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Memories of My Grandpa

Last Thursday my Grandpa on my Mother’s side passed away. He had been very sick for over a year, had faced many medical issues in the past 10 years, and had a stroke the week before where they were sure he would die. However, he held on until he could talk to all of his kids and then slipped away quietly surrounded by the people he loved.

My grandfather was a good man. He served in the Army during World War II, and was honorably discharged. He served a mission for his Church in Texas, and had a Master’s degree and worked to help farmers through the Department of Agriculture. He was a framer himself, and had a huge, beautiful garden that I remember well. He had six kids, a lot of grandkids, and even more great-grandchildren. He was married to my Grandma for 61 years, and they served two missions together, and then worked in the Manti Temple for several years. My Grandpa was a sealer in the Temple, which is a very special position, and he married many of my cousins and siblings.

When I was young we visited my Grandparents A LOT! It seemed like we spent every holiday, most of the summer, and all vacations there. I know we also went other places on vacation, but it seems like they were there for many of those as well. My memories of childhood are not really clear, but my happiest memories are with them.

My Grandma taught me to cook, quilt, sew and crochet. I am the oldest Granddaughter (for all intents and purposes) and I spent hours by her side. I loved helping her prepare meals, and learned most of my homemaking skills from her and my mom. They both live in beautiful, clean, uncluttered, organized and peaceful homes. They are also always cooking. :)

My Grandpa took us to the mountains. They had a cabin in the nearby mountains and we would go there and cook scones, and shoot guns, and play. We frequently went to Fish Lake, where we would fish, boat, hike, and again cook food and play. In the winters, my Grandpa would take us to find Christmas trees, and we would go snowmobiling.

When I was young they lived in a tiny house with one bathroom. The adults would get the bedrooms, and the cousins would have sleepovers in the living room. They had the scary basement full of canned food and other interesting objects, and a garage that stored all the camping and snowmobiling gear. There was a huge tree with a tree house that I don’t think we were ever allowed to go up into, and a clothesline where my Grandma dried all their clothes. The had a huge garden where they grew everything. My favorites were the tomatoes, raspberries and apples. I loved helping my Grandma turn those garden treasures into food for the family and helping her can, freeze, and otherwise store them for later.

When I was a teenager they built a beautiful house that was large enough for all their kids to come and visit. It has a fabulous basement where the boys sleep, and play. We would set up quilts, and she made quilts for all of her Granddaughters for when they got married. We each got to pick the pattern and they were then carefully sewn by my Grandma, Aunts, mom and older cousins. Mine is my bedspread in my Master bedroom. This house has a huge kitchen that I organized during the move. Everything is still where I put it. I could cook in that kitchen with my eyes closed. When I was diagnosed as gluten intolerant, it was really hard. My grandma always feeds us fresh vegetables and fruits, and has made sure that we are always well-fed despite the issues with allergies.

This house also has a garden. It has a large garage where all that camping and snowmobiling equipment went, an a four-wheeler that my son loves. We still went to the mountains a lot, but my Grandparents were getting older so we didn’t always take them.

The last time I saw my Grandpa was last Spring when my sister got married. We went and visited after the wedding. At this point my Grandpa had already suffered a series of strokes and was unable to swallow correctly and so he couldn’t feed himself. He was on a feeding tube. He had difficulty walking, and mostly sat in a chair and observed. My grandma would read to him, and was his primary care-giver. They were both unsteady when they walked, and my Grandpa fell a lot. He still went to Church, and there were many who loved them and checked on them. My Uncle lives in the same town, and works on the family farm. He has taken good care of them these past couple of years and has always been around to farm, garden, camp and spend time with them. My Grandpa told me he loves me, expressed concern over my son’s game playing, and wanted to see pictures of my sister’s wedding. He loved us, and was a frequent part of my life. Whenever they could they would visit and encourage us. They were at every major life event, and even came to some of my concerts and other performances as I grew up. I cannot imagine life without him.

I wish my life was different. I would love to have been able to be there more these past years, but finances, illnesses, and a car that wouldn’t drive made it impossible. I would love to be able to have my Grandma come and live with us, but she is happy where she is. I would also love to move to Richfield and live by her, but that won’t really work either. My only hope is that we get to go to the funeral and say goodbye to my Grandpa. My son knows and loves them. He wants to say goodbye. He frequently cries and talks about being worried that Grandma will die too. We’ve explained death to him as much as any 9-year-old can understand, and he is handling it well for the most part. I love my Grandparents! They were a huge part of my life, and a lot of what makes me the person that I am today. I will miss my Grandpa, but I know that he is safe and happy now. In this my religious beliefs are a huge comfort.

Thank You Grandpa for everything you did, and all that you taught me. I love you!

 

Fall Fashionista Event 2014!!

I am super excited to take part in this Fall’s Fashionista Event!! Brought to you by the amazing  . . .

