Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday shopping!

We pretty much got ours out of the way for the little family of three that we are in the past month and have been using some of the items already. I'm torn between mall or specialty store shopping, and shopping online. There are many places that I love to visit and look at when we go to Orlando and look at FL Mall and Mall at Millienia. Places like Crate and Barrel (we absolutely love to look at their kitchen and pots and pans and other accessories), The Sony Store, (for techy stuff, usually way above our means! ), The Apple Store (I'm such an Apple Fangirl ---Can I say that at 49? Definitely can!) , and those are to name a few at Mall of Millienia!

 FL Mall--- well, I could stay there for hours, and get in awe of all of the lovely and enjoyable products there. We usually come in at the M& M's entrance to the mall, and the head past Harry and David's. Absolutely love buying their soup mixes! Son and hubby love their truffles!!  Then, we usually check out Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, the Apple Store, and I go to Sephora and Lush. If we know that a particular friend of our is working, we stop by Teavana to say hi and to make a purchase. Then, it's off to look at the clothing stores for teen males.

There's a Best Buy in each of those mall areas, and we'll drive over to them to check out stuff that we're into: Steve- computers/ Mac products, Steven-usually found playing on and looking at mostly X-Box games and sometimes Wii, and last but not least me, Barb---I'm usually into iPhone supplies, iPad supplies, dvds and blu-rays, iPods, and music---and sometimes new audio/visual stuff.

I think that I'll be saving more next year from surveys and swag bucks and blogposts, to pay for Christmas out on non-household money or credit cards. I love the fact that you have use paypal on Walmart.com, Bestbuy.com, and Etsy!!! Seriously wish that Amazon.com would, too!

I'm big on using gift cards, especially for places that we go or places that we eat at! So much easier than throwing the item on a credit card or carrying a bunch of cash around.  I would love to know your thought and ideas on saving money during the holidays. Do you use credit card, paypal, cash, or check or debit or gift cards? Let me know in a comment.


BARB

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday, and you know where I'm not!

GOOD AFTERNOON, MY BLOGGY FRIENDS AND READERS!
It's Black Friday, and you can obviously tell where I'm not!  Between all of the chaos at the malls and even WalMart and Best Buy and Target, I'm glad that I was earning money last night, instead of standing in line forever trying to buy stuff for a deal, that would sell out before you got into the store.

I suggest that you do your purchases on line through the Etsy stores! I'm mentioning that since I know that a few of my followers are Etsy store owners of varied products,  and I would like for them to step up and post a link on the comment section to their easy stores, if you don't mind!! In your comment, tell briefly what you sell, and post a link to the Etsy store!!  Seriously, I mean it, I'd love to share about you all! And even if you have an Artfire store, post if, too.

BARB

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

BARB

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Addendum to yesterday's post

After talking with my Dad about Thanksgiving & trying figure plans for lunch that day, I talked with my husband. So, now, the four of us, Dad, Steve, Steven and I are going to have Thanksgiving meal together.
Even though it will be a holiday meal, I'm still going to be watching my carbs and calories. I found a wonderful app for the iPad on iTunes called Calorie Counter, and believe it or not, it's free! I've been trying to keep track of my food, calories, carbs, fats, weight, and exercise with this lovely app! I've lost about 5 pounds in the past two weeks, since I started using Calorie Counter!

BARB

Disclosure: I downloaded the app from iTunes on my own, and was not compensated or asked by the company to do so. The opinions about the app are my own, and I just wanted to share my opinion about it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Meet Me On Monday!

Another installment of Meet Me On Monday questions and answers!!!!


Questions:
1.  I wish I had more time to _________?
2.  What is your favorite kind of soup?
3.  Where will you eat Thanksgiving dinner? 
4.  What is your favorite time of day?
5.  Did you start Christmas shopping yet?
—————————————————————


1) I wish I had more time to _______?
I wish that I had more time in a day to read more!!! I have tons of hardbound books that I still need to read, along with books on the family Nook Color and on my iPhone and iPad. I'm always bringing something with me to read at doctors' appointments (of which I have too many these days) or in the car on a drive to Orlando when hubby's driving! I've also got audiobooks on my iPod to listen to!
I wish that I had more time to do some of my crafts! I used to crochet and do counted cross-stitch, but I always seem to forget about them when I have a moment to myself!


2) What is your favorite kind of soup?
I have a hard time answering this one!  It depends on the occasion and where I am and how I'm feeling! If I'm not feeling good, a classic from my childhood comes to mind---- chicken and stars!!!
If I'm at Panera's, then I've got to get my cheese and broccoli soup. I absolutely love potato soup at home, when Steve makes it! And if I'm at La Cellier at the Canada Pavilion, then I've got to have the cheese soup!!!

3) Where will you eat Thanksgiving Dinner?
Okay, so bear in mind that this is not my usual answer for this question, that it's applying to this Thanksgiving only! I've got to work this Wednesday and Thursday nights, and will be sleeping those afternoons. My Dad's down here now, and it doesn't look like he'll be going to my sister's house in Orlando. So, while hubby and son plan to go to the car show that day in Orlando, I'm aiming to have a Thanksgiving meal with my father out! Then, I'll come home and get some sleep! We definitely aren't the conventional family for Thanksgiving this year!

4)What is your favorite time of the day?
It's really hard to say, unless I'm on a day off! Then, I'd say, when hubby and son are at work and school, and I have a semi-quiet house to myself with the feathered babies! I also like the evening when they're home, and we're all together!!

5)Did you start your Christmas shopping yet?
For the 3 of us, yes! For the rest of the family, no! I need to work on Christmas cards this week!


BARB





Monday's Music Moves Me : The Muppets: Ode To Joy

Sunday, November 20, 2011

MyOwnPet Balloons (Sponsored Post)

 I'm sure that many of you have pets or had pets as a child! I had dogs as a child, and now have birds as an adult. When you have a pet, you create a special bond with loyalty and friendship with it.  With MyOwnPet Balloons, children can use their imagination and play with their pet dog or penguin or horse, or even a dinosaur!  Canines for Disabled Kids, a mom-profit organization, is helping children with disabilities gain independence and participate more fully in society.  This meaningful interaction helped inspire the MyOwnPet Balloon line, Right now, for every MyOwnPet Balloon purchased, $5 will go directly to help Canines for Disabled Kids. Here's the link to the site:MyOwnPet Balloons


BARB

Disclosure: I was given the information in which to facilitate a post from MyOwnPet Balloons, and no compensation was received. The opinions expressed were my own.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ozma of Odds ---check out her giveaway!

Rosemary over at Ozma of Odds is having a dreamy giveaway! Stop over there and check it out!


BARB

Winner of Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil giveaway

Congrats to ZuZu, who won the Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil giveaway! You now have 48 hours as of the e-mail that I just sent you to respond back.

BARB

Five Question Friday

Okay, so here's another way that you learn about me... Five Question Friday, I've decided to do the Five Question Friday started by My Little Life ! Here goes!!

1. Do you have a go to song that always puts you in a good mood?


2. Are you a real Christmas tree kinda person or do you go with a real fake one?

3. What are you thankful for?

4. Which fashion fad from the past do you wish you could wear today?

5. Do you wait until the "low fuel" light comes on before you fill up the gas tank?


1) Do you have a go to song that always puts you in a good mood? 
My current songs that fit that category are: "Last Friday Night" sung by the Glee cast and "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz!  Seriously, any Disney theme park music will get me in a good mood!


2) Are you a real Christmas tree kins person or do you go with a real fake one?
 I have to tell you a quick story! In 1995, after hubby and I moved to Brevard County, we lived in an apartment. Our spare bedroom was our junk and computer room, and we couldn't put the tree in the living room! We had our birds and their cages in the family room, and I had this crazy thought that our oldest Quaker parrot Woody would be climbing the real tree if we put it in the same room as the birds. So, it went in our large bedroom. We both got so sick with allergy problems due to whatever the real tree gave off. I love the smell of them, but we can't ever have one again! So, ever since then, we have had a real FAKE tree!


3) What are you thankful for?
I am thankful for my husband and my son, my bird babies (Woody, Doc, Trouble, and Shrek), and for my family and friends Also, our health, though we've all three had some issues in the past year. I'm thankful for my Dad, that he moved to our county, and is closer to us. 


4) Which fashion fad from the past do you wish you could wear today?
 I think that I would pick three things, but not to wear together!!! I loved my Reeboks aerobic sneakers from in the 80's! (And no, I don't have them any more!) They remind me of the days of aerobic exercise classes in college!
 I also wish that i could wear bell-bottom pants and a tie-dye t-shirt!


5) Do you wait until the "low fuel" light comes on before you fill up the gas tank?
Oh no!!!! Never!!! I get anxious about my tank being low! I don't want to have to call AAA to come and fill my tank somewhere! The "low file" light thing is something that my husband does, and it absolutely drives me crazy, especially when he does it to my car!!!


Well, I hope that you all enjoyed reading my answers to the questions, and hope that you decide to join in on  My Little Life and her Five Question Friday!!

BARB


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TWO MORE DAYS LEFT ON THE TROPICAL TRADITIONS GIVEAWAY!!!

Just a quick one to let you all know that the Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil giveaway ends on 11/18/11! For some crazy reason or another, I had one date at the top of the giveaway and another at the bottom! It's definitely through on Friday morning at 12:01 a.m. EST!


BARB

Monday, November 14, 2011

Meet Me On Monday!

Okay, so I decided to be brave and answer a few questions about myself, and do the Meet Me On Monday questions!

1) Does your family/friends know about your blog?

Not many of either do! Obviously my hubby and our ALMOST 13 yr old son do, and so does my father who's living locally these days. My sister in DE knows, and I did tell an aunt of mine in FL. A few co-workers know (Hey Teressa!), and some of my friends in the Disney community do. Believe it or not, my sister in Orlando doesn't know!


2) What is your favorite card game?

Solitaire, though I can play it on my iPod, I have forgot over the years how to set it up when playing with regular cards. Technology changes things for us!


3)What do you wear to bed?

Oh boy! Due to "hot flashes" off  and on, it varies! Lately, either one of my Disney nightshirts (they're about knee length!), or a comfy sleep shirt and pj bottoms with stripes or Disney characters or pj shorts. Can you tell that I love Disney stuff?


4)What is you favorite kind of French Fry?
At home... The Publix Extra Crispy ones in the oven.  At a restaurant... I would have to say that my husband and I both have agreed that the fries (regular shape) at The Cheesecake Factory in Orlando at Mall at Millennia are the best, and those are my ultimate favorites!!!!


5)What is your usual bedtime?

That is a hard question to answer! Since I work the 11pm to 7am shift 72 hours a pay period, I have a little bit of a weird sleep schedule, to say the least! 11: 30 am or noon, if I worked the night before, and am working that night. If I'm off, I try to keep my husband's sleep schedule and go to bed when he does.

BARB

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Review and Giveaway! (Ends 11//18/11)

I love to bake, and my husband and son love to eat treats! I like to find new recipes and different items to use in my baking. My guys love chocolate and they love cookies.
 I was given the opportunity to try Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil recently. I really like coconut, and couldn't wait to use it! Because it's warm here in my area of FL right now, my jar was more of a semi-liquid when I was using it. I looked through the many recipes for Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, and saw quite a few that caught my eye! I almost picked a smoothie, but realized that I didn't have the other ingredients in the pantry or fridge for it! Another day! I ended up choosing to make chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, a recipe submitted by Fran from Toronto, Canada. 



Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Grease cookie sheet(s) with additional coconut oil. Set aside.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Roll dough into small balls, flatten and place on prepared cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 18-24 minutes. Remove from sheets to wire rack to cool.
You can also add raisins if you like.
Recipe submitted by Fran, Toronto, Canada

At first, when I saw how my cookies turned out, I wasn't sure what hubby and son were going to think. I was baking them while they were at a function. When they came home that evening, they got the chance to try them, and they liked the way that they tasted! I baked them for about 20 minutes, though next time, I'm probably going to bake them for only 18 minutes.  There are many recipes on their site for the use of their coconut oil, from smoothies, to baked goods, and entrees! The oil doesn't have to be stored in the refrigerator, and it has a long shelf-life. Awesome! I liked using it, and I plan to try other recipes in the near future!

Dough before baking!


Cookies after baking!!





BARB

 Disclosure: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.


Publish Post

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sorry for no posts in past few days!

I've been exhausted the past few days!  I ended up with a sinus infection and a headache to match, and ended up on a few days of steroids and an antibiotic. I kept dragging myself to work, though Thursday, if they could have got me coverage for my shift, I would have stayed home. I think that I laid around the house after my doctor appointment and lunch with hubby Friday afternoon. Saturday, I got a call from my Dad, and he told me that one of my uncles had died that morning. We've been expecting that it would happen in the past two weeks. He had had prostate cancer with mets.  I'll miss you, Uncle Bob!  I can still hear him from when I was younger, and my brother and I would got up to visit him and my Aunt Ina every other summer, and then go to visit my Aunt Anne and Uncle Max. They were into co-ops and trying health-oriented stuff back then. I'll never forget trying the sugar-free sno-cones that my Aunt Ina made one summer, and going to places around MD with them.

I went to an endocrinologist for the first time this morning, for a Vitamin D deficiency. The doctor asked me about why I was there, I responded that my primary had sent me. I guess that he thought that I had self-referred! I had told him about an article that I had read in a magazine months ago that had to do with a correlation between Vitamin D and restless legs syndrome and fibromyalgia. I had a low level around 25.
I unfortunately had to mention about my rising HgbA1C. I'm not sure how to put that into layman's terms, but it has to do with a measure of a blood glucose level in the life span of hemoglobin (~120 days). I ended up being placed on a diabetic med, and told to lose some weight with exercise (Julie from Momspective---I know that I keep saying that I've got to get son to teach me how to use the Wii), and to watch my diet. No blood sugar checks with lancets for now. I have some lab work due in a month.  My endocrinologist also felt what he thought was a nodule on my thyroid, and he has me getting a thyroid ultrasound this week. (Bear in mind, I went to this appointment after working last night, and after trying to get my son to school before I went there! ) I left the appointment feeling a bit overwhelmed, to say the least! I'm ok now, though! I was just tweeting with Beth from  The Angel Forever blog about diabetes recently, like, last week, and she had mentioned something about a campaign going on in November for Diabetes awareness.

BARB

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book Review: "Expresso for Your Spirit: Hope and Humor for Pooped-Out Parents by Pam Vredevelt

As parents of an almost teenager, we have definitely found that parenting is not easy and can be overwhelming at times! "Expresso for Your Spirit"'s author Pam Vredevelt talked of the struggles that parents go through and of the tears that are shed. The "expresso" that she mentioned in the book was encouragement for parents to continue on, though the energy may be gone and the mind may be weary.
I liked that she talked about her son Nathan, who has  Down's Syndrome, off and on throughout the book, and the challenges that she went through as parent with him.  I don't want to give too many details away, but I liked the airplane trip and the not-so-friendly woman in the seat near them!

The stories varied, from children having a hard time with a bully, and the son and mom discussing the problem and the boy becoming great friends with him, to another boy losing his best friend moving away and seeing him again years later.  There were stories with daughters, too, and though I don't have a daughter, I could relate to some of them! It really didn't matter what age the child was or whether or not the parent was married or single, there was hope and encouragement throughout the book. My "expresso" was reading the bible verses and the cute quotes or comments! It was a thoroughly delightful read, and once I sat down to read it, I was able to read it in an afternoon. I need to mention that there were questions in the back of the book, for a book group to go over together. I highly recommend this book!  I loved it!

BARB

Disclosure: I was given an E-copy of the book by Blogging for Books in order to facilitate my review. the opinions expressed were my own.