Litter Spinner – Self Cleaning Litter Box Review

December 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Amy, Blog, Pets, Reviews & Giveaways

Got Cats? Hate to scoop the poop?

by Amy Trauntvein

I am a cat person.  Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs too, but for me, cats are much easier to take care of. They eat when they want to, clean themselves, entertain themselves and bury their bathroom jobs.  Except for the litter box.  I loathe cleaning the litter box!  Luckily my 2 cats are indoor/outdoor cats and normally “go” outside, but when it gets cold they usually stay indoors which means they “go” indoors. Ugh.  So when Litter Spinner asked if they could send me their self cleaning litter box for review, of course I wanted to check it out!  Retail- $99  They are also offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $79.

Litter Spinner

It is enclosed so more of the litter stays put.  It did take my 2 cats a while to get used to entering the “door”, but they got the hang of it.  We have a finished basement (the cats sleep down there during the night) so I put the new litter box in the bathroom where we have an empty corner.  It fit perfectly!  I pulled it out for the photos.  We did need to assemble it, but it was only in four pieces and just needed a Phillips head screwdriver to put the round “box” together.  It took all of 3 minutes, very easy!  Fill to the inside line with clean (clumping) litter.

Litter Spinner

To Self Clean-  It sits on a rounded base, so all you need to do it stand on the right side of it and push the top so it rotates counter-clockwise.  The drawer always sits at “3 o’clock”.  Rotate Litter Spinner one full rotation and continue to spin until the drawer is at “2 o’clock” then rotate back to “3 o’clock” to reset the litter.  Yep, that’s my foot. My apologies…

Litter Spinner

All the clumps will deposit themselves into the drawer.  Simply pull out the drawer and dump into the trash.  No need to scoop or touch anything!  Sweet!

Litter Spinner

I decided to be kind and not show you the “cat clumps”.  You’re welcome!

Litter Spinner

Now just put the drawer back and it’s all done and clean!  Yay!  Also, a VERY easy job for the kids to do.  Yes, I think so.

Do this once a day for best cleaning results and you won’t be disappointed.  I love my Litter Spinner.  What did I do before?  Oh yeah, plugged my nose and gagged.  A lot!  Here’s a pic of my one kitty that was being helpful today.  Yes, Tiger is fat and he still fits!  Even though he looks annoyed, he doesn’t mind being in pictures unlike my other one who hides unless she’s hungry.

Litter Spinner

 I would recommend Litter Spinner for any household with cats.  It’s keeps you, your pets and your house much cleaner for those necessary jobs that come with pet ownership.  Even though I was compensated with my Litter Spinner for this review, all opinions and photos are honest and my own.

Love to all!  ~Amy






I have been married for 22 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening and puttering around my yard. I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Caboodles 25th Anniversary! Organizer Review

Caboodles Beauty Organizer Review

by Amy Trauntvein

Ah, the ’80s.  Best decade ever.  Pegged pants, over-sized tops, bright colors, big hair bands and of course big hair on everyone!  But one thing that totally takes me back is the Caboodle.  They first came out when I was in high school (I think I just dated myself) and they were so totally awesome dude!  My best friend had a mint green one and boy was I jealous!  She took it everywhere and in it, she carried her blue mascara, hair mousse and of course hair spray among other beauty necessities.  I wanted one so bad!

Guess what?  Caboodle must have heard my cries from yesteryear because they sent me one to try out and even better, it’s their “Original” design from 1987!          Re-Introducing (drum roll please)…

My First Love Retro Caboodle !



Isn’t it just the best ever???  Retail $25   At national retailers in time for Christmas.

I have 2 daughters with long hair which means I “do” a lot of hair every day.  So I decided to fill my amazing Caboodle with all the hair stuff and accessories I use for my girls’ hair.  Here’s mine…

The top houses brushes, combs, 2 curling irons, spray water bottle, hand mirror and a few other misc items.


The top drawer contains small hair clips, (can you tell I’m a little obsessed with Mickey clips?)  bobby pins, ponytail holders, clear silicone bands and my mini Topsy-tail.


The bottom drawer holds Bling Strings, large hair clips, larger ponytail holders and elastic head bands.  These drawers are larger to hold bigger items.


The Caboodle can really hold anything you want.  My daughter has one that holds makeup and hair accessories from when she was on a competition dance team and needed to carry everything with her to the performances.  It has been well loved and used.  :)



I adore my Caboodle!  And you can too!  Go get one for yourself and fill it with all your beauty needs.  Don’t forget the hair mousse!

I was compensated with the Caboodle for my review, but all my photos and opinions are honest and my own.

Love to all!  ~Amy






I have been married for 22 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep my young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening and puttering around my yard. I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Year Supply of Trident Gum Giveaway!

November 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Amy, Blog, Food, Reviews & Giveaways

Trident Gum- Giveaway

by Amy Trauntvein

Trident Gum

Hi, my name is Amy and  I’m a sugarless gum addict. There, I said it.  I feel much better.  However, it’s not going to keep me from my gum!   I love sugarless chewing gum and keep at least 3 different packs in my purse (for variety of course!).   Having fresh clean breath  is important to me, and my friends appreciate it too.   I also love that Trident contains Xylitol and not aspartame, which in my opinion, is healthier for me.  So when Trident asked if they could send me some gum AND do a giveaway to one lucky reader, I said “yes please”!

Trident wants to give you a year supply of gum to one of you, our readers.  Here’s why…

Believe it or not, tooth decay affects approximately half of all second graders and nearly 80 percent of 17-year-olds, but according to a survey by Trident, more than 84 percent of American parents don’t realize this.

Trident’s survey also showed that more than nine in ten (92%) parents believe that cavities in children are preventable; yet getting a child to take care of their teeth can be difficult for 86 percent of parents. To help get the word out about keeping your kids teeth in tip top shape, here are some helpful tips below to help keep kids’ mouths happy and healthy!


Remind children to brush their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time, using a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste.


Foods such as fruits, vegetables and cheese help build strong healthy teeth and gums. Try chewing a sugar free gum, like Trident, after eating to help fight cavities.


Children should gently floss once a day to remove food that can get stuck between their teeth.


Try to avoid overindulging in sticky and sugary foods. When kids do have a special treat (especially during the holidays), make sure they brush and floss afterwards.


Remember to get regular dental check-ups. The more you help kids incorporate healthy oral care habits in their everyday life, the more they will as adults.

Trident Gum

To Enter Giveaway-

Contest ends…

Winner will be announced…

Good luck to all, and happy chewing!  I know I am…

Win a One Year Supply of Sugarfree Trident® Gum!

You can win the same amount of gum that Amy shows in the picture! Hoot! I know she was excited when she opened her box to review! The contest ends on 11/30/12 at 12:01am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was compensated with the product for the giveaway.  The pictures and opinions are honest and my own.  ~Amy






I have been married for 22 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep my young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening and puttering around my yard. I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Racor Bike Hanger Review

Organizing with the Racor Bike Hanger

I’ve been looking for a storage solution for my recumbent bike /trike since I got it this last summer.  It is large and awkward and heavy and is taking up a lot of space in our already small garage.

When I was asked to do a review of this racor bike hanger, I jumped on it.  They did explain to me in the email that this bike hanger was not designed for a recumbent bike, and they couldn’t  recommend it for that. But, we decided to try it because that is what we really needed it for. Rebels maybe? lol  I’m just saying that it worked for us. You can see from the picture on the package how it is intended to be used.

racor bike hanger

The first thing I did was to check out the weight limit of the product.  It says that the maximum weight is 50 pounds. So I know we are good weight wise for the recumbent bike. I’m not sure what it weights, but I know it’s not 50 lbs.

Here is the monster that we need to get up off the garage floor.

recumbent trike

Today has been a cleaning out, reorganizing day.  Just as with most of you, even though an area has been organized, doesn’t mean it stays clean an organized in our house. Today was shed, my office area and garage maintenance day.

This is how we currently have the regular bikes being hung. It works to keep them off the ground.  It is hard to maneuver them and lift them down. I know I have a very hard time doing it (and usually don’t).  We could have tried to do something with hooks like this for the recumbent, but it is heavy enough that it would have been really difficult, and it wouldn’t have been a solution that would have worked for everyday.

bike hanger

Dave got his ladder out, found the studs, used his drill and attached the pulleys. He threaded the cords as per the instructions.

racor bike hanger

He had already figured out the two spots he was going to attach the pulley hooks to and had measured to be sure it would work.

racor bike hanger

Once he figured out how to work the system, he started raising the bike.  He quickly realized there was a self leveling system and it leveled the bike out. He said he wondered how that would work and was concerned about it.  You can see how high off the ground it is. Dave is 6’2″ and he can almost walk under it.

racor bike hanger

He attached a tie up hook to the wall that was included, so that he could secure the line.

racor bike hanger

I’m really excited to have the bike up off the ground, but yet accessible, so that I can get it down to ride it. What is really nice is that Dave positioned it so it is right over the bed of our pick up truck. So we can lower it right into the truck when we want to take it somewhere to ride. Double yay!

racor bike hanger

I can say that Dave was impressed with the quality of the product and was very pleased that the bike leveled itself out.  This bike hanger is not designed for a recumbent bike, it is designed for a normal two wheel bike. We were the ones that were experimenting with it in order to hang the recumbent.

You can find more bike hangers by Racor that will work for your needs.

I did receive this racor bike hanger free of charge for review. I received no other compensation and the pictures and opinions are my own.

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Kanex Charging Organizer Review

Review of the Kanex Sydnee Charging Organizer

by Amy Trauntvein

Cords, cords, cords!  If your home is anything like mine, it seems that everywhere I look, there are charging cords all over my house.  iPads, iPods, iPhone, cell phones.  Everyone thinks they need their own charging cord and “place” to charge their devices.  Kanex has come up with a great solution for all your portable electronics that use a USB cord.  The Sydnee (retail: $149) at

Charging Organizer
Charging Organizer

I instantly liked the idea of having one place for everything that needed charging.  I also like the fact that you can charge up to 4 devices at one time, but that’s about as far as my knowledge goes so I employed my computer savvy husband in trying it out and testing it further.  Here are his coments on the Sydnee Charging Organizer…

- sleek factor, fits on a small corner of the desk

- four charge ports and built in cable management

- came with three short cords already, so I still have the flexibility of keeping my other charger cords for travel and in other uses like hooked up to my desktop without having to go take them back from the charger base.

- white – goes with anything

- ability to add a cell phone charge cord for micro usb on the 4th port (remember, it came with three short cords for four ports)

- I like that I can have my ipad in landscape display mode while it is charging, so I can still use it at my desk, viewing videos, surfing, etc.

- plenty of room to put the chargable items.

Charging Organizer

Charging Organizer

Charging Organizer

Charging Organizer
Todd’s suggestions on improvements for the next version?

- cable management clips on both sides of the holder

- slim wall cord where it plugs into the outlet (flat style).  The cord stands out from the wall plug a good 3 inches so if you’re wanting to use a wall outlet behind a desk or other piece of furniture, it might be difficult to get that furniture closer to the wall because of the plug.

Charging Organizer

I would definitely recommend the Sydnee especially if you have many items in your home that need recharging!  This product would be good in a central location for the whole family to use to keep their devices charged.  It will hold up to 4 iPads and will easily handle 4 smaller devices.

I was compensated with the Kanex Sydnee Organizer, was not paid for this review, and my pictures and opinions are my own.  ~Amy






I have been married for 22 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep my young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening and puttering around my yard. I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Loved the Daisy Outdoor Tour!

Love The Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun?

You’ll be jealous then, because I got to tour the plant and build one myself!  I love being able to see how things are made. I think it’s so interesting!  Daisy Outdoor is a client of Collective Bias and when I was at our corporate office this last week in Bentonville, AR, Kim Janocko and I had the chance to go on a tour. We both were thrilled.

daisy outdoor

This was in the lobby of their offices. I thought it looked cool.  I also found out how Daisy got it’s name. You can find this info on the Daisy Outdoor site, under “History” 

“On March 6, 1888, Hamilton approached the windmill company with an all-metal airgun of his own design. He chose to take it to the windmill company because they had blast furnaces and they were equipped to mold and stamp the metal parts necessary to build his gun. The gun was passed around to members of the board. General Manager L.C. Hough test fired the gun and exclaimed, “Boy, that’s a Daisy.” ‘”It’s a Daisy” was a colloquialism of the time.) So the little gun was named Daisy.”


We went back in their warehouse where they assemble all the guns.  This space is 80,000 sq feet (I think he said) If that isn’t correct, I just know the place is huge! lol

daisy outdoor

The parts to the guns aren’t made here, they are shipped in pieces and the guns are assembled in this space.


There are many stations that are used to assemble the guns.  They can put one of the guns together in less than one minute.  They said they move their employees around to different assignments to prevent work related injuries like carpel tunnel syndrome.

bb gun

We loved the barrels full of BB’s!  They were just plain fun.


Jon was in his happy place in these barrel of bb’s. lol  They do feel really cool when you put your hands in them.

jon lemire

We learned that there are 2.4 million BB’s in a 55 gallon barrel. I know I sure wouldn’t try to lift a barrel either! Wow… 2,200 lbs!

Daisy Outdoor makes practice BB guns for the military. Who knew? They are the exact weight, feel and action of the real guns.

daisy outdoor

They also make BB guns for competition shooting.

bb guns

This was something I was totally shocked over.  I had no idea they made BB guns that look and feel just like the real thing. This pist0l is made for Winchester. It’s just like the Colt 1911 handgun.  It is heavy, and looks just like the real thing. I texted a picture of this to my husband and he knew which gun it was designed from immediately.

colt 1911 BB gun

We learned that Daisy Outdoor utilizes the help of some Special Needs adults to help pack BB’s. I love when I hear of a company that helps out this group of adults. They do a great job and love being able to have a job to earn money and give their lives a sense of purpose. Kudos to you Daisy!

Cool huh? I’m not sure what model of pistal this is.

daisy outdoor

Here is the Powerline 880 kit. They said this is their best seller.  I can see why. It’s larger than their Red Ryder gun, but still a reasonable size for a young adult. I’m thinking it might make a great gift for the triplets for Christmas.

daisy outdoor

I learned that they do a lot of quality testing of their guns.  They shoot a gun from each batch 10,000 times to check their products.

One of the things that is a necessity is to always wear eye protection when shooting. After all, you wouldn’t want to “shoot your eye out” or anything!


Kim and I went back the next day so that we could make our own Red Ryder BB gun. Paula was kind enough to guide us through making one. I’m amazed that she is able to make one of these in less than 1 minute. I think it took me about 8 or 9 minutes to do mine.

daisy outdoor

Each piece is put into place.

red ryder

The screw guns are cool. You just put them into the screw and put a little pressure down on them and they work fast… really fast!


Here is my finished product.  They made an engraved forearm for us. Mine said “The Jenney Family”. How cool is that? The triplets will be so excited!  Since we were flying home, we had to ship the guns. We couldn’t put them in our luggage, even though we were checking the luggage.

sandy jenney at daisy outdoor

I decided I wanted to guy Dave one of the Winchester 1911 pistols.  I was told that I could find them at a local sporting goods store called Academy Sports, so Kim and I went that evening to check it out. We found a big assortment of Daisy Outdoor products.


I found the BB gun I wanted to buy Dave. It was $89.00.  If you think about it, it is a great way to save money in ammunition. Right now ammunition is really expensive and actually hard to find. So this will be a wonderful way for him to get some target practice in.

colt 1911

What I also like about it is that he will be able to set up a target in our back yard. He is very safety conscious (thank goodness) and has taught gun safety before.  He knows that he’ll have to find a place that he won’t have to worry about what is behind the target.

daisy outdoor

The gun was heavy enough that I decided not to buy it at the store and ship it home. I asked someone at the store about being able to buy it online and if he knew what shipping prices were like. He said it would be a much better deal for me to buy it online. That their shipping was either free or just $5.00.  Cool!

As soon as we got back that evening, I got online and purchased this gun and a large container full of BB’s for Dave for Christmas! (shhhh!)  I am going to talk to him to have him help me decide which gun we’ll get the triplets for Christmas!

Thanks Daisy Outdoor for the tour! I had a blast. I also thank you so much for the Red Ryder gun that you had engraved and let me build for my family.

I am an employee of Collective Bias and Daisy Outdoor is a client of Collective Bias.  I was not asked or expected to do a post, I just wanted to share my experience and excitement for the Daisy Outdoor products.






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Be Sure To Pre Order Your Spiderman Movie Now! #SpidermanWMT #cbias

The Spiderman Movie Is Coming Out Soon!

I had heard that I could pre-order the Spiderman movie and also get a free Vudu copy of it… all before it came out to everyone else! The kids would love it! So I went on a search today at our local Walmart.

I set out early this morning to pick it up and surprise the kids. They would get a kick out of watching the trailers and knowing that they’d get to see the Vudu version on the 30th of October, followed by the DVD around November 9th.  It was a beautiful autumn morning this morning!

autumn day

I had my travel mug of hot coffee in hand and I was heading to Walmart to pick up some milk and the pre-order Spiderman movie.


I had seen the display when I was in AR last month, so I knew what I was looking for.. or so I thought.  I got to the first Walmart and after looking all over, I asked an employee who informed me they no longer had it in their store.


I found the display shelf where it should have been. I guess it was too popular and they sold out of it. Of course this made me want it even more!! Funny how that works isn’t it? lol


Oh, I did stop to look for the new version of the Chris Mann Christmas CD. Chris was on The Voice, and is a friend I’ve met through our blogging conferences. It’s been so fun to watch him on TV and see how well he is doing. It was the only copy of his CD in the store too.

chris mann

So off I went to another Walmart that was across town from this one.


I arrived at this store without any issues. It was still early, so there were no crowds. I went to the back of the store and started looking for the display.


I was seeing many other DVD’s..



I did spot the Spiderman section in the toys… and so I decided to walk over there and get some “Spidey Inspiration”. Where would Spidey look?


I went back and decided to ask for help finding it.  He went right over to the shelf near the counter and grabbed a copy.  Can you spot it on the rack? Look hard… even though the light is reflecting off of it. It’s in the top left corner. There were about 4 copies of it left. Yay… I found it! Mission accomplished! No big displays, signs, or any other labels that stuck out and made it easy to find. But I found it.. all by myself. Ok, so not really, I only found it because I asked for it.  It was $24.96.


Here it is… in my hot little hand! They didn’t have the movie set with the mask, but I was happy to get the pre-order copy.


Now I had to get some “pre-movie candy”, don’t you know!? Just being able to give the kids a movie snack while we looked at the trailers, would increase their excitement, until we got the vudu copy.


Ok.. I’m ready to go.



I did see these darling Brutus the Buckeye loofas from Mascotwear on the way out. I had to pick up one for my Ohio State Buckeye nut son!


Once I got home, I was anxious to see how this pre-order of the DVD worked.

spidermanIt say  right on the package . Buy – Redeem – Watch


So I opened it up and this is what I found.  There was a cardboard “DVD” shaped instruction sheet. It had the redemption code on it.


I got on the computer and went to and it walked me through the steps.  I first entered the redemption code and hit “submit”


I clicked on the left side where it said to sign up for the free version.

sign up

I signed up for an account.

Then it switched over to this Ultraviolet page. It’s a place that allows you to store your digital movie collection. I also did the free version.

After a couple more screens, it came to a payment information page. It ask for your billing address and then your mailing address (so they know where to ship your DVD).

Because there was nothing to pay I picked the option to skip the credit card info. Just go to the gray box on the bottom right. They have this, so that if you order additional movies in the future, they’ll have your info.  You do not need to put any credit card information in to retrieve your vudu copy or your DVD. So no worries there.

I finally got to this page. I went to “Go to Movie”


I was able to watch the trailer clips today.


Just watching a few trailers .. really gets you even more psyched for the real thing!


The triplets were so excited when they got home from school. Elise wasn’t here for this picture.. but the boys were more than happy to let me take a picture! Of course they wanted to watch the whole movie today. They were really excited when I told them we could watch it on vudu on the 30th.. and that would be before their friends got to see it! And of course the pre-movie candy sure didn’t hurt! lol

You can look for the pre-order copy of the Spiderman movie in your Walmart store. (I would suggest calling your store to be sure they have it, before driving there). You can also order it right from the site.

You can also follow along on twitter if you follow the #SpidermanWMT hashtag and also the @SpidermanMovie Twitter handle


I am an employee of  Collective Bias®. This product has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment #CBias  All opinions stated are true and my own.



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theraderm Facial System Review (Giveaway Closed)

June 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Health & Safety, Reviews & Giveaways

theraderm – Help for My Face!

I did a review on theraderm last year and really liked it.  But I ran out, and was bouncing back and forth with what to use on my face.  Being older, I’m dealing with even more wrinkles, fine lines, dry skin and acne. What’s up with that? Shouldn’t that be over by now?

I realized that my face had gotten worse since I stopped using the theraderm and starting using other products.  Why didn’t I just order more theraderm right away? I’ll be honest, it’s a little out of the normal budget I pay for facial products.  But, I also realized it had worked on my skin.

I liked how easy the program was.  Use the series of products, once in the morning, once in the evening. Done.



So I emailed Christine, who introduced me to the product and said I was interested in purchasing product and wondered what the cost was. I of course offered to review it again for her and was more than thrilled when she agreed.  This time I’m also doing a giveaway for you to win the products shown here.

This is difficult to show you my before and after pictures.  Since I was taking the pictures myself, I used my camera phone, so the quality is not so great. But I think you can get the idea.


You can easily see all my lines (yucko! I much prefer to look in the mirror with my glasses off, thus creating a “face lift” sort of look! LOL)

My eyes are bad, the area between my brows – over my nose , the lines above my lip and the fine lines drawing down on my chin.  I was having issues with really dry skin, but then when I’d use moisturizers on it… I’d break out.  Isn’t it funny how gruff I look? Just like in those “before” commercials.  I didn’t want to smile because I wanted you to see those lines over my mouth. lol


Check out the video!


I took this picture 6 weeks after the “Before” picture.  Of course my face is far from perfect, but there is improvement. The lines aren’t quite as deep. I am dealing with a little bit of on again, off again acne – but not that bad. Better than when I was using some of the other moisturizers. The acne is only on my nose. I freckle and I did not touch up these pictures at all (wow… if I did and I still look this bad.. lol)



I am really excited to be able to give away Therapon’s Skin Renewal System with a Peptide Hydrator (value $147.50) 


To Enter Giveaway – ** Closed**

1) Leave me a comment about why you would like to win this awesome skin renewal system!

For Extra chances to Win:

**Each of these HAS to have a separate comment written please. (I know its a pain, but other wise you won’t have as many chances if you don’t)

1) Subscribe to my Organizing with Sandy blog
2) Follow me on Twitter @OrganizerSandy
3) Tweet out this giveaway up to 3 times per day. Write a comment for each time you do with the link.
4) Stumble this post
5) Google + this post.

See….lots of ways to enter to win!
This contest will run from June 9th (when I post this) until 11:59pm est on Friday June 29, 2012
Any comment that comes in after the above time will be deleted.
This is open to US mailing addresses only. One person per mailing address only. Winner will be chosen by
You will have 48 hours to reply to my e-mail if you win to be eligible. If I don’t hear back then I will go to the next winner.
I was given the products I displayed above at no cost to review. Opinions are my own & truthful, pictures and videos are my own.

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Bissell Lift off Deep Cleaning System

May 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Cleaning, Reviews & Giveaways

Happy to Review Bissell Lift Off Deep Cleaning System!


I used the Bissell Carpet Cleaner  to clean two different areas in my home. My front hallway had several spots and my poor stairs had been attacked by dripping Nyquil when my husband carried it up the stairs a couple weeks ago.

Video Review

bissell deep cleaner

I didn’t do any pre-treating of the stains because I wanted to see what the abilities of this cleaner were.   I’ll walk you through the process. I am going to talk to you in my terms – I might not hit all the awesome features etc – but I’m also not pulling this info from anywhere but from what I’ve experienced.


Front Hall Way Before & After

dirty carpet
bissell carpet after
Steps Before:

Steps After:


Not too difficult. It came all put together in the box, except the handle.  I attempted to put the screws in when I didn’t have the handle lined up right. The screws go in at an angle, so it is a little tricky. I had to have my husband pull it back apart and get it lined up right because I wasn’t able to do it. But once he did that (only 4 screws) it was good to go.

bissell deep cleaner

Features of the Bissell Lift Off Deep Cleaning System

  • The water heats once in the clean water reservoir.  You have to turn the cleaner on for about a minute, so it has time to heat up the water.  I left it on for a couple minutes, but I couldn’t really tell how warm the water was. The water tank did not get warm, and I never did put my hand down to feel the temperature of the water coming out. I did like that I didn’t have to worry about the unit getting hot though.
  • There are side brushes that I like so that you can get close to the edges.
    It works easily and is self explanatory.
  • The foot pedal in the back seems solid, along with the one on the side to lift off the smaller unit.
  • It is easy to fill the clean water tank and put add the Bissell carpet cleaner solution.
  • A small bottle of the Bissell carpet cleaner came with the unit
  • The lift off unit comes off easily and doesn’t drip water all over.
  • To snap the “lift off” unit back into place you need to use just a bit of force once on. I was hesitant to snap down the right side. The left side goes right on, but I was scared to push down very hard because I wasn’t sure it was lined up and I didn’t want to break something. But once I did, it went right in on the right side too.
  • Easy push button and it is easy to move the unit when in the full upright unit. It isn’t hard to push.
  • Even though I vacuumed my carpet before I started, evidently there was dog hair left behind. The carpet cleaner did not pick up the dog hair, it just wet it and left it in clumps.  I had to keep bending over and picking it up. That part was annoying and kind of gross.  I wish it would have sucked it up. If you have a dog that sheds, I would suggest double or triple vacuuming first.
  • Using the smaller hand held lift off unit was easy.  There is a long cord, which makes it nice when you are doing the stairs.

Clean up

Love, Love, Love how easy it was to clean out the dirty reservoir! My older small carpet cleaner that I’ve used for small stains was hard to clean out and I never felt like it got cleaned out all the way, because of the design.  But the Bissell is really easy and I felt like it was totally clean once I rinsed it out. Yay! It also did not leak dirty water when I took it off the unit! (another big plus! The other unit had to take off right in the bathroom because I knew it would drip yucko stuff before I could dump it)

Overall Opinion

Very good! Would I recommend it? Yes! My big points (other than it did a good job) would be that the lift off unit makes it really convenient. You don’t have to have a full size carpet cleaner AND a second smaller unit – it’s an All-in-one Cleaner.

It is very easy to use.  But one of my biggest “pluses” to this deep cleaner is how easy it is to fill the clean reservoir and even better is how easy and neat it is to empty the dirty one!

My negatives would be that it does not pick up the left over dog hair that my vacuum didn’t pick up, so I had to pick it up on my own (wet dog hair is really gross).   I also would like some place to hook the cord up on the handle when I’m using the vacuum. I felt like it was in the way a bit. I think because the cord is actually attached to the smaller unit, down low on the side.   But neither of those reasons would be reasons that I would not recommend this to others. Those are minor compared to the benefits this cleaning system has.

As an update, my sister went out and purchased this cleaner herself after reading my post. She has four Newfoundland dogs and needed something to help with her clean ups! Wow!

I’m very happy with it and appreciate that they (Bissell) sent me this Carpet Cleaner to review.  I was compensated with keeping the Bissell Lift Off Deep Cleaning System, I was not paid for this post.  But even though I received the cleaner, the opinion, pictures and video are my own.




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Cold and Flu

Cold and Flu! Has it Hit Your House Yet?

(Originally Cold and Flu was posted on Chat with Sandy 12/30/10. I am bringing it back because I like these products. I am no longer a GT VIP blogger and I’m not getting compensated in any way for this post. But I do believe in these products and use them myself and wanted to let you know)

Cold & Flu  has hit mine… several times.  We have had colds, bronchitis, walking pneumonia, strep throat, sinus infection in the last 3 months between the 10 of us.

Genesis Today

Not fun is it?  Yuck!!

What have I had?  I will tell you that I thought 2 different times that I was getting sick. But it was like 1 day of a little sore throat and then it was gone.  Last night was the first night that I wondered about a cold. My nose was stuffy, but so far today it seems fine.
You know.. I hate even writing this! Because as soon as I start bragging that I haven’t gotten sick… I’m going to get whammied!!

I was going to put this video at the end of this post….but I want you to see this.  Dr. Lindsay Duncan was on the View and did a great job explaining some of these… After the video… check out the rest of our adventure with these juices. Consider this a commercial break! lol

What have I been doing that the rest of my family hasn’t been?  I’ve been drinking Omega Orange Juice from Genesis Today.  Do I know that is why I haven’t been sick and they have been?  Nope, I don’t.  Could it be?  Sure…

cold and flu

My boys got home from the first 3 weeks of basic, both with congestion and the beginnings of colds and coughs.  I started them drinking the Omega Orange and also the Resveratrol, Acai juices along with taking the new Vitamin C and Acai chews that I received from them.

cold and flu

Neither of them have gotten worse like you would expect with a cold. They are both doing great. The first several days that took Nyquil at night and Dayquil during the day. But then that was it. About 3 days and they are better.  Again… can I say it is from the Genesis Today products that they are better?  No… I can’t.

cold and fluWe had several different juices from Genesis Today to try.  The favorite of my older boys (we were out of Omega Orange) was the Pomegrante & Berries with Resveratrol. We also tried the Cranberry Goji and the new Veggie Blast.

genesis today

genesis today
cold and flu

genesis today vitamin c chews

The Vitamin C chew has 200% of vitamin C in it, along with some other great stuff.  It tastes good, reminds me of a starburst piece of candy.

genesis today vitamin c chewThe Acai chew is the same size. The consistency is slightly different.  It is just a little firmer. The taste is very much the same as the Acai juice. It is a little tart, and I like to have my coffee to drink after I eat it.  It doesn’t taste bad, but my mouth is actually watering as I type this. lol

genesis today acai chew
My thoughts on the new Cranberry Goji juice – taste wise, I don’t care for it. But… remember!!! The Genesis Today products are about the health benefits for you and what they can do… Let me tell you… the pure form of these things do not taste good. You can get the concentrated form and take 1 oz a day.. and it is terrible! But they have made these juices in a diluted 8 oz serving form that I get at Walmart. So those of us who want the health benefits but want a better taste.

The Veggie blast tastes like cold tomato soup.  I personally have never liked V-8 because of the peppery taste. The Veggie Blast did not have the peppery taste when I was drinking it. Now – what I did notice was an “after burn” in my throat – not really my tongue. Kind of strange really – but a good way to get your veggies in!

I have to start eating healthy and this year is going to be kicked off right. Genesis Today is going to be part of my healthy lifestyle for 2011 and beyond!

Disclosure: I am on the Genesis Today VIP Superfood blogger team. I did receive samples of the Veggie juice, Goji juice and chews to try. I was allowed to use the video if I wanted to (which I did). The pictures are my own and opinions are my own.

(Update 2012 – I’m no longer a GT blogger and did not get compensated with any product to repost this blog)

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Nutrisystem Week 8

December 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Reviews & Giveaways

I’m Stuck!

Can I say that I’ve been doing the whole program perfectly though?  Nope..  I’ll be honest, I can’t.

I haven’t been exercising for one. That is a big thing that would help me.

I also have not been eating only the Nutrisystem food.  I’ve been on a medication that has been nauseating me .. a lot.  You would think that in itself would be great for losing weight .. wouldn’t you?  I would say that probably 5 out of the 7 mornings I’ve not been able to eat any breakfast.  Then lunch time nothing looks good to me.  I’ve been eating crackers to help keep the nausea down.  Then on the days that I don’t take the medication I tend to eat more than I should.
Some of the days it makes no sense at all with as little as I’ve eaten that I haven’t dropped way down.

This week has been very steady. From 190-191 all week.


I wanted to show you one of the dinners that was really good.  Notice this is a full size plate and it looks really full.   It was the glazed turkey.  The gravy was good, veggies were soft and cooked well, spices seemed natural (not too many spices to cover up plainness).

Ok.. ready for the scale shot?  Please notice that I finally got the little bit of nail polish off toenails. I had a friend who said when she first saw one of those pics that she thought it was a new way to wear your polish when she glanced. lol

Last week: 190.5 … This week – No change.
Total lost 10 pounds

I’m not excited about the next couple weeks when it comes to losing weight. I LOVE all the Christmas goodies… I mean love it. My boys are already asking me when I’m going to make the 7-layer cookies, fudge, toffee and buckeyes.  I have 8 kids that are excited for these Christmas treats that are a tradition in our family. I’m not going to just say to them that we aren’t to have what you are looking forward to because I’m trying to lose weight. That is just selfish.  But it will be resisting.

Tonight is my first Christmas party, next week I’m traveling for business and going to two Christmas parties while there.

Wish me luck to be strong!

Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or visiting

*I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem Nation blogger program. For four months, Nutrisystem will provide me with their meals at no charge for my review. I am not being compensated for my participation. 

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DiGiorno pizza Review

December 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Family & Friends, Food, Reviews & Giveaways

(This post was originally posted on Chat with Sandy on 12/26/10)

Feeding Large Families Can Be Expensive

Digiorno pizza

With both of my older boys home we have been having meals with all ten of us.  I have been lucky in the sense that we have 8 children, but 3 of them don’t live with us anymore.  Mix that in with the fact that my 4 step children are only with us 1/2 the time, we don’t have that many meals with everyone home.

But for 2 weeks with them home from boot camp we have had and will be having many meals with everyone.  Finding meals that will feed all of us for not a boat load of money (and that are easy too) are pretty important.

I didn’t have any problem at all with doing a shop for Collective Bias for DiGiorno Pizza.

consumer queenOff to Walmart I went on December 23rd to do some shopping.
I checked Consumer Queen’s Data base to see if I could find a coupon. No luck on that one…poo.

bell ringerA sign of the holidays… isn’t it?  The store was really crowded.  I didn’t have any problems finding the frozen pizzas.  I was a little bummed that they didn’t have a vegetable pizza – that is my favorite. But I ended up getting a meat pizza, cheese and also a mushroom garlic. They cost $4.98 each.  Pretty good for a nice thick pizza like that don’t you think?

Dave had purchased a Red Baron pizza at Kroger the week before. It didn’t have nearly so many pepperoni’s and was much thinner. It wasn’t so good.  He told me that he was trying to decide between the DiGiorno and the Red Baron. I had to laugh because he had no idea I was going to be doing this shop for the DiGiorno the next week.  He picked the Red Baron because it was less expensive. He told me later he was sorry he did.

The pizza went over well.  I had several thoughts from my family.   Here they are:
1) “It was Great!”
2) “It was too doughy”
3) “The mushroom garlic was too garlicy”
4) “Make sure you get this again”
5) “I wish they had veggie”


I started out with 2 pizzas and 6 people.  My boys and Dave. Then Dave’s 4 kids came over and we popped in a 3rd one to cover us all.


Three self rising DiGiono pizza’s, 2 liters of pop and a bag of chips later, we had a lunch meal that fed us all.  The pizza’s cost $4.98 each, the 2 liters of pop cost $1.76 and the chips were $2.88.  Total cost of the meal:  $19.58 to feed 10 of us… for a total of $1.96 per person.  Pretty good!

family goofyHere is the whole gang… being goofy!  Thanks DiGiorno for the pizza!  lol

Disclosure:  Collective Bias compensated me for the pizza and shop. The pictures and the opinions are those of mine and my families.

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Nutrisystem Week 7

December 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Reviews & Giveaways

I’m a Yo-Yo

Up and down and up and down.  I feel like I go down, then have a day or two that I’m not as good, and back up the weight goes, then I spend the rest of the week trying to get it back off.


The thing is, when I have something that isn’t Nutrisystem, I usually try to still really try to limit it, much more than I would have previously at least.  So in a sense I still feel like I’m not being terrible.  So why does the weight go up and down SO much?

Last week I was 191 the day after Thanksgiving. I think that weekend with left overs was worse than actual Thanksgiving.  I went back up to 195.  I then worked the rest of the week to get back down to my weight today.


I feel a bit discouraged. Christmas is coming up and I know all the good stuff that is going to tempt me.  I need to get exercising, but have I done that in the last couple weeks.. nope. I know, I shouldn’t be complaining then should I. I just need to do it.

I’m considering doing a Zumba Gold class with a friend. I’ve wanted to try Zumba, but knew that I would feel like a fool. I don’t dance and never have been able to, but always wanted to.  But I’ve been too self conscious to try.  But this is a class for baby boomers, and the girl who is taking it says everyone feels uncomfortable, that is part of what makes it nice.

Hopefully next week I can get out of these 190′s!


Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or visiting

*I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem Nation blogger program. For four months, Nutrisystem will provide me with their meals at no charge for my review. I am not being compensated for my participation.



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Nutrisystem – Week 6

November 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Reviews & Giveaways

Weighing in the Day After Thanksgiving Should Be Outlawed!

It sure wasn’t fun to have to weigh in today for Nutrisystem.   I did get my weight yesterday and then again today to show you (if there was a big difference.)

I got yelled at by my family for taking a picture of my plate and I was told to fill it up more.  I had more than enough to eat and I didnt’ finish eating all my dressing. I should have taken white meat (I know) but I LOVE the dark meat. I had a taste of the yams, a very small helping of the green bean casserole and 1 crescent roll  (without butter)


Now for my weigh in.

I weighted 191.0 today.  Last week I was: 193.5   I lost 2.5 pounds this week.

Yesterday I weighted 190.5, so I only gained 1/2 pound yesterday on Thanksgiving.   I mentioned the meal, but I also ate some desserts.  I had a very tiny slice of peanut butter pie, and another tiny slice of pumpkin (with whipped cream).  We ate around 1:30 pm.  We went over to my Dad’s house around 6pm. Of course the food from their afternoon meal came out for “left over” dinner.  I only had a small piece of chocolate cake. (I know!… that isn’t what I should have eaten.)

When we got home around 9pm I was really hungry, to the point I felt nauseated.  I didn’t want a whole meal from Nutrisystem, instead I opened a can of light chicken noodle soup and had that to calm my stomach.

The week prior had been a good one.  I wasn’t good about taking pictures of the food this week from Nutrisystem, but I’ll give you a surprise “good” pick and one that wasn’t very good.

I had the pancake mix this week.  I had thought that tiny package was only going to make about 2 quarter size pancakes by the look of it.  But it actually made me two very nice size pancakes. I didn’t feel like I was being “cheated” at all. I’m sorry I didn’t order some more of that this month (but will next month).

The item that I didn’t like at all and couldn’t even eat was the package (pantry version) of chicken salad.  It was in a packet and I had to squeeze it out (which kind of grossed me out). But the consistency was pasty and I scrapped it off my plate and didn’t eat it at all.

So the week went much better than I expected with Thanksgiving.  One holiday down, now the whole month of Christmas celebration torture is about to begin.


Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or visiting

*I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem Nation blogger program. For four months, Nutrisystem will provide me with their meals at no charge for my review. I am not being compensated for my participation.


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Nutrisystem Week 5

November 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Reviews & Giveaways

Getting Back in the Groove

I’ve been home from my travels for 5 days now. I’ve gotten myself back into the routine I needed to…. well, not completely. I haven’t started my walking/running yet.  Planning on that for next week… honest! (I know.. that’s what they all say right?)

Ok.. here is the dealio -

Starting weight 200.5
Week 1 – 197
Week 2 – 193
Trip 1 – 4 day weekend
Week 3 -194.5
Trip 2 – 4 day weekend
Trip 3 (back to back) 5 day trip
Week 4 -when I got home
this last Monday am – 201.5!
Wow!! Gained it all back plus some. I know I had a lot of water weight on me. When I was in CO because of the altitude problems I didn’t take my diuretic at all. In AR I took it twice of the 5 days. That weight was just  5 mornings ago.  I have been back on my Nutrisystem and drinking water & taking my diuretic.

This morning I was 193.5!! I’m excited!  Sad that it is still up from 3 weeks ago, but glad that I was able to get it back down into reasonable range so fast after my trip.

I’m going to share some of the things I like to eat in the morning… muffins!

This is the chocolate muffin – love it! Doesn’t that look great? Only problem? It’s too small!  Not really, but I was used to being able to get those huge big muffins at the store. You know which ones I mean.  This one is much smaller than that.

nutrisystem chocolate muffin

You can see the size of it. Once you have cut down your intake, it really is enough.  This is what I had for breakfast the other morning. A banana, light fat free yogurt and the muffin. I also had 8 oz of skim milk and my coffee.  I was completely satisfied.  I could tell you that I actually felt too full (which was true) but you probably wouldn’t believe me.


This morning I had a banana nut muffin.  Because I felt too full yesterday with the banana and yogurt, I just had the muffin this morning, with my coffee.  It was enough too.

This muffin isn’t quite as moist as the chocolate muffin, but I still enjoyed it and it was still good.  It is the same size as the choc. one though.


For dinner the other night I had the mushroom risotto. I love risotto so was really excited about it.  The flavor was pretty good and the texture was thick and rich – but for me it was a little too spicy.  I ate the fat free cottage cheese with it to cut the spice. (remember.. for most people who aren’t spicy wimps it is probably fine). But combining the two of these together I got too full and couldn’t eat all of it.

Tonight for dinner I had the thick crust cheese pizza.  I forgot to get a picture of it before it was gone (sorry).  The crust is separate and you put the sauce and cheese on yourself. This way they can have it as a pantry food, and not frozen food.  I wasn’t super thrilled. The reason – the dough was a little damp on the bottom and very chewy.  I have another one to try and I think I will put it in the oven. I bet then it will be good. The flavor was good, everything else about it was good, but the chewy crust and the moisture – which I’m sure is the microwave part of it.

I’m frustrated this week that the first two weeks that I did so well when down the toilet when I went out of town for the three trips. But I can’t let it defeat me. I got back into this week and go things going again.


*I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem Nation blogger program. For four months, Nutrisystem will provide me with their meals at no charge for my review. I am not being compensated for my participation.

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Nutrisystem – Week 4

November 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Reviews & Giveaways

Vacations and traveling = Ugh

So obviously I’m still in the mist of my almost two weeks of traveling. Do you think I’m doing well? Nope…. I’m not. It is going to be one of those … get home and be SO mad at myself – kind of things.

Dave and I traveled to Divide, CO and stayed at this awesome cabin with an altitude of 9,000 ft.  That started some of the issues with my eating. I had issues with altitude illness.  Headaches, and some nausea.  You would think the nausea was the kind that you don’t want to eat. Nope, mine was that I needed to eat something to feel better.  But I wanted more crackers, breads and things. Salad just sounded terrible to me.

The other factor for me was that I didn’t take my diuretic (water pill) when I was there.  I have been taking that for a couple months because I retain fluid (especially when I travel).  But because of the altitude I was advised to not take it if I could help it.

I didn’t go hog wild and eat everything, we had grapes to eat, fat free yogurt and cottage cheese in the cabin, but Dave and I split a dessert one night and I ate crackers several times.

I got on the scale on Wednesday morning and was back to 198 pounds.  ugh!!   If I was then staying home I wouldn’t have been as upset… but I left that same Wednesday morning for Arkansas.

I did pack some of my Nutrisystem food, but I haven’t been eating it.  (insert sad face here)   I look at the lunch time bars and I’d like to eat them as a snack in addition to my lunch, while others are snacking on cookies etc.  But I haven’t done that.

I still have turned down lots of good stuff, but certainly not everything. I’m eating a lot I shouldn’t be too.

For breakfast this morning there was a buffet breakfast at the hotel. I had them make me an omelet with veggies only, no cheese.  I ate that and a fat free yogurt for breakfast.  I know… egg white omelet would have been much better.

The rest of the day wasn’t so good.

This is classic travel/vacation #FoodFail for me.

Hoping next week will be more positive. I will get home on Sunday and will hopefully get my butt in gear on the treadmill again!


*I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem Nation blogger program. For four months, Nutrisystem will provide me with their meals at no charge for my review. I am not being compensated for my participation.


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Nutrisystem – Week 3

November 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Reviews & Giveaways

Traveling and Maintaining

I think we all know how hard it is to eat well when your away from home.  I am in the middle of several trips.  The first five days were in Virginia visiting my sister and brother in law.  I drove my Dad and brother to visit.

Last week was a good week for me… this week – not as well. I gained 1.5 pounds from last week.  (plus I need a pedicure real bad.. lol) What scares me is the next two weeks is full of travel too…

I took a few lunches, breakfasts and a dinner with me for the trip. It was nice to have meals that I could travel with. I didn’t have to worry about a cooler.

The frustrating thing is that I was SO good! To realize what I would have normally have eaten!  First night we went to a Greek restaurant. My favorite thing ever at a Greek restaurant is spanakopita. Although it has spinach in it, it isn’t low cal!  I got a greek salad with chicken. (no cheese or croutons). I did have one bite of my Dad’s spanakopita though.

Dinner the next night was at a French restaurant.  I got lemon chicken breast. There was a side of fresh veggies with a fried potato cake on top. I took a little bite of the potato cake and gave the rest away (it was good!). I only ate half of my chicken breast, measure the amount by the palm of my hand. My sister and her friend got awesome looking desserts. I didn’t order one, but did have a bite of my sisters and a little bite of her friends.

Our last night was a homemade meal that my sister made. She is a vegetarian and eats healthier than I ever do! She made a whole slew of things! There were two kinds of mushrooms,



onions, peppers,


butternut squash – no butter, no cream or anything. It tasted a LOT like sweet potato casserole.

butternut squash



steak, and small potatoes.

She didn’t use any butter or anything fattening to cook. She said she calls it “clean” food. A very healthy meal.  It was awesome.

My cousin’s wife brought some Russian desserts… now those are not “clean” or unfatting! lol But  I took a very small 1×2″ piece of each piece. The chocolate I had one bite and didn’t eat the 2nd bite. The other (not sure what it was) I did the same thing. One bite only.  Now the Napoleon… that was a different story. omg was it awesome! I had my little 2 bites, and then I did get a small 2×2 square, but it was only the bottom 1/3 of the piece. It is multi layered dessert.  That was the worse thing I ate the whole time I was there!

Yet when I got home on I weighed myself the next morning. I had gained 2 pounds!! Yuck!  I felt SO disciplined and was so proud of how good I was. So I have worked the rest of the week trying to get back off the 2 pounds.

The big problem is that I leave on Saturday for Denver for 5 days, get home for less than 24 hours and leave again on another trip (business) for another 5 days. I’m hoping I won’t end up back at day one after all this!

Exercise? Ok… I haven’t exercised this week either, and don’t know if I will again before I get back on the 13th.

It is hard to continue to “behave” when your away. There are so many temptations and you feel like, “this is vacation” so you want to give in. I just have to be strong!

Here are a few things that I had from Nutrisystem this week.  This is one of the lunches.

nutrisystem Take off the lid. See the little very light little intended marks? That is the water line. It would be nice if this were marked a little better. It is kind of hard to see and I had a hard time believing this was the line I was looking for when I opened the first one.  Just add water, stir it up and microwave for 45 seconds.

  You stir it up good and let it sit for a couple minutes.  It is hot and I really like how they taste. A nice warm lunch. It is actually pretty filling too.

I had this for lunch today.  It was cheese and broccoli potatoes. You didn’t microwave it. You add boiling water and stir.  It was ok. I wasn’t super impressed. Kind of mushy (I know potatoes are mushy) but the favor wasn’t bad.  But I don’t think I’ll be picking it again.

This is one item I WILL be picking again. It is the peppermint cookie. Dessert time at night! Yum!

I will be packing some of my cookies for my trips.

*I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem Nation blogger program. For four months, Nutrisystem will provide me with their meals at no charge for my review. I am not being compensated for my participation.

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Nutrisystem – Week 2

October 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Reviews & Giveaways

Couch to 1 Mile Revisited

We all know that we are supposed to exercise.  You have those people that do it everyday and love it. They feel good, they usually look good and they are healthy.  Then there are the rest of us. Those of us who WANT to want to exercise, but simply stated we don’t like to do it.  We come up with a million zillion excuses why we can’t.  Let’s see, for me…. something always ends up getting inflamed or injured and I have to stop, I don’t have the time and how about I don’t want to wake up the kids exercising before they get up. (actually I don’t use that one, but thought it was a good one to throw in for a 3rd option.)

I was told by the Doctor not to run until my heart rate could stay under 160 while walking a mile.  That threw me for a loop. I was actually enjoying my beginning phases of being able to run a mile.  I took off all last week.  To just walk a mile, that is boring, and takes longer in the morning. But I have revised my plan and have made it doable for me.

Here it is:

5 Min Warm up Walk at about 3.2 on the threadmill
60 second very slow jog 4.0 (this is a 15 min mile)
90 second walk 3.4

Alternating until 1 mile.

This isn’t much quicker than walking the mile, but when I go to the 4.0 on my treadmill it is too fast for me to walk. I have to go into jog position. It’s funny because I am actually feeling it more in my legs after I finish doing my workout this way than when I was doing a faster jog.

I’ve done this three times this week.  The next 3 weeks are going to be a lot of traveling for me, so I’m not sure how it will work into things, but I’ll try.


I’m down to 193 pounds. I’ve lost 7.5 pounds in 12 days!!   I’m really excited about that!   This morning I am driving my Dad to VA to see my sister. I woke up at 4:30am and couldn’t go back to sleep. My hubby was leaving for work by 5:10. I laid there trying to decide if I was going to try to get another hour sleep because I was worried about driving 8 hours with only 5.5 hours of sleep, but I thought my body would probably feel better if I got up and exercised instead.  I feel great!

I’m going to go over some of the food I had this week. The good, the bad and the ugly. (just kidding) But I will tell you what I honestly thought of each item. Heck, everyone likes different things, so there is no way that someone is going to love every item they have.

One of the mornings I had the Breakfast Burrito.

nutrisystem breakfast burrito You just have to cut the end off it and mircrowave it.  It looked good and smelled good.  But I took the first bite and couldn’t eat anymore. Why? Because I am a spicy whimp!  I just can’t do spicy at all.  This was spicy, much too much for me. Now, for those of you who like it, I’m sure you’d love this.

nutrisystem breakfast burritoHere are a few other things I tried this week.

The Chicken quesadilla was for lunch and I was scared it was going to be another adventure into spicy-ville.

nutrisystemIt had just a touch of spicy, but not bad at all. I enjoyed it.  I had some fat free cottage cheese with it, and that really worked. The cottage cheese reminded me of the sour cream that I like to mix with mexican food, so I kind of ate it together.

nutriystemOne of the evenings we had one of Elise’s volleyball games and didn’t have much time for dinner. Dave picked up pizza on the way home. Ugh…. I knew that would be a killer. Pizza is so good.  BUT…. I jumped into my handy dandy freezer and popped out one of my lunch meals. I had it for dinner with the family.

While they were eating this….

pizzaI got to enjoy having pizza with them. Although mine varied just a bit in appearance, it really satisfied the craving for pizza and I didn’t have the desire to knock everyone out of the way and grab their pizza box and dive in!

I did learn that I liked the pizza better baked in the oven rather than microwaved. Although it still came out pretty good in the microwave, I liked the oven version better. I also prefer the turkey sausage pizza to this veggie one.

nutrisystem veggie pizzaExperimenting with all the different foods is good the first month on the program. There are things I might not have tried normally, but find I really like them over what I thought I might like.

Eating Out

Dave and I tend to eat out a lot the week we don’t have his kids.  We don’t do a lot of fancy dining, but we might run to Subway or Roosters (chicken wings)

Since I’ve started the program we’ve actually gone out for several meals. Let me break down some of what I’ve done to manage these meals.

Japanese Steakhouse -

japanese steakhouse

Ate all of the broth they brought out. I ate most of the salad. It was lettuce and they had already put on the dressing. I tried to work around the blob of dressing and get the “unaffected” lettuce, but didn’t eat it all.  In hindsight I should have told her to leave the dressing on the side for me, but I had no idea when they were bringing it out.

I ordered the chicken dinner. Of course he grilled everything in big blobs of butter. ugh.  I didn’t eat the shrimp, I gave that to my husband. When he served my chicken (huge amount) I gave my son about half of it right away.  I ate about half of what remained with a little bit of white rice (brown rice wasn’t an option and I knew I didn’t want to order the fried rice). I did try to eat more veggies. Even though they were cooked in some butter, they were better for me than the rest of the food in butter and I need more veggies. I then brought the rest home and my hubby had it for lunch the next day.

It was Dave’s birthday celebration, so they brought out one of those pineapples with the sparklers in it. I did eat several bites of the pineapple.


I got a 6″ sub on wheat bread with turkey breast, spinach lettuce, regular lettuce, tomatoes and mustard. I had a yogurt and water.


Side salad without cheese, or crotons. I did get blue cheese dressing on the side. But I didn’t put it on my salad. I dipped my fork into the dressing and then took a bite. I ate all of the salad.

I ordered 5 all drum BBQ wings. I asked for a to-go box when we first sat down and put 2 of the wings into the box. So I only ate 3 wings.


I know each of these meals I ate more calories, fat etc, then I would have if I stayed home and had my Nutrisytem meal, but I also know that I have to be able to live a normal life and learn how to eat less.  Dave and I enjoy going out to eat and I know that will continue to be a part of our life after Nutrisystem. Being able to still enjoy these events are important.

I have not felt deprived this week.  I still need to work on more veggies (yuckie poo) though.


*I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem Nation blogger program. For four months, Nutrisystem will provide me with their meals at no charge for my review. I am not being compensated for my participation.

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Seagate Go Flex External Hard Drive Review

Back Up – Back Up – Back Up!

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, it is really important to back up your information.  This is something that should be on your to do list routinely. It goes along with organizing your important information.

I’ve had a couple different external hard drives that I have tried over the years.  Guess what one I bought myself? I bought a Seagate. It was a 1T desk top model. I feel more secure with Seagate.  It wasn’t a sponsored thing, it was a…. research online, go to the store, check prices and storage options and pick out the 1T Seagate.

But I recently did get a Seagate Go Flex to try out!  Look at this thing… it is awesome! It is small and a fun color (would love a pink or lime green….. just sayin’ Seagate) and holds so much.

I have put it right next to my iphone so you can see the size.

seagate go flex external hard driveThis is a 500 GB hard drive!!!  I have backed up with this several times already. I currently have well over 20,000 pictures on my laptop and lots of videos! I just backed it up again today and I still have 243 GB of storage left.

What I love about this is how portable it is.  I can SO easily take this on my trips with me.  That is great for a couple of reasons.  The main one is because I like to back up my computer before I travel.  I often download pictures that I am taking on trips while I am on the trip and with this along I will be able to back up the new pictures and info before I travel home.

The other reason it is great is because if something would happen to my computer while I was away and I lost information on it, I would have all my info with me. Or even worse if my computer completely broke and there was something important I needed to do I would still have my info with me if I needed to borrow someone else’s computer.

This is thin and light weight too.

seagate go flexThere is a lot of technical info I could look up and give you about it, but techie I am not. That is one of the reasons I like this.  I just plug it into my computer with the cord (by the way, that little bottom part by my hand detaches. There are different options that you can get for it… you can see those on the web site that I link to) and go to my time machine (I have a mac) and turn it on and it backs up. Simple .. simple

Here is a screen shot of the time machine when I started backing up today.

I will continue to back up with my desk top Seagate before I go on trips so I have a back up of this back up. But this is so nice to have with me. Just a piece of security.

I did receive this Go Flex from Seagate and MARS advertising. I was not asked to do a review or blog post and was not compensated financially.  I chose to do this post. I wanted to show it off and also encourage everyone to back up their computers.

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Nutrisystem Week 1

October 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Reviews & Giveaways

I’m Ready To Lose This Weight!

I started the Nutrisystem plan on Monday of this week.  I’m happy to say that this first 5 days has been easy.

I’m going to show you a few of the breakfast foods you can choose from.

nutrisystem cinnamon roll

The reason I need to be on this plan an on an exercise plan is this one!  I have only seen this number one other time. It was in 2008 when I realized I had to do something serious!

Starting weight: 200.5 pounds (yuck!… ok..Sis.. you didn’t see that!)
Day 5 weight: 197.0
Loss= 3.5 pounds!

weightHere is the dreaded “Before” picture.  Can’t stand it, but you know what? I always tell my clients and others here on the internet to take “before” pictures before they organize a space.  It makes you realize what you don’t want that space to look like again.  It also makes you feel much more accomplished when you look back and see how terrible that space looked before you organized it.  So….. pretty obvious – take the before picture for the same reasons.

I had Dave take this picture with my camera phone up in our room.

Then he got a couple more with my camera downstairs.    You can see the side view.  Sorry… the back view no one can see, until my “after” shot when I have lost my weight.  It is a bit too tortuous to make you, my readers go through!  My hips are obviously my major issue, but with as much extra weight as I have on right now, I also have a stomach now. One thing I always prided myself on was a flat stomach (even after 4 kids!) The only positive thing about this extra 50 pounds on me… is that I actually have some boobs! lol

The plan is simple. I had month of food delivered. Half of the order were pantry items and the other half was frozen food.
Everything is color coded for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
We are given a book to write down our daily meals and how much water we drink, time exercising and weight.
There is a lot of space for other items that do not come with the plan (at least that I have). Vegetables are extra (and you can have lots!). Daily allotments in either skim milk, low fat yogurt and other items. I have had fat free cottage cheese and string cheese also this week.
I have not gotten all of the vegetables that I should have. That is my weakness. I don’t like them, or very few of them. I have to make myself eat vegetables – even when I’m hungry.
I did just buy some Genesis Today juice yesterday so that I can use that as some of my vegetable servings.

You saw the cinnamon roll above.  It is one of the breakfast items you can have. I had heard how wonderful they were.  It is very small, look at the half of banana next to it. But the taste was good.  I do need to look at the directions a little better on the next one. I thought it was just microwaving it for the given time.  But it was actually very tough to eat. The dough was dense, even though tasty and I had a difficult time eating it without a knife to cut it. It wasn’t my favorite.  Here was my breakfast the other morning.  Skim milk (8oz) coffee , 1/2 banana and the cinnamon roll.

 I also have had a chocolate chip scone.  I enjoyed it. It reminded me of one of those large choc. chip cookies. It was nice with my coffee.

Several of the pantry foods have this little packet underneath the food. It kind of bothered me. Reminded me of those packets you find at the bottom of a new purse or such.  But I’ve since seen that it is a non-toxic oxygen absorber.

So far this first 5 days I have not had anything that I haven’t liked the taste of.  I would say the only thing I might hesitate to get again might be the cinnamon roll.  But I’ll leave that judgement until after I try the next one!

I have felt good this week.  There have been times that my stomach has been growling and very hungry. But that was my own fault.  Actually it felt good! But, I could have had some more of the extra vegetables that I wasn’t always having and a couple days I did not have the afternoon snack because I was too busy working to get up and get it.

I hate to admit that I did not exercise this week.  After being told by my Doctor that I had to stop my plan to run a mile (because my heart rate was so high… she told me I had to walk 1 mile keeping my HR under 160 before I could start running) that it took my drive away.  I know I need to get it going again though!


*I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem Nation blogger program. For four months, Nutrisystem will provide me with their meals at no charge for my review. I am not being compensated for my participation.

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