The Fall Fashionista Giveaway Event is hosted by The Chief Blonde at Still Blonde After All These Years http://stillblondeafteralltheseyears.com and Katy from  ModlyChic http://www.modlychic.com/.  All Fashion! Only FASHION event! Largest Fashion Giveaway event on the internet with $26,000+ in prizes, 100+ participating blogs and 3/4 million entries. Each individual blog has a minimum of $125 prize!

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The  FALL Fashionista Events Grand Prize is $500 PayPal (worldwide where allowed by law).  For every giveaway in the Fall Fashionista Event that you enter, you gain one entry toward the Fall Fashionista Grand Prize. 1 Grand Prize winner will receive $500 PayPal cash. 1 first prize winner will receive $300 gift certificate to Midnight Velvet Clothing. Isn’t that stunning?

In addition to these fabulous grand prizes, I am excited to offer a $125 Giftcard to

Sorella Bella

Sorrella Bella offers beautiful modest clothing to women of all ages and stages. It is run by an amazing woman as a hobby, but the deals are great, and the clothing is modest and beautiful!

To check out her beautiful clothing and how they can be warn you can visit her blog!

Here are some darling examples!

Aurora Rapunzel I hope you enjoy this giveaway and then follow the Linky to enter all the other fun and exciting giveaways this weekend!

~ Natalie

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Must be 18 or older to enter. Worldwide, but winner must pay shipping.  Read Instructions carefully because rules vary from contest to contest. Make sure to provide a correct email address so we can reach you if you win. You have 48 hours to respond once contacted. Still Blonde after all these YEARS , Modly Chic, Fall Fashionista;Events & Giveaway or The Fall Fashionista Events Giveaway Bloggers are not responsible for sponsors/bloggers that do not fulfill their prizes or for any product failure or harm caused thereby. In most cases, shipping of prizes is the responsibility of the the sponsors who will be sending prizes to you directly. Your prize should arrive within 30 days, let us know if it doesn’t and we will TRY TO HELP OUT! Compensation was not provided. Opinions expressed are the blog’s own. This Giveaway is not affiliated with, associated with or promoted by Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Happy Entering!

How to Kill a Blog! OR Where oh Where Have my Readers Gone?

I tell my husband that I need to blog everyday, but I cannot do it everyday. There are apparently rules for effective blogging, and I follow none of them. Here are some things I learned on Pinterest about blogging that I totally fail at.

1. Blog consistently. – I have a chronic illness. I never know what the day will bring, and I suffer from anxiety, meaning some days I cannot put myself out there. It’s too hard. I’m too worried about what people will think or say. Recent newsworthy events show me I am not alone in my struggles with anxiety and depression, but there are many that think I should keep it to myself.

2. Use visuals. – I suck at drawing and have no clue how to create graphics. It is something I am learning, but I don’t even know how to use my camera well. I also managed to delete many of my current photos while trying to get my computer to work, and so I am out of luck.

3. Be positive. – My life is HARD! I have multiple medical conditions, we are declaring bankruptcy, my son is autistic and has ADHD. Where in all that do I get the time, money or ability to have happy family trips, simple craft days, or any of the other fun mommy blogging stuff. Not to mention the fact that we failed at adopting, and I cannot have any more kids, and I can’t keep a job so my husband works two or more.

So, here’s the sum-up. I want this blog to be interesting and full of graphics and stuff you can use. It won’t be. At least not always, and I need to be okay with that, and I will find new readers if you aren’t okay with that. Thing is, being something I  am not only makes everyone miserable. There are so many blogs that have fun crafts and recipes. That isn’t me. It might be me sometime, but right now we are illness, autism, school issues, money trouble, and a whole lot of other day-to-day not so fun drama. I spent the weekend in the hospital for a urinary tract infection that I have had for months! The antibiotics I have been given are making me sick and tired. Plus I have chronic migraines that just make the rest of the world so much fun. I want to be the happy homemaker. I am not. I can only blog my truth, and I pray that there is an audience, and a purpose to this suffering. I will have a ton more on the medical side at my new blog Medical Soup.

I have a lot to say about medicine and what I have learned, but it isn’t going to be here. Here is the more emotional, family related struggle. Here are my happy days, and my sad days. I realized that no one can read my blog if I don’t  write, so I will write, and we will see. If don’t write, I don’t have a blog. It won’t be happy, and it can’t be perfect, but nobody is, and any blog or person who seems that way is filtering. I lack a filter. :) Thanks for being loyal readers, and look forward to giveaways and other fun stuff to come.

