Sunday, June 30, 2013

If you see the Follow Me on Bloglovin' button, come on and follow me there!

Ladies and Gents,
Not sure if I have any gentlemen following my blog, but I do know that I post reviews and giveaways for some! Anyhow, I am sure that most of you are aware that Google Reader's going away today, and won't be here tomorrow. I probably should have written this sooner, but with last month's surgery on my back and the subsequent issues with it (wound healing, and some infection near it, steroids ---of which I am on the 3rd round, antibiotics --earlier in the situation, and the PAIN +obvious pain medications!), Steven coming and going during the first 3 weeks of this month, plus general chaos that always seems to happen with me----the Bloglovin' post didn't happen.

*I don't know how to eloquently write a post about it, so I'm basically requesting that if you plan to continue to follow me, please follow me via the Bloglovin' button on the right side of my blog. *

I may look into Feedly or Mail Chimp or one of those other feed methods at some point, but I want to read up more on them. Do you all have any suggestions? Please let me know if you think of any! I will be open to advice!

Also, to those I owe posts to, I'm aiming to get them up and written in the next few days, in between Steven's departure to the in-laws to MD on Tuesday and my surgeon appointment on Wednesday morning! I'm having issues with the pics that I might have recently downloaded and with the drives which we have our pictures for the past, maybe, 8 to 10 years. One kind might have died, and Steve's going to try to do something with it. I luckily have pictures saved in a semi-in-progress post for you all on Cuppow, which I aim to finish tomorrow.  I may not be so lucky with other pictures that I started to download last night from my iPhone and from the camera last evening. Just giving you all a head's up!

Be patient with me, I'm forever becoming a work-in-progress!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I notified Julie, and I have heard back from her already tonight! Congrats, to Julie M., she won the Escape from Planet Earth blu-ray/dvd/digital copy set! Awesome! Your boys will love it!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Escape From Planet Earth Blu-Ray/DVD Review and Giveaway (US only, no p.o. boxes, ends 6/27/13)

Disclosure: I was given a free blu-ray/dvd set in order to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my own and my son's!

Escape From Planet Earth, starring Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker, William Shatner, Rob Corddry, Brendan Fraser, George Lopez, Craig Robinson, Sofia Vergara, Jane Lynch, Steve Zahn, and Ricky Gervais blasted off on June 4, 2013!  It's a family film from Anchor Bay Entertainment and the Weinstein Company, rated PG.

Here's a few things about the characters:

Gary Supernova (Rob Corddry): he's a Mission Control whiz kid at BASA, who's been overshadowed by his younger brother Scorch  (Barb's note here----I kept thinking for some reason or another that Gary was the younger brother, but I was wrong--- I think that Steven had to remind me!).

Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser): He's the astronaut brother and a global hero on planet Baab.

General Shanker (William Shatner): He appears to be a loyal military man, but he's a ruthless megalomaniac bent on destroying all intelligent life in the universe.

Kira Supernova (Sarah Jessica Parker): Gary's wife and mom to Kipper. She was a test pilot for BASA, prior to staying at home.

Kipper "Kip" Supernova ( Jonathan Morgan Heit): Gary and Kira's 9 year old son.

Gabby Babblebrock (Sofia Vergara): anchor for BNN News and girlfriend to Scorch.

Lena (Jessica Alba): Gary's boss.

From the press release: In Escape From Planet Earth, Planet Baab's most celebrated space traveler, Scorch Supernova (voiced by Brendan Fraser), is a global hero whose interplanetary exploits are televised for the enjoyment of his ardent fans. With the help of his brainy brother Gary (Rob Corddry), head BASA Mission Control, Scorch has become a legend, winning the love of beautiful television reporter Gabby Babblebrock (Sofia Vergara) and the devotion of Gary's hero-worshipping son Kip (Jonathan Morgan Heit).

When BASA's no-nonsense chief, Lena (Jessica Alba), intercepts a distress signal from the Dark Planet, a notoriously dangerous world in the far reaches of the universe, Scorch jumps at the chance to attempt the once-in-a-lifetime rescue mission. But Gary tries to discourage his brother from making the trip, knowing that no intergalactic explorer has ever returned from the faraway world (also known as Earth). Scorch realizes too late that he has been lured into a deadly ambush set up by the power-crazed paramilitary leader General Shanker (William Shatner). When the trap snaps shut, imprisoning Scorch and some of the most brilliant minds in the universe, Gary rushes to their aid. What he discovers is a plot of interplanetary proportions that only his brains and Scorch's brawn can stop.
Front of package 

The film is directed by Cal Brunker from a screenplay by Brunker and Bob Barlen based on a story by Tony Leech and Cory Edwards. the film is produced by Catherine Winder, Luke Carroll, and Brian Inerfeld. Executive producers are Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Radenko Milakovic, Marvin Peart and Tony Leech. The film's upbeat soundtrack includes music from Delta Rae, Owl City and Cody Simpson, as well as original music composed by Aaron Zigman.

back of package

 Steven's and my opinion on the movie: He was glad that we got the chance to review it! Steven liked it when Kipper was sneaky and, and when Kip helped to navigate the spaceship!  I loved it when the guys in the convenience store gave Gary a slushy and he got brain-freeze!  The whole movie was great and it was definitely family-friendly, in a PG sort of way!!  The sound track to the movie's decent, and I really liked it, too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday--- Hubby and Me! (2007)

(Found the picture in my stash and wanted to share it! Taken in 2007 at WDW on vacation.)

Running With Stilettos (Living a Balanced Life in Dangerous Shoes) by Mary T. Wagner (Review)

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in order to facilitate my review and the opinions expressed are my own!
Running With Stilettos is a non-fiction book about 175 pages long, written by Mary T. Wagner. She started out as a journalism student,  then went into becoming a wife, mother, and newspaper reporter. Further down the road, she went to law school and became a prosecutor. One high-stress day, she went to the mall and ended up buying "a drop-dead dangerous pair of faux brown alligator sling-back heels with three-inch ice pick spikes".  Many pairs of of shoes later, she still takes chances!

Running With Stilettos is an awesome book! (Yes, I did say that at the beginning of this post! Though I spent a month back and forth between reading and having to put the book down due to the back surgery, I really wanted to concentrate on reading it and to not have pain meds affect my reading!) I really like it when I pick up a book and start to read it, feeling like I can totally relate to, or if not, darn close!! The Stilettos --- those shoes are mentioned in the first chapter, and she was very descriptive about them. Mary has a very vivid and descriptive way of wording her stories, each and everyone of them through the book. We go through seasons of change with her, day trips fishing with a son, a daughter going through her room before getting married, and a trip to Germany with her father to see his family.  We get to learn about her horses, and the injury that she received from riding her horse.  The chapter where she fixes her fence is a learning experience, finding out what tools and supplies she needed.   The chances and the learning experiences that she has fill the book with lovely stories that you can enjoy!
 Do I recommend it? Of course!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Think Pink With SKIL Tools (Review)

Disclosure: I received a SKIL Power Tool and information from SKIL Marketing in order to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

 Some information for you all... This year SKIL Tools is continuing its fight against breast cancer with a $100,000  donation to Komen* in 2013. This makes the second year that SKIL has supported breast cancer awareness. By the end of 2013, SKIL donations to the cause will total nearly $250,000.
(Barb's note here: wow!!) "We're honored to continue supporting efforts to end breast cancer by extending our partnership with the Komen organization," said Monica Stankiewicz, Associate Marketing Manager of SKIL Tools. "Our pink iXO tool is a constant reminder of the importance of finding a cure for this disease and makes a great gift year-round." Before Mother's day, SKIL came out with a new 33-piece driver bit set, which complements the SKIL pink iXO Palm-Sized Screwdriver. The bit set is sold separately from the screwdriver, and it includes a 1/4" hex shank magnetic bit holder and 32 different bits used for a variety of applications. The tool accessories are accented by a pink storage case.   *Consumer action will not result in an additional donation to Komen.

The SKIL 33 piece driver bit set is available at Lowes and on with an ARP of $7.99 (USD) . The pink SKIL iXO Palm-Sized Screwdriver kit include a 4V max cordless screwdriver, 5 piece bit set and charger, and is available online and in select stores nationwide with a suggested retail price of $29.99 (USD). For more information on the pink SKIL iXO tool and other kits, please visit
SKILiXO and SKIL pink.

 I received my SKIL pink iXO Palm-Sized Screwdriver on my first day of medical leave from work, the day before surgery. I haven't worked on anything major around the house, due to my back surgery, but chose to show you all at least one thing that I've used my screwdriver for so far!  I've used it in the bathroom, tightening and loosening the screw in the faucet handle in the master shower (I think that's what it is called!).

Tightening the screws!

Securing the faucet!

Next venture will be for my husband to show me how to change out the switch plates for the light fixtures in the master bath, so that I can use the screwdriver.  I really like how it fits in my hand, and it's so easy to use! The button near my finger on the left side of the screwdriver is the forward/reverse button. Unfortunately, in the pictures that I took with my iPhone with my left hand, you cannot see the lighting on the handle arrows. I highly recommend this SKIL Tool!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

MoonWalk NYC

Disclosure: I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.

Date night at WalkThe MoonWalk--- I guess that she brought her husband? 

When I read about the MoonWalk NYC, I thought to myself, "wow, what an awesome event, and I wish that I do do it!". (However, I haven't trained for any walking or running events, and I had recent back surgery! Since my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985 (and went on to develop mets from it, and passed away in '98, I have supported breast cancer research in a walk and donated.)
BUT.... it is not discouraging me from telling you all about the MoonWalk NYC!  In 1996, there was a lady named Nina Barough who was running her own production company in London. She woke up one day, deciding that it would be fun to power walk the NYC Marathon in a decorated bra with others to raise some money. She got together 13 other women, and together they raised about $40,000, and donated it to a breast cancer research center in the UK. In 1997, Nina herself was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she went through a mastectomy, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Also, in 1997, a group did the walk in London,  and another round of money was raised for breast cancer research. In 1998, the MoonWalk was founded and it turned into an overnight event. This year, 2013,  is its inaugural event, in America, in NYC, where it first started!

Walk The Walk is bringing their iconic overnight power walk, The MoonWalk to New York City on July 20th at 10pm. Presented by Empire BlueCross BlueShield, the overnight walk through New York City will begin with a participant opening ceremony celebration at Randall's Island. Walkers will then depart weaving through Manhattan past the city's most iconic landmarks, lit up brightly at night. There are two courses to ensure that everyone can participate no matter their fitness levels or abilities: Half-Moon (13.1 miles) and Full Moon (26.3 miles).  Most of the fundraising from the MoonWalk NYC will be granted to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to help support the Breast Examination Center in Harlem, one of the first free screening facilities for breast cancer in the country where 80% of the patients are uninsured but guaranteed support and guidance. Since its  inception fifteen years ago in London, MoonWalk has engaged over 300,000 participants and has raised over $126 million dollars to support vital breast cancer causes. (THAT IS AWESOME!!!!---Barb's Note!)

For more information on the MoonWalk NYC, please go to this site: MoonWalk NYC

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Boy's back!

Son's back from church camp! He left Sunday afternoon, and got back this afternoon! Dad took me to pick him up, I was having pain and was a bit nervous about driving. I'm allowed to drive as of this past Tuesday.  I went to see the doctor about my incision, due to concern from me and the M.A., on Wednesday morning. I drove to Dad's after the appointment, and on my way home from his place, I almost drove off of the highway! I hadn't had any pain meds or muscle relaxers since the night before, but I wasn't feeling well on the drive home up the highway. It scared me big time! The Lord was looking out for me, because once I hit the gravel on the side of the road, I stirred. I stopped the car for a moment, and rubbed my face. I was freaking out! Needless to say, I had Dad drive to the church with me in the passenger seat of his vehicle, and we got Steven. He's back at the church tonight with Steve for a fundraiser for the camp, and I stayed home. The surgery is definitely kicking my butt! I had some of the baked ziti from the other night, some green beans, and Steve bought me a yogurt parfait from Pix this afternoon. Yum, it had granola, blueberries strawberries, and yogurt, of course!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

More Time Outdoors may Reduce Kids' Risk of Nearsightedness (#sponsored post)

Disclosure: The American Academy of Ophthalmology provided me with the information for this sponsored post, and they wrote the article.

More Time Outdoors May Reduce Kids' Risk of Nearsightedness

Encouraging children to spend more time outdoors may be a simple way to improve their vision as well as general health, according to several recent studies. The new research adds to growing evidence that spending time outdoors may lower the risk of nearsightedness in children and teens. Nearsightedness is much more common today in the United States and many other countries than it was in the 1970s.  
One of the new studies showed that for each additional hour children spent outdoors per week, their risk of being nearsighted dropped by about two percent. Children who were nearsighted spent on average 3.7 fewer hours per week outdoors than those who either had normal vision or were farsighted. The study investigated whether children who logged more outdoor time also spent less time performing near work, such as playing computer games or studying, but no such relationship was found.
A second study found that when schoolchildren were required to spend 80 minutes of recess time outdoors every day, fewer of them became nearsighted when compared to children who did not spend recess outdoors.

A third study, in Danish children, was the first to show that the rate of eye growth varies in relation to exposure to daylight. This is important, because if the eye grows too long, as measured from front to back, the child will become nearsighted. The study found that the children’s eye grew normally during the long days of summer in Denmark, but grew too fast during the short days of winter.
Though researchers don’t yet know exactly why outdoor time is beneficial, they think it’s probably related to exposure to daylight rather than to playing sports or other specific activities.
Future research is planned to learn more about how time outdoors supports healthy vision. Questions include whether time spent on near work should be limited, and whether there are factors—like parents' attitudes, access to safe playgrounds, or others—that may result in nearsighted children spending less time outdoors. More research is also needed to explain how much of the outdoor time benefit comes from daylight exposure and how much from exercising distance vision, since both may be keys to preventing nearsightedness.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mission South "Migration, Vol.2" (Review)

Disclosure: I was given information and digital download of the band from Big Picture Media in order to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed were my own.

Mission South is a super young, super-talented roots/rock trio from Washington, D.C. ! Washingtonian was quoted as saying, " To listen to Mission South... is to be transported via rumbling guitars and Miller's smoky-tinged voice to a slow, hot night on a Louisiana bayou." ARTISTdirect's quote read, "If you like The Black Keys or even Ben Harper, well, you are going to love Mission South."   The members of Mission South, Dan Miller (guitar/vocals), John Beck(bass/vocals), and Max Harwood(drums),  all grew up together on the same street, attended grade school together, and were writing songs and playing music together as early as middle school. The wildest fact about them is that they competed together in large scale eating competitions, and Bassist John Beck holds the record for the most nachos consumed in pounds in one hour for the 18 and under division!!

 They continued to play music together when they could when they were in college, scattered around the country in New Orleans, Virginia, and Vermont. When the band realized that the distance was hindering the band's progress as a live act, they began traveling for weekends of non-stop shows in their college towns, growing the Mission South fan base with every stint and in one short year, packing frat houses, selling out shows, and creating an impressive draw along the East Coast. In the Spring of 2012 they recorded "Migration, Vol.1" and it quickly topped DC's Independent Music Download charts and later earned them a runner-up position on the DC Deli Magazine's Poll for 'Best Emerging Artist of 2012'. They graduated from college in May 2012, and they went back to DC. They've shared the stage with Keller Williams, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, and Virginia Coalition. They've performed in iconic venues such as the 9:30 Club in D.C., The Howlin' Wolf in New Orleans, and hit The Fox Theatre in Denver, and played Crawfest in New Orleans with headliner The Funky Meters this past Spring as part of a 50-date national tour in support of the new EP, "Migration, Vol.2", which was released April 9, 2013.

For full tour dates, go to Mission South.
Facebook: Mission South
Twitter: Mission South
Fuse: Mission South
For free download of Migration,Vol.2:
Mission South on YouTube.

Barb's take on the CD: My favorite song was "Free" and I did like the intro, along with "Peaches". They probably would have been more of a favorite when I was a bit younger, but these days, I'm not into their style of music so very much.  I think that some of my readers may be interested in their music. Steven didn't get the opportunity to listen in on their music this time.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Toy State's Cat Iron Diesel Train (Review)

Disclosure: I was given information and a free product in order to facilitate my review from Toy State. The opinions expressed were mine and my son's.

May 11, 2013 was the sixth annual National Train Day!  And you read right, there is a National Train day!!  I love trains and so does our son! (He had Thomas the Tank trains when he was younger!) When I was given the opportunity to review the train, he wanted me to do it. Needless to say, the package with the Toy State Cat Iron Diesel Train came in during his last week of school, and the day it came in, he wanted to open it! I think that the budding engineer/car mechanic in him kicked in, and he wanted to put together something! He liked it, even though he's 14 years old. (Steven took the pictures for this review, by the way!)

Let me give you some information about the set: The Cat Iron Diesel Train set is motorized, and required two AA batteries (not included). It has over 7 feet of track, it carries 2 removable Cat machines and includes a pivoting car with a removable shipping container. It's recommended for ages 5+! It's so neat!!

It's available at Target, and you can purchase the Toy State's Cat Iron Diesel Train on . MSRP $18.99.