 100 pages of a contract, and shopping for the best rates. Of course, after it's all said and done, relief and enjoyment kick in! (Not to mention, that new car scent is really hard to beat!)

I've had to sit in several dealerships over the years. Most of those visits lasted several hours and I don't know about you but, I'm just too busy to waste an entire day at a dealer, waiting for paperwork to sign! Luckily, we found a dealership that is very quick, professional, precise, and has snacks, drinks, and restaurants nearby! They even allow you to borrow a vehicle to run for something to eat or you can have it delivered there! (It's those little things that win me over.) So, we purchased our last 3 vehicles from that same dealership.

In this day and age, we have this thing called the internet which comes in handy for many things. Including shopping for a new vehicle. You can do most of the work from the comfort of your own bed, sofa, or kitchen table and you can sometimes submit your financial information if you are also shopping for a loan. It could still take a few days before deciding on the right vehicle and finding the right price. If you aren't already loyal to one make and or model, you may have a little more research to do before making your decision.

Where You Should Research Before Buying A Vehicle

Sometimes it is hard to trust a dealer when it comes to honest answers about a purchase. (I found this out the hard way!) You could visit the manufacturer's websites, social media pages, read reviews on their Facebook page, and even check Twitter to see if there are any Tweets from people who already own what you are thinking of buying. It's also best to find some unbiased opinions and reviews and some facts. One of the best sources I've come across is has updated information on virtually every make and model of any vehicle there is. You can find consumer reviews, MSRP, specs, service and repair advice, recall notices, and much more. If you have a vehicle you are selling, you could even list your ad on their website! They also offer advice on what to do before selling your vehicle and help you find the right price using their valuation tool. 

If you are buying a used vehicle, it is a good idea to find out if there have been any recalls and if there are any issues that may cost a bit down the road. For instance, I recently owned a pickup truck that was perfect in every way. Except for the fact that when this truck needed a tuneup, it required special tools made by the manufacturer and yes, they cost a lot more than the usual tools, spark plus, and coil packs! It was a DIY project because the dealers were aware of the hassle and the lengthy process so, the price was more than 10 times a regular tuneup service price! Had I known this prior to making this purchase, yes, it would have changed my mind. It only affected a certain engine in certain models for a 3 year span so, I would have purchased a different year. 

For the DIY people, YouTube is a great place to visit sine there are so many mechanics and car guys who will post easy to follow videos of anything from changing spark plugs to a simple oil change to fixing a transmission or rebuilding an engine. You can also find videos and step by step instructions on You can even put the vehicle you are shopping for or one you already own into search bar and then choose from a variety of different repairs and services ranging from easy to hard. I checked this list before purchasing my most recent pickup truck so I could see if there were any surprises before buying it. 

Of course, when you get to the dealer, you should always take a test drive. My husband always drives to a parking lot and lifts the hood to double check everything before we get back to the lot. This is also a great time to see where the blind spots are and make your final decision on whether this is what you want to drive for the next few years or several years! Returning isn't always an option! 

What are some tips you have for research on a new vehicle purchase? 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Money Savvy Pig Giveaway

Money Savvy Pig Giveaway

Hosted By
~ 1 Winners~
Open to US
8/16 12am ~ 8/30 11:59pm

One winner will receive their own Money Savvy Pig piggy bank of their choice (pink, blue, green or purple). 

Check out our review for Money Savvy Pig Piggy Bank

Find Money Savvy Generation on
Facebook and Instagram

Find Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews on 
Facebook, InstagramPinterest, Youtube, and Twitter

Thank you to all of the bloggers promoting this giveaway! I appreciate all of you for your hard work and helping our readers get really awesome prizes! 
Now for the fun stuff. This giveaway is open to US. There are daily bonus entries so please check back tomorrow. Share it with your family and friends, they'll want to enter to win too!!

I can't ask you to "Like" our pages but, if you see something you like, let us know so we can bring you more of it.
We LOVE it when you "LIKE" our pages.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions about this giveaway,  reviews, or any of our other giveaways, please feel free to email us directly at or

Monday, August 14, 2017

Is Your Family Prepared For The Unexpected?

One of the most important things in life is to think ahead and prepare just in case an emergency happens. You probably have an evacuation plan for your family in case of a fire and you probably have a savings account of some kind in case your roof caves in or you or a family member needs emergency surgery. There are so many things we need to prepare for, it's so easy to forget about the fact that you should always have a good supply of food for each person in your home.

Emergency And Disaster Kits

You can find a lot of great, printable lists online to help you create your own emergency and disaster kit. Some common items you will find on these lists will be:

NOAA Weather Radio (Preferably a battery operated or a crank radio.) 
Water (1 gallon per person per day.) ( 3 days worth for evacuation and 2 weeks for at home.)
Non-Perishable Food ( 3 days worth for evacuation and 2 weeks at home.) 
Personal documents
First Aid Kit
Sanitation and personal hygiene products
Cell phones and chargers
Emergency blankets
Hand sanitizer
Family and personal contacts
Multi purpose tools

Extra Supplies Needed On A Personal Basis 

Every family is different and we all live in different places that have their own common disasters that would require additional items. 

Families with children should include coloring books, crayons, puzzle books, small toys, maybe even have a backpack or knapsack for each child! You can even fill them books and snacks or have your children help fill their own. (This is a great way to also discuss the importance of preparing for an emergency with them!) 

You could also pack extra clothing, towels, sleeping bags, anything else you think your family may need. 

If you have a baby, you may need to include things such as baby formula and diapers. 

Storing Your Kits

There are 3 main places you should store a kit. Home, vehicle, and work. Disasters and emergencies don't usually happen at the most convenient times so it is best to think about the places you frequent and be sure you are taken care of in any case. 

Of course your work and vehicle kit will be much smaller than the one you have for your home. Typically the best thing to do is keep a grab and go type case for work and pack a condensed version of the above list. Plan to need supplies for at least 24 hours. 

Other Ways To Prepare 

You might be the type of person who is always in survival mode and you want to add more to your kits. (Or you have already watched every Survivorman episode and you are prepared for everything! Even a zombie apocalypse! 

You may want to check into amateur radio. In the case of a disaster, cell towers may become overloaded. 911 may stop working. The only way to contact somebody will be smoke signals or HAM radio. 

HAM radio is very reliable and can connect you with like minded individuals who are capable of helping to organize help for people who are stranded. You can communicate and find shelters, find out about evacuation orders, understand what is happening, and keep in touch with others who may have more information. 

Another way to be sure your family will be OK is with a Survival Seed Vault. These come in handy cans that are easy to store for when you might have to rely on them. They come in waterproof containers. These seeds are extra special because you will continue to harvest seeds from the originals! 

What steps have you taken for surviving a natural disaster or some kind of emergency? Pleasse let me know in the comments! 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Dear Trump Administration, Signed, Chronic Pain Patients

** Credit for this letter and all information due to Joe Aquilino, a very helpful chronic pain activist. Ever since I have been diagnosed with RSD/CRPS and had a Facebook account, Joe Aquilino was one of my first chronic pain friends. If you are not familiar with him, check out his podcast! 

Here is a letter that you can copy and paste to the Presidents Commission for Opioids. We need everyone involved to fight to get the opioids back. You just need to put their name after the dear and after the sincerely your name and city and state 

Dear [Name],
The published schedule for the Commission calls for review of a draft report to the President just ten days after your first working meeting. This is not a substantial amount of time to review all of the public comments and emails in regards to this issue, nor is it enough time to fully consider the many intricacies of this issue and come up with a solution that does not adversely harm particular populations such as the 116 million Americans suffering from chronic pain (Institute of Medicine, 2011), or the 5-8 million receiving long-term opioid therapy (Kroenke and Cheville, 2017), the majority of whom reap greatly improved function, quality of life, and are even able to work a job and/or go to school. 

With no intention of discourtesy, I must seriously ask whether you wish to have your name associated with such a transparently political agenda that has the potential to harm and even kill 2millions of people if not executed in an extremely precise manner. If the "fix" involves the further restriction of when, where, or how doctors may prescribe pain medication, it will cause a multitude of unintended harm unless doctors who treat pain from a variety of chronic and painful conditions on a daily basis (such as Dr. Forrest Tennant who is also an expert in the treatment of addiction) are not actively involved in the effort to reduce overdose deaths. If people suffering from persistent pain are about to be disregarded and abused by their own government once again, in the name of trying to solve an opioid crisis that isn't their fault, it will result in more overdose deaths from people in pain left with no other options who turn to the black market, and the suicide rates of veterans (and people suffering from persistent pain more generally) will also sharply increase,–the reduction of which the commission discussed as a goal– and the problem of overdoses won't be helped in the least by denying people suffering from persistent pain effective pain management. 

Consider for a moment that many authors, including (Inturissi, 2002) (Fishbain et al., 2008) noted that the rates of addiction in chronic pain patients receiving long term opioid therapy were particularly low (below even the population average) because persistent pain seems to interfere with the intrinsically rewarding nature of opioids.

Much of the stigma against opioids that is driving restrictive prescribing policies is based in doctors’ lack of knowledge about pain (and subsequently the public’s misconceptions), about how to treat it, and about the difference between dependence and addiction (Rich, 2000). These issues can be resolved by simply educating doctors more effectively. 

Dependence is simply the presence of withdrawal symptoms upon the cessation of a drug, (Inturrisi, 2002) which happens every morning to much of America as they make coffee. The grogginess, headache, and nausea are withdrawal symptoms of caffeine, and these are ordinary citizens, not addicts–addiction, which is something that a person must be genetically predisposed to in order to develop–is an entirely different condition that is a neurological disease (Morgan and Christie, 2011) and requires considerations separate from the domain of doctors’ prescribing patterns. In order to have the capability of developing an addiction, a person must have disturbed caregiver attachment bonds, caused by trauma at an early age, and it involves widespread alterations to the reward system in the brain that you simply do not see in chronic pain patients, as well as continuing to obtain the drug despite harm to others, a hallmark of addiction (Flores, 2004).

On the other hand, in chronic pain, although the patients require their medication to avoid withdrawal (dependence) and to avoid severe pain, chronic pain interferes with the intrinsically rewarding tendencies of opioids (Inurrisi, 2002), meaning that because the medicine is being used properly under proper supervision, that in appx. 98% of chronic pain patients receiving opioids long-term, addiction doesn’t occur (Fishbain, et al., 2008) (Burgess et al., 2014). The last conflated term, tolerance simply means that the body is habituating to its environment, the way the human body is designed to (Inurrisi, 2002). There is nothing inherently wrong with this, as it is an important survival mechanism built into the human body.
Another author noted the usefulness of long term opioid therapy in chronic noncancer pain, and the outlandishness of using addiction as the rationale to not to treat pain: 

“A Cochrane Review on long-term opioid management for chronic noncancer pain published in 2010 reported similar findings, with an estimate of opioid addiction of 0.27%, leading the authors to conclude that the risk of iatrogenic opioid addiction is low. [Hojsted, 2007]” Burgess et al., 2014 went on to summarize Boscarino’s 2010 study stating: “One of the most consistent risk factors predicting opioid abuse/addiction, is a history of opioid abuse (odds ratio of 3.81).[Boscarino, 2010] Patients with a history of severe…abuse had an odds ratio of 56 for developing abuse/addiction. [Boscarino, 2010] Weisner et al surveyed patients receiving long-term opioids in two large group health plans and found that patients with a history of opioid abuse had a prevalence rate of opioid use approaching 50%, compared to patients without a prior opioid abuse history of 2–3%.” (Burgess et al., 2014)

The nature of the so called “opioid epidemic” has been misunderstood, and as a result the responses have been directed at the wrong targets. “Heroin and fentanyl have come to dominate an escalating epidemic of lethal opioid overdose, whereas opioids commonly obtained by prescription play a minor role, accounting for no more than 15% of reported deaths in 2015.” (Kertesz, 2016)

"It is commonly thought that opioid dependence often begins through an initial, possibly chance, exposure to a physician-prescribed opioid, although data from studies to empirically evaluate this claim are lacking." (Barnett et al., 2017) In other words, people do not simply become addicted by being exposed to opioids, and there is no evidence to support this claim. There is however limited evidence to suggest that chronic pain patients receiving long term opioid therapy have extremely low rates of addiction (Fishbain et al. 2008) (Burgess et al., 2014) (Hojsted, 2007) and many derive greatly enhanced health, wellness, quality of life, and function from long term opioid therapy (Furlan et al., 2006).
When addiction is looked at as an attachment disorder (that also happens to be neurological disease), it becomes much clearer why some people suffer from addiction upon exposure to drugs and others do not. Those that do are using a drug (it could be nearly any drug) to replace the comfort that social interaction and healthy peer bonding provides to non-addicted individuals (Flores, 2004), this is when addiction develops. This is markedly different from chronic pain patients who are able to socialize, function, and live a fulfilling life because of opioid medications. 

The Furlan et al. literature review on the efficacy and safety of long term opioid therapy for chronic noncancer pain concludes that while the studies are limited, there is sufficient evidence that opioids are beneficial for some individuals with chronic noncancer pain, and considering the complete lack of alternatives with similarly efficacy, there is no rational reason to deny treatment to these individuals, especially considering the deadly consequences of doing so. Leaving pain untreated, as restricting pain medication further tends to do, is condemning the well over 25 million people with severe and intractable chronic pain to a slow, agonizingly painful death, feeling betrayed by their government, their physicians, and life itself. (Grol-Prokopcyzk, 2016) (Epel, 2004) (Mcewen, 2004) (Lohman, 2010) (WHO, 2000)

Restricting opioid prescribing as the CDC recommended for primary care physicians only would have dire consequences if it were implemented as a policy of any kind. It would disable the 5-8 million people currently on long term opioid therapy who are able to live a normal life because of these medications. Those who are not currently on medication have either already been stripped of their dignity and quality of life by needless suffering, due to the immense difficulty involved in finding a physician who is willing to treat their pain, to the point where most are totally disabled (many of whom re receiving social security benefits, who could be made able to work again if they were given adequate treatment that such a policy would completely prevent) because of their pain, and are causing a totally unnecessary financial drain on the U.S. government in the order of $560-635 Billion per year (Institute of Medicine, 2011). The cost of this could be almost entirely eliminated (or at the least greatly reduced) if the availability of opioids were to increase substantially. (Seya et al., 2011) (Sessle, 2012)

Richard Lawhern writes as a non-physician writer, research analyst, patient advocate and website moderator for chronic pain patients, families, and physicians. My wife and daughter are chronic pain patients. His 20 years of volunteer experience has produced articles and critical commentaries at the US Trigeminal Neuralgia Association, Ben’s Friends online communities for patients with rare disorders, US National Institutes for Neurologic Disorder and Stroke, Wikipedia, WebMD, Mad in America, Psychiatric News, Pain News Network, National Pain Report, the American Council on Science and Health, the Global Summit for Diagnostic Alternatives of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, Psychiatric News and Psychology Today. He wrote a piece that is extremely relevant to this issue.

I urge you–indeed, I IMPLORE –to read the article in which this summary appeared. It is titled "Warning to the FDA - Beware of 'Simple' Solutions in Pain and Addiction." It may deserve to become a part of your report to President Trump. It demonstrates that the balance between concerns of people in agony and those of families who have lost children to opioid addiction have become seriously skewed in utterly unproductive and dangerous directions. It also demonstrates that the March 2016 CDC guidelines on the prescription of opioids to adult noncancer pain patients are seriously dangerous due to weak evidence, scientific errors and outright omissions of vital medical science. The guidelines are already killing patients across the U.S. (Webster, 2014). If enshrined as mandatory limits on opioid prescription, they will kill many thousands more.

Visit this link! 

Sincerely, [Your Name, City, and State]
Barnett, Michael L., Andrew R. Olenski, and Anupam B. Jena. "Opioid Prescribing by Emergency Physicians and Risk of Long-Term Use." New England Journal of Medicine 376.19 (2017): 1895-896. Web.
Bartleson, J. D. "Evidence For and Against the Use of Opioid Analgesics for Chronic Nonmalignant Low Back Pain: A Review: Table 1." Pain Medicine 3.3 (2002): 260-71. Web.
Baumeister, Roy F. "Suicide as Escape from Self." Psychological Review 97.1 (1990): 90-113. Web.
Boscarino, Joseph A., Margaret Rukstalis, Stuart N. Hoffman, John J. Han, Porat M. Erlich, Glenn S. Gerhard, and Walter F. Stewart. "Risk Factors for Drug Dependence among Out-patients on Opioid Therapy in a Large US Health-care System." Addiction 105.10 (2010): 1776-782. Web.
Burgess, Harrison J., Afreen Siddiqui, and Frederick W. Burgess. "Long-term Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain and the Risk of Opioid Addiction." DRUG AND ALCOHOL DISORDERS AND TREATMENT (2014): n. pag. RHODE ISLAND MEDICAL JOURNAL. Web.
Epel, E. S., E. H. Blackburn, J. Lin, F. S. Dhabhar, N. E. Adler, J. D. Morrow, and R. M. Cawthon. "Accelerated Telomere Shortening in Response to Life Stress."
Fishbain, David A., Brandly Cole, John Lewis, Hubert L. Rosomoff, and R. Steele Rosomoff. "What Percentage of Chronic Nonmalignant Pain Patients Exposed to Chronic Opioid Analgesic Therapy Develop Abuse/Addiction And/or Aberrant Drug-Related Behaviors? A Structured Evidence-Based Review." Pain Medicine 9.4 (2008): 444-59. Web.
Flores, Philip J. "Addiction as an Attachment Disorder: Implications for Group Psychotherapy." Group Psychotherapy and Addiction (n.d.): 1-18. Web.
Furlan, Andrea D., Juan A. Sandoval, Angela Mailis-Gagnon, and Eldon Tunks. "Opioids for Chronic Noncancer Pain: A Meta-analysis of Effectiveness and Side Effects." Canadian Medical Association Journal 174.11 (2006): 1589-594. Web.
Grol-Prokopczyk, Hanna. "Sociodemographic Disparities in Chronic Pain, Based on 12-year Longitudinal Data." Pain 158.2 (2017): 313-22. Web.
Hojsted, Sjogren. "Addiction to Opioids in Chronic Pain Patients: A Literature Review." European Journal of Pain 11.5 (2007): 490-518. Web.
Institute of Medicine. "National Pain Strategy A Comprehensive Population Health-Level Strategy for Pain." National Pain Strategy. N.p., 2015. Web. 26 May 2017.
Institute of Medicine. Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research. Washington, D.C: National Academies, 2011. Print.
Inturrisi, Charles E. "Clinical Pharmacology of Opioids for Pain." The Clinical Journal of Pain 18.Supplement (2002): n. pag. Web.
Kertesz, Stefan G. "Turning the Tide or Riptide? The Changing Opioid Epidemic." Substance Abuse 38.1 (2016): 3-8. Web.
Kroenke, Kurt, and Andrea Cheville. "Management of Chronic Pain in the Aftermath of the Opioid Backlash." Jama (2017): n. pag. Web.
Lohman, Diederik, Rebecca Schleifer, and Joseph J. Amon. "Access to Pain Treatment as a Human Right." BMC Medicine 8.1 (2010): n. pag. Web.
Mcewen, Bruce S. "Protection and Damage from Acute and Chronic Stress: Allostasis and Allostatic Overload and Relevance to the Pathophysiology of Psychiatric Disorders." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1032.1 (2004): 1-7. Web
Morgan, Michael M., and Macdonald J. Christie. "Analysis of Opioid Efficacy, Tolerance, Addiction and Dependence from Cell Culture to Human." British Journal of Pharmacology 164.4 (2011): 1322-334. Web.
Rich, Ben A. "An Ethical Analysis of the Barriers to Effective Pain Management." Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 9.01 (2000): n. pag. Web.
Sessle, Barry J. "The Pain Crisis: What It Is and What Can Be Done." Pain Research and Treatment 2012 (2012): 1-6. Web.
Seya, Marie-Josephine, Susanne F. A. M. Gelders, Obianuju Uzoma Achara, Barbara Milani, and Willem Karel Scholten. "A First Comparison Between the Consumption of and the Need for Opioid Analgesics at Country, Regional, and Global Levels." Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy 25.1 (2011): 6-18. Web.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Snack Pals Giveaway

Snack Pals Giveaway

Hosted By
~ 3 Winners~
Open to US
8/11 12am ~ 8/26 11:59pm

The prizes include
1 Snack Pal per winner
(3 Winners)
Check out our review for Snack Pals

Find Snack Pals on
FacebookYoutube, and Twitter

Find Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews on 
Facebook, InstagramPinterest, Youtube, and Twitter

Thank you to all of the bloggers promoting this giveaway! I appreciate all of you for your hard work and helping our readers get really awesome prizes! 
Now for the fun stuff. This giveaway is open to US. There are daily bonus entries so please check back tomorrow. Share it with your family and friends, they'll want to enter to win too!!

I can't ask you to "Like" our pages but, if you see something you like, let us know so we can bring you more of it.
We LOVE it when you "LIKE" our pages.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions about this giveaway,  reviews, or any of our other giveaways, please feel free to email us directly at or

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Get The Best Home Renovations

Get the Best Home Renovations
If you have been contemplating a home renovation project, you're in good company. Many people give their home a much needed upgrade or new look by hiring an experienced renovation contractor. Whether you're considering an attic renovation in order to turn this space into additional living space for your family, or you need a contractor for that kitchen renovation you've been dreaming of, you'll definitely need to find quality contractors in order to ensure that the project is completed to the highest standards.
How to Find the Right Contractor
No matter what renovation project you're considering, it's imperative that you choose the right contractor for the job. A company that brings together experienced contractors, such as Renovation Experts, can help you find the quality contractors you need in order to get the best results from your home renovation project.
An excellent way to get a quality contractor is through referrals. Whether it's a referral from a family member or through a company that provides a listing of contractors in your area, it's still important to make sure that you do your own due diligence. Always ask your contractor about their experience with similar projects as well as a list of past customers who are willing to provide a recommendation. It's also important to ensure that everything is in writing. Your contract should include a start and end date as well as a breakdown of costs as well as specific materials that will be used.
When You Want the Best Return for Your Home Renovation Investment
There's no doubt that home renovations typically require a substantial investment. Of course, how much your renovations cost will certainly depend on the type of work you're having done. However, when you want to get the best ROI, it's important to keep in mind that not all home renovations are going to give you a significant increase in home value. Do your research and choose your home renovation projects based on your own specific goals.
While a good return on investment is always nice, home value shouldn't be your only consideration. For example, you might not see a huge increase in the value of your home if you put new insulation in the attic; however, over time, this investment can easily pay for itself, and it will continue to reward you with lower energy bills long after you've paid off your initial investment.
A home renovation project is something that requires careful consideration. You want to make the most of your investment, but you also need a quality contractor.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Back To School Giveaway

Back To School Giveaway

Hosted By
~ 1 Winner~
Open to US
8/9  12am ~ 8/23 11:59pm

The prize pack includes:
Stuffed Backpack from Mead Five Star
(backpack, binder, folders, notebooks, etc)
Zest Shower Gel
Salon Grafix Hair Care Products
Welch's Fruit Snacks
$25 PayPal Cash

Our winner will receive the amazing products we got to review this year (backpack & contents may vary depending on colors available). 
Check out our reviews for them:
Mead Five Star - Backpack and supplies
Zest and Salon Grafix - Hair and Shower supplies
Welch's - Fruit Snacks
Find Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews on 
Facebook, InstagramPinterest, Youtube, and Twitter

Thank you to all of the bloggers promoting this giveaway! I appreciate all of you for your hard work and helping our readers get really awesome prizes! 
Now for the fun stuff. This giveaway is open to US. There are daily bonus entries so please check back tomorrow. Share it with your family and friends, they'll want to enter to win too!!

I can't ask you to "Like" our pages but, if you see something you like, let us know so we can bring you more of it.
We LOVE it when you "LIKE" our pages.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 If you have any questions about this giveaway,  reviews, or any of our other giveaways, please feel free to email us directly at or

What Is Vegemite And Other Fun Facts About Australia

I don't know about you but, when this American thinks of Australia, I imagine a bunch of happy people eating vegemite toast, throwing boomerangs on the beach, while listening to Men At Work's "Down Under", and riding kangaroos home. Of course, I don't really think this is all that Australians do, but, it does sound like a lot of fun!

Thanks to the band, Men At Work, some of us think that no matter how rough, Vegemite can cure practically anything. But, what is it?


First off, I had no idea this was something that Kraft sold. I'm sure there are other brands out there but I most often see this specific jar in books and online. Everything I read about Vegemite is that it "smells like nothing you ever smelled before" and "tastes like nothing you have ever tasted before". They also point out that it is not a bad smell at all. Just a very different smell. "Unless you've scraped up all of the fond in the bottom of the pan after searing meat or mushrooms and just tasted that alone." Hmmm. That actually doesn't sound so bad. But, could this be good on buttered toast? (The preferred choice for eating Vegemite.)

Meaty, savory, salty, complex. That really sounds interesting and I am trying to find where one could purchase this here in the states. Ok, so what exactly is it? Vegemite is a by-product of the beer making process. The leftover yeast after the beer is fermented is then mixed up with some spices, wheat, vegetables, and salt. Basically, it's a secret that we may never really know. That's ok. I'd still like to try some for myself. If not on buttered toast, maybe for extra flavoring in casserole or stew or crockpot soup? 

Cool Facts For Kids

Australia has the most different species of reptiles than any other place in the world! More than 750 species. 

There are 25 venomous snakes in our world and 20 of those snakes live in Australia. 

You can find the world's largest salt water crocodiles in Northern Australia. They can grow to be as large as 22 ft!

An estimated 25% of the people who live in Australia are actually from other countries. This might be why there are over 200 languages spoken in Australia. (45 of those languages are indigenous.) 

The world's oldest fossil was found in Australia! This fossil is 3.4 billion years old! 

The biggest property in Australia is the size of Belgium! (Could you imagine owning an entire country?)

Kangaroos and emus can not walk backward.

The "outback" is so huge and so remote that the children who live there can not attend a physical school. They learn via video and satellite technology. The kids do get to talk with their friends each day and they meet up for a few weeks each year. 

Australia has over 10,000 beaches. You could visit a new beach every single day for 27 years. 

There are so many fascinating things about Australia! You can find all sorts of videos and books as well as articles and pictures online. My kids and I made an Australian meat pie while we were learning about this awesome place!

A Few More Reasons To Visit Australia 

Australia has over 60 wine regions and around 1.35 trillion bottles of wine are made here. 

You can find the world's longest golf course here, measuring more than 850 miles long! 

The first police force in Australia was made up of the most well-behaved convicts. 

Melbourne was originally called, Batmania. 

Wycliffe Well is a tiny town that claims to be the UFO capital of Australia. Locals will tell you that UFO sightings are quite common here. Maybe because of the two large alien statues? Or maybe just because this town is located in the middle of nowhere, I'm not sure. But, it seems like a fun place to visit! 

You could take a dip in one of the seven wonders of the world, The Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. 

It would take me a week or more to jot down everything that is captivating about this country. If none of these facts are enough to make you call a travel agent, you really should start researching this charming country. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Back To School Blogger Opp

 Blogger Opp Back To School Giveaway

1 Winner
Sponsored by:
Mead Five Star
Salon Graphix
(more are being added this week)
Hosted By
Amy & Aron's Real life Reviews
Each blogger will receive up to 3 Free links  
for posting and promoting this giveaway 
Giveaway Date
8/9 to 8/23
Open to US
 Giveaway will be 2 weeks long. Make sure if you are purchasing links they will be valid that long. We don't want blank entries.

Mead Five Star Backpack with an assorted bundle of supplies
Zest shower gel
Salon Graphix hair care products and more will be added
(and more)

The more bloggers promoting ~ the bigger the results ~ the more giveaways we get to do together.

Sign Up Here or Below

Co-Hosts spots are unlimited, Co-Hosts Needed

$5 for 5 additional links (up to 8 total) plus backlink to your blog.

Custom links available:
Adding social links $1 each limit 3
 (link to specific post required)
This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, etc
Daily links $2 each or 3 for $5 (Limit 3)
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Friday, August 4, 2017

An In-Depth Interview With Photographer Rocco Basile

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?

I knew that I wanted to be a photographer from the moment my father brought home a brand new camera. I was about seven at the time, he hasn't been able to get the camera out of my hands since.

Q: Who would you say has influenced you the most?

My mother. She was also an artist, though her medium was painting. She would paint lots and lots of people, I loved to sit and watch her paint.

Q: How do you feel the power of photography can change the world?

Photography allows people to see moments that they might never otherwise see. It can change the world by bringing people closer together.

Q: What is your motivation?

I am motivated by my own passion, but also by the people around me. My friends and family keep me motivated the most.

Q: I think it's fascinating how you seem to add so many layers and so much depth into your photographs of just everyday people and their workplaces and make everything ten times as interesting. When did you notice you had such a gift?

Thank you, yes I also have always found it fascinating. That is actually one of the reasons I became a photographer. I enjoy layering in pieces of the story, trying to capture as much as possible within the picture.

Q: Do you tend to see everyone you meet in the same way you photograph them? Or are there ever people you meet who aren't as intriguing?

Everyone is more interesting when they are lit well. The lighting of the photograph is the real key. It should accent the subject, and every subject is different and requires different lighting. I have gotten used to assessing as I go and adjusting the lights as needed.

Q: Do you prefer digital or film or both?

I like digital because it allows me to take many more photographs. Of course, there is something to be said about the craftsmanship and detail that goes into film. It also takes more time and care to light the shot, because with film you can't waste a single shot.

Q: What is it that seems to be missing from photographs taken with a digital camera as compared to film?

There is a certain depth of quality that film has that just doesn't show up in digital. The plus side of digital is that you can take a lot more pictures, and therefore take more time to perfect the lighting, subject, tone, all of the things that bring a photo to life.

Q: What kind of equipment do you suggest for a blogger or a beginner on a budget who would like to take higher quality pictures to help give our readers and friends more insight into our lives?

I would suggest a DSLR camera like the Canon Rebel. Great quality, very sturdy, and affordable. It is one of my favorite cameras even today.