 

Escape Monthly Goes To Paris

Products mentioned on NewsWahl Blog posts may have been received for evaluation purposes for free and/or we received compensation. NewsWahl is an affiliate for one or more of the products, links, and banners on the site. Which means we may receive compensation when you click on the links. All opinions are 100% my own. I am disclosing in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. You can trust I blog with integrity, and I only recommend products I would use. Thanks – Natalie

 

Life around here is high in stress and low on finances. We don’t travel much, and usually have interesting disaster stories to tell afterwards. I recently subscribed to a subscription box service called Escape Monthly. Each month they send you a blue box full of wonderful products from different destinations around the world. We received luxurious candles, lotions, bath salts, and some great foods that were gobbled up the moment the arrived. All the products are sourced from the monthly destination and there is a travel guide included. I have many dreams of traveling to all the places my boxes described, and I know just what shops and locations to eat at and buy great natural or locally made products. Even my husband loved the boxes and what they contained.

“Escape Monthly is headed to Paris next. Inside this month’s box is delicious French cuisine, sweet bon-bons, and decadent beauty products… like this hand cream from the Institut Karité Paris that’s worth $26 dollars (that makes up for more than half the cost of this Escape).

This is just one of the 8 full-size French luxury products in this month’s box, including Rick Steve’s Pocket Paris guidebook—the best way to plan a dream vacation (like the one a lucky member wins every month!)?”

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Luxurious items like this keep me coming back for more, and I love the anticipation of seeing what the next month will hold. Each box is a mini vacation into lands and places I may never get to visit, but each month also offers a sweepstakes for winning a vacation to that month’s “Escape”.  Use the code ALIEJUDD to got 20% off for life when you go to order, and order soon because Paris is only around until the 14th.

Wet N’Wild amidst Monsoons and Migraines

Products and activities mentioned on News Wahl posts have been received for evaluation purposes for free and/or we received compensation. News Wahl is and affiliate for one or more of the products, links, & banners on the site. Which means we may receive compensation when you click on the links. All opinions are 100% our own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. I only recommend products I love and use! Thanks – Natalie

It is monsoon season in Las Vegas. I love the rain. It is beautiful, and smells great. My son hates the thunder and lightning, but I could live in a place where it rains every day, except for the fact that barometric pressure changes cause mega migraines in my brain. They are the awful, don’t talk to me, touch me, or allow light in type. I hate them, I am learning to control them, but the random rain makes it harder.

During this time of crazy rain and migraines, we received an opportunity to visit Wet N’ Wild and review our experience there. We are in the midst of declaring bankruptcy so this was an extra special treat for my family. We tried to go several days, but illness and rain joined to prevent it, but finally last Friday, we were able to go as a family. It was a great concurrence of beautiful weather, fun family time, and a great evening! We went on a movie night, but ended up in the lazy river instead of watching the movie. My son was tired, but he even let me go around the lazy river on a tube on my own. It was relaxing and wonderful! We also joined up with my brother and his family who have season passes. They love it and go about twice a week! Swimming with cousins, riding the tubes and slides, and playing in the water was a blast. We were exhausted when we finally went home, but it was definitely a night to remember. IMG_0726Here are my husband’s thoughts. . .

My wife took us to Wet N’ Wild for her blog so that we could review it for her. Let me say, that was awesome. My son and I were given the express pass wrist bands to use. My son is 9 and has no fear of rides. We went on every major ride in the park. I must say that if you have the money the express pass can get you on everything in a very short time. We rode all the major rides in under 2 hours. Wet N’ Wild is a great place for the family. Those that want to take it easy can float the lazy river to their heart’s content. Those that want adventure can fall off a cliff (how did my son convince me to do that?), get flushed down a drain, and float down so many twisty tunnels that you won’t get bored. The kids zone is well designed so your children can ride safe slides, stay well protected, and a parent can still enjoy the area as well. The Dive in Movie needs a little work. You can hardly hear or see the movie in the wave pool. Over all, the trip to Wet N’ Wild was awesome for our family and the fast express passes were really fun to have.

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When our finances settle, and our son can run around with friends on his own, we will own season passes! It was a ton of fun, with something for everyone. I cannot ride major rides or dive because of my brain surgery, but I was never bored, or felt left out. My laps around the lazy river were relaxing and energizing. I had time to think about the things I love, and my son commented that he loved spending time with family out doing things. In the heat of the summer, swimming is an ideal family activity, and I have a little fish. We loved our trip and thank the Life Guards and other staff at Wet N’ Wild for a fun experience!

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Dragonblogger.com

I love to review products, but am slowly catching up on technology. It seems like every time I have figured out what is new and great another product enters the market. I follow a lot of other bloggers and websites to gather information and get ideas for my blog. Dragon Blogger is one of my favorites. They have great technology reviews, and fun giveaways. I also enjoy their game and software reviews.

So whether your looking for information on the latest technology, or want to enter a great giveaway, or find a new game, check out http://www.dragonblogger.com

Young Living Essential Oils – Healing the impossible.

Disclaimer: This is my blog and all opinions in it are mine. I am a distributor with Young Living, but unless you buy from me, I get no financial or other gain from this post. These are not the views of anyone but myself, and should be used as such.

I just came back from Young Living’s 20th Anniversary Convention. I have many medical conditions, and was actually forced to come home early because I reacted to medications that doctor’s were trying on me. I did get to meet the people involved in Young Living. I learned where and how the oils are made, the stringent testing required and a lot of other wonderful and amazing things. Top of my list are they have some NEW oil blends for people with PTSD, Depression and Autism, and I can’t wait to share and use them.

Because of my medical conditions, I have tried a lot of therapies, have seen hundreds of doctor’s, had multiple surgeries, dealt with intense, chronic pain, fatigue and depression and anxiety that has left me struggling for a reason to live, and unable to leave my home and sometimes my bed. I have been close to death. We are religious and have prayed and sought answers. This is my answer.

I was a DoTerra distributor. I am not anymore. Young Living’s oils are pure, they are  from farms that grow the herbs without pesticides or herbicides. They are  distilled at the farms with only steam distillation and they are  strictly tested before bottling and distribution. There are no oils that work like Young Livings, and I have tried many different types and kinds over the years.

These oils have already improved my mood in ways that are difficult and joyous to describe. I have hope. I am half doses of my medications. I can leave the house without fear. I am not having panic attacks all the time, and I am generally happy. When I feel really sick, or am in intense pain, I still feel hopeful, and I get through those episodes easier. Those episodes are also fewer and there is greater time between. This isn’t a cure, but it is still a miracle to me. Nothing had worked in the past, and the medications they gave me to try even as early as last week had awful side-effects. The oils don’t.

The new blends for autism, the stories presented by those who had used them, and my son’s willingness to try them give me great hope for him!! They are natural and safe. The side effects are all beneficial, and I can’t wait to see where we are next year with these oils. My goals are to reach their level of Crown Diamond, and to heal my pituitary gland and body. I will keep general updates on this site, but if you really want to learn more, go and follow my site at http://www.nataliewahl.ylsocial.net, or http://www.medicalsoup.com.

 

Giveaway Goodies

Welcome to the Jewelry Organizer Giveaway

Hosted by: SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways

Sponsored by: Longstem

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This door/wall organizer is attractive enough to hang on a bedroom wall, inside a closet or hang over any door. This organizer includes two over door brackets and two wall mounts and a removable plastic tray with six compartments. I love being organized, and my jewelry is currently in need of a new home. Enter this giveaway!!

You can connect with Longstem Organizers, Inc. on Facebook and Pinterest

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Now for the giveaway: One lucky person will win a Over door/Wall Jewelry Organizer. This is open to US and ends 6/15/14 @ 11:59 pm est. To enter, Simply do the tasks on the Giveaway Tools widget below and you’re set to have a chance to win! Remember you can’t win if you don’t enter. It only takes one entry to win!

Good Luck, SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways readers! Thanks for entering!

Disclaimer: Please note that SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize.

 

 

Welcome to the The American Bible Challenge Prize Pack Giveaway

 

Hosted by: SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways

 

Sponsored by: Game Show Network & The American Bible Challenge

  tabc_promoprize THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE is a spirited game show that celebrates the Bible and its place in American culture. Bible enthusiasts from all across the country compete in a variety of challenges that put their knowledge of the Good Book to the test. The show’s prizing further reflects the celebration of faith, as teams earn money for the charity of their choice. The American Bible Challenge returns for a two hour block May 22nd at 8/7c on Game Show Network. Don’t for get to tune in June 5th for the first episode of It Takes a Church premiering right after The American Bible Challenge. I have read the Bible cover to cover, but I don’t know how I’d fare in a competition. I might need to review. :)    

 

The American Bible Challenge Prize Pack INCLUDES: – 1 official “The American Bible Challenge” Tee-shirt – 1 11×17 official Season 3 poster

 

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) The American Bible Challenge Prize Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Now for the giveaway: One lucky person will win a The American Bible Challenge Prize Pack. This is open to US and ends 6/12/14 @ 11:59 pm est. To enter, Simply do the tasks on the Giveaway Tools widget below and you’re set to have a chance to win! Remember you can’t win if you don’t enter. It only takes one entry to win!  

Good Luck, Thanks for entering!  

Disclaimer: Please note that SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize.

Head Games

My son has started playing video games in his head. He can tell you the statistics, the layout, and all the attack and other information in great detail, to a game that he invented and plays in his mind when we won’t let him play on a gaming device. It is a little like having an imaginary friend. It is a lot compulsive, and really annoying to listen to all the details of a game that only he can see. It was a problem when we had to start setting times when he could play/collect at school so it didn’t interrupt his schooling. I often wonder how he’ll get through adulthood. :) I love that his creativity is growing, and that he has developed this in his mind. Often, Asperger’s kids can’t think up new things and are stuck repeating only what they have seen or heard. His imaginative skills give me hope that he will overcome a lot of the hurdles that Asperger’s place in front of us. On the other hand, it is impossible to limit an imaginary game, and because it interferes with school, and his piano lessons and our parenting it can be an issue. Silly kid.

In other news. I have migraines that just won’t go away. Our insurance decided that the one medication that helps should be limited to 8 doses a month, which isn’t enough. I need to see a headache specialist, but my sister is getting married this weekend, and money is tight, and I just haven’t tracked down the phone number. It seems like even though I am technically disabled, sleep through most days and nights, and have massive migraines, I still have a list that never gets done. I have decided to try Young Living Essential Oils to help with immunity, allergies, migraines etc. When I can afford the oils, I will be using them with Ben to help with ADHD, Aspergers, Asthma, and all the other little things he struggles with. Anxiety and depression are big for both of us, and weight loss is one that I hope to pursue. So far I have had a lot of success, I love the oils, and I love the company. I was with DoTerra, but learned more about the purity of Young Living’s Oils and decided it was worth it to switch, and I am so glad that I did. Purity is a huge factor for me. I can’t even drink tap water. It seems like the more I try medications, the more sensitized my body becomes. I am hoping to replace all my medications, except things like my thyroid replacement with essential oils and other natural remedies. Who knows, maybe I can restart my pituitary gland. That would be a miracle indeed.

I am also participating in a Boot Camp for weight loss. It is going well. I have also become a Beach Body Coach and will soon be hosting my own boot camps. I am super excited to start coaching and hope to grow that business into a source of income to pay medical bills. It will take some effort, but I’m okay with that. Between Coaching and Young Living I plan on becoming a millionaire. If you want to join me, just let me know. I will give you my first coaching session for free and introduce you to your options. I will also customize any aromatherapy plan to fit your health needs. I’m not an expert, but I know people who are, and where to find the information. My back-up plan to these is to win Publishers Clearing House. My husband laughs, but I visualize it frequently, and know that somehow I will be successful. Life has been to hard for to long for me not to have success. My favorite and newest uplifting program has been Love and Above by Christie Marie Sheldon. I would love to meet her in person, and have her personally coach me. I would love to be mentored by her, and become the type of coach and person that she is. Check her out at loveorabove.com, or www.mindvalley.com. Her program has changed my outlook, and is my go to motivator for when I am down or frustrated. I was not paid or compensated in any way to suggest any of this, it is just something that I am doing and trying and have found success and happiness in.

I wish you all success and happiness, and am so thankful and grateful that I have a blogging community, that I have new tools to help with the problems we face, and that hope has returned to my life. Hope is such a necessary part of life, and if you find yourself without hope, please contact me, and we will find a way to restore it. Even something as simple as having a friend to talk to can make a world of difference.

Getting Healthy

The current bundle of the week is a Gluten Free Bundle. I love the books included, and unfortunately am late posting this, so there is a link below, but no cool graphics.

My family has eaten gluten-free for over 10 years. When my son was born we were counseled to keep him off all gluten until he was 2. We did, but it didn’t prevent him from developing a gluten intolerance. We noted it first in his behavior. When we started to let him eat gluten, his crazy ADHD type behavior became more like bouncing off of walls and spinning until he made me sick. We took him off almost immediately and saw vast improvement. I believe that is one of the reasons we were able to keep him off of ADHD meds until now. We recently had blood work confirm that he is indeed gluten intolerant, and may develop celiac disease. This is enough to keep him gluten-free for life, and is the same test that prompted me to switch to a gluten-free diet 12 years ago. It takes about a year to get used to the diet without help, but it is worth the effort. I would be happy to help anyone get started if you like. It is much easier now than it was 10 years ago. The food quality has gotten better, the prices have gone down, and there are even books on it at the local library!

On a separate note, I got accepted on scholarship into an exercise/health boot camp. I will post before and after pictures. I found out later in the day, so I missed my first workout of the boot camp, but I will begin tomorrow. I am excited to have the group motivation, and to see how they model the boot camp so I can hopefully start boot camps of my own someday. I have a goal of losing 20-30 lbs. I would love to do Beachbody or P90X, but those are just too much for my current medical state. Hopefully this boot camp will be at a level where I can get back into shape and then tackle one of the harder programs. All of this is working towards my goal of becoming a Zumba/Yoga/Pilates instructor. I feel like I need to lose weight before I can counsel others on how to lose weight. That may be silly, but it is part of how I work, so I’m super excited.

If you get a chance, check out http://www.tinyhabits.com. I have just discovered them, and love it!

I hope you are all working hard, feeling better and getting healthier!

 

 

BundleoftheWeek.com, 5 eBooks for $7.40!

Upcoming Beachbody Giveaway!!!

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Summer is approaching and many are looking to shed those winter pounds! Giveaway Goddess and Xtreme Qpon are hosting a Transform Yourself with Beachbody event that will be held 5/13 – 5/31.

Looking for awesome bloggers who want to promote this giveaway!

Prizes:

1 winner will get 7 days of Shakeology and a $15 Amazon Gift Code

Free and Paid options available

SIGN UP HERE

 

Ended: Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

This email contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase, I earn a small commission. I’m only an affiliate for companies I trust and/or purchase from myself. While this does not cost you anything, it does garner my heartfelt thanks.

Get The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle--Hurry: Sale 6 Days Only!

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Sleep and Fatigue

Natures Sleep

Nature’s Sleep is having a promotion! Use the code BEARS50 to get 50% off the entire site as well as free shipping. I am saving up for one of their fabulous mattresses. Hopefully it won’t take too much longer as our mattress is getting old. My son could really use a new mattress too.

So, I bring up mattresses cause I think they’re cool and because fatigue is a huge part of my life. Sometimes there are nights and days where I cannot sleep because the pain is overwhelming and/or I am just to wound up. I have tried several types of sleeping medications, and techniques. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. It just so happens that I have all kinds of sleep issues. I have trouble falling asleep. I wake up every morning between 2-4 and have a hard time going back to sleep, and then once I’m asleep after that I don’t want to wake up. In 2006 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and the nice doctor’s at the Mayo Clinic told me that the best treatment would be to exercise, and be strict about my sleep. Apparently people with fibromyalgia don’t enter the deep, healing phases of sleep, and so the body is unable to heal from the microtears in the muscles and fibers that occur throughout the day.

IMG_0020Me in bed, and yes, that’s chocolate! I think I live in this bed – definitely need an upgrade!

I wrote a thesis on how interrupting deep sleep in “normal” people will produce symptoms of fibromyalgia, and then correlated the sleep issues to depression in new mom’s. It seems that our bodies must sleep. Mine will eventually collapse and then I sleep for days. During those times, it is difficult to wake me even to eat or shower. When my son was little those were babysitter days, or Grandma days. It was painfully hard to not be able to wake up enough to care for my own child, and is still something that I deeply regret and feel a lot of anger about. I feel like I lose days. They’re just gone and there isn’t anything I can do to stop it, or change it. Now that he is older and in school I can usually manage to sleep while they are gone and be awake in the few hours between school and bedtime, but even that has been a challenge in the past couple of years. Mostly my husband takes care of everything, and he is an angel about it, but it is hard and stressful for both of us. My son has learned to come and lay by me and talk to me about his day, and we’ll play imaginary games, or discuss books and things. His Asperger’s makes it a little difficult because he perseverates, or gets stuck on one topic, and that can make conversations difficult. I love that he still tries though. He still wants to spend time with mom, even though she’s sick and sleepy, and often times grumpy.

IMGA0025_0021He was so cute when he was little. . .

IMG_0368My crazy Chat buddy!

Last week I broke down. I had bronchitis, and I just couldn’t handle another Pokemon discussion. I got angry and made him leave, and immediately felt extreme guilt because I have been sicker than normal lately and not around as much. He just wanted to talk to his mom and there I was too impatient to listen. I started bawling and told him I was a terrible mom and he would be better off living with his Grandma. Not my best parenting day, or a good day all around. He was super sweet, and just patted my back and told me it would be okay. We had a long discussion in therapy that he isn’t in charge of making me happy, and that he doesn’t make me sad, it is just something that I have to deal with. I made him sad and that hurt.

My sister has a chronic illness and has had to deal with fatigue as well. While we were discussing it, we realized there were multiple kinds. I experience the sleep till you are better kind where nothing can wake me. We both experience the flu-like kind too where holding your own head up becomes a burden. You aren’t sleepy, but your body is so heavy and icky that all you can do is sit there and survive. We both play imaginary games with our kids and have very verbal kids since mommy isn’t able to do a lot of active types of play. We also both have made an effort to balance those days with days where mom plays with and spends direct time with the kids.

It has been really hard for me having a child with ADHD and Asperger’s as he is always moving and going and wants to be held, and wrestled and touched and moving. I just can’t keep up. It’s a good thing he has an active dad who can give that stimulus. We need to put him in sports, but finances don’t let that, and we need to exercise and get out more as a family, but with the health issues and time issues we are struggling. I would do anything for him, but I can’t afford the things he really needs, and fighting the system takes energy that I just don’t have most of the time.

I dream of better mattresses and better sleep, and I work to have good sleep hygiene and to get enough at night so I can up and about during the day, but the truth is my normal isn’t normal. I will always need more sleep at awkward times, and it will always be something that my son will have to work to understand. Empathy doesn’t come to him naturally, but he’s learned a lot from my illness, as I have learned from his disabilities. He thinks different, and acts different from I ever expected, but I love him all the more for it. It makes our life infinitely more difficult than if he were “typical”, however, I wouldn’t trade his quirks. I might like a conversation that flowed from topic to topic, but I’m sure he’ll figure that out sometime, and in many ways his ADHD and Asperger’s have kept me moving as his parent, and made me work harder to find answers to my problems and not just settle. He is a major reason to live, and not just in the sense of surviving, but to get up everyday and find joy in the day, and to make it fun and enjoyable for him and dear hubby. Without his constant need I might have been able to slack more, and I would feel a lot less needed.

Get a new mattress, and get some great sleep. Follow these tips and you should do better than me. :)

  • Set a bedtime.
  • Turn off all electronics an hour before that bedtime.
  • Have a nightly routine.
  • Keep the house cool.
  • Treat your partners snoring (my husband has sleep apnea, and a CPAP is awesome!)
  • If you can’t fall asleep after 15 minutes, get up and do something calm and quiet until you are ready to try again.
  • Get up at the same time, even if you didn’t sleep.
  • Try not to nap more than 30 minutes.
  • Replace your mattress every 8-10 years.
  • Use a white noise machine.
  • Don’t become dependent on sleeping medication, although they are useful for setting up a good sleep schedule.
  • exercise earlier in the day.
  • Take a nice bath or shower at night to cut allergens and cool off your body.
  • Keep trying, eventually you’ll sleep. I promise.
  • If all else fails, write me, facebook me, or otherwise contact me since I’ll probably be up with you and we can brainstorm options. ;)
  • Finally keep a notebook by your bed and when those ideas rage write them down, then go back to sleep. You don’t have to do anything about them right away. :)

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Good luck! I know I’m still working on it, and it isn’t easy, but eventually everyone sleeps, and sleep is essential to good health and mental well-being. If you are depressed, know that sleeping can help, but over sleeping isn’t helpful. Also know that I will listen to any complaint, and am there for anyone that needs help. I research medical stuff for a living, and am delving into the world of Eastern and alternative medicine now that I have exhausted everything my doctor’s can think of. I’ll keep you updated. :)

When Depression Wins – Warning not Light Reading.

I suffer from Chronic Major Depressive Disorder. It isn’t fun, happy or good. Everything I try to blog about is contrary to how I feel and live. It has made me feel like a fake, so I will be blogging about my depression too, because somehow it has to fit in with the happy, fun and good. Somehow, I have to live. Lately I don’t want to.

I also struggle with pituitary failure, and Arnold Chiari Syndrome. I have chronic migraines, am allergic to gluten, and struggle with asthma. Because of my pituitary failure I have no immunity, no stress response, and I have to take a LOT of steroids. These have made me gain weight. So basically I am overweight, bedridden, sick all the time, in intolerable pain, and depressed. It isn’t a pretty picture.

Last month it got so bad that I wasn’t able to sleep for days and I had a terrible migraine that nothing would stop. The doctor’s had collectively decided I would be better off if I had no access to narcotic pain medication or a muscle relaxer that I have taken for years. I had brain surgery a year ago, and the surgical site is still quite painful if it gets aggravated. So here I am, in pain, no access to medication, I have gone to multiple doctors and cried and begged for help and relief, to no avail. Even the pain specialists told me to “look up cures online”.  People were tired of me, and my inability to even get out of bed. Even my husband was at his wits end. I went to the ER and they placed me on a 72 hour Psych hold in a Psychiatric Treatment Facility.

Whether I was suicidal or a danger to myself or not, this was not a good solution. They took my freedom, what little support I had, and locked me up with violent, angry, people who were sick and confrontational, and scary. I was literally afraid for my physical well-being, and yet felt nothing but fear while there. I am, and was too depressed to get properly angry, or to start to find ways to act. Ultimately I was released because my physical issues cannot be managed in an environment like that. The stress of the other patients had me shaking in a seizure like fashion. They could not control my pain, nor could they manage to get me the medications that I depend upon for daily survival. I was sent home.

I still feel the same way. NOTHING. I can’t take anymore. Fighting is to hard. Dreaming is too much. I want to believe that things will improve, but I have dealt with this illness, with this depression, and with all the related struggles for so long that I feel physically empty, beaten down and lost. I am very religious. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am a Mormon who plays the piano for Primary kids and goes to Cub Scout Day Camp. I live my religion, and people ask me how I can endure what I have been given and still live my religion and have that faith. The answer is as simple as I believe it is true, so I do what I am asked and what I must. What happens to me doesn’t change what I believe, but it is so hard sometimes, and people can be mean, and people judge. Just putting this out there is going to garner a lot of criticism not just from members of my community, but from members of my faith, because we are all human, and depression is so difficult to understand unless you have been there.

Hardest of all is explaining to my 9-year-old son in an age appropriate manner why mommy cries. Why mommy had to go to a special hospital for “crazy” people. He has Aspergers and a mood disorder. While hospitalized I saw a child who looked a lot like him, and it breaks my heart to think that he may inherit this struggle. I don’t want to be sick. My heart aches for the struggles he already faces as he tries to navigate school and friends with Aspergers. He is sad and I weep for his heartache that I cannot take away nor fix. We have tried everything. We have gone to multiple doctors in state and out of state. Things just are the way they are. My medical expenses combined with my sons make us poor, despite the fact that my husband earns a great income. The government doesn’t help, and we have yet to qualify for any special services.

The hardest part of all is the loneliness that occurs. The longer I am sick, the more isolated I become, and the more lonely my days are. My son and husband have school and work to draw them into the world and keep them busy. I have proven time and again that I cannot work because I get sick too often, and I am in too much pain. Hopefully we have started to find a source for that pain, as I am responding really well to my new migraine treatment, and it seems to control the pain in my head and my body. I need to see more specialists. I have been referred to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and the Chiari Clinic in New York. My son needs to go to the Brain Balance Center here in Las Vegas, but money is an object, and until someone grants us an inheritance, we are mostly bankrupt. People give up on you after a while. If it doesn’t get better they just fade away. That is hard. I don’t know where to start to “fix” this mess that my life is. It has been this way since we were married, and has steadily gotten worse. I see a new counselor today. Maybe she has some new insight or resource to offer.

Mostly depression is winning and I am in the fight of my life. I am fighting every minute, every second to stay alive. Not because I am battling a deadly disease, although the medical issues I have will eventually kill me, but because I am battling my mind. I have to find the will to live, the will to get out of bed, to not swallow a bottle of pills or just lay there and stare at the walls. Every hour, every minute, I decide to live. It is hard. Dying is so much easier. Not doing anything, lying in bed like a coma patient is so much easier. Not thinking, not caring, not trying are all so much easier, but I have a son and a husband. I believe in a a life after this one, and that suicide is wrong. If I knew how or what to ask for help with I would, but mostly I am alone in this battle, and so far I am winning, because I am still here. I share this because I know others fight this battle too, and maybe if we fight together, it won’t be so hard. Maybe if you know that I understand what it’s like to be in so much pain you pray for death while begging doctor’s for a reason to live. Maybe you’ll get through another minute. Then maybe you can help someone else get through, or me get through. Depression is hushed up and hidden and people who are sick are alone in their home and their beds. Please know I will help if I can. If only by sharing my story. You are not alone. I am not alone. This will pass, and there will be goodness and happiness again. I know that, even if I don’t feel it. Depression can’t win.

 

My #Disneyside

News Wahl received one or more of the products mentioned in the post below free for evaluation purposes, received compensation, and/or is an affiliate of one or more of the products, links and banners you will see on this site. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% genuine. This is disclosed in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. Thanks for reading  Natalie.

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I was supposed to host a party for Disney, and then post beautiful pictures of the fun we had. Instead I’ve had month after month of medical emergencies and lingering illnesses. It isn’t fun. Our parties have had to be canceled, and even ideas of going from person to person celebrating in little moments have fallen through as my son broke his arm, and I got bronchitis, again. I will eventually use the party supplies and share the swag, but until then, I wanted to share my #disneyside.

We love Disneyland and everything Disney. Adding Marvel and Star Wars and you have everything my family collects, follows and is addicted to wrapped up in a lovely package. We see the movies, own them, and watch them repeatedly. We love super heroes, great love stories, and all the little details that goes into the Magic of Disneyland.

In spite of depression and chronic illness, I have hope for a happy ending. I hang on through hours of pain, with the hope that light will triumph over dark and that joy can be had. I love that as time has passed the princesses have become more of their own heroines. I love being saved by the prince, but I also love knowing I can save myself and others. Ultimately I love that friendship and wonder triumph over all, that peace reigns and hope endures. I know this is true of life, and I love heroes and heroines that show it in movies and books. I am not a dystopian. I believe that ultimately happiness comes after sorrow and light after dark. I may be going through the toughest fight of my life now (more on that later), but I know I can win because good wins. Happiness is possible, and Disney exists to prove to us all that there is magic in the world.

Just for fun, my son, husband and I recorded some silly reviews. I hope you enjoy them.

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Disney’s Frozen is Awesome!

News Wahl received one or more of the products mentioned in the post below free for evaluation purposes, received compensation, and/or is an affiliate of one or more of the products, links and banners you will see on this site. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% genuine. This is disclosed in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. Thanks for reading  Natalie.

My family was able to go to the 3D preview of Disney’s Frozen right before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately life happened, and I was unable to share with you all how amazing it is. Now it’s won a Golden Globe and is up for an Academy Award, everyone knows, but I still feel like sharing. I absolutely loved Anna and Elsa, the two princesses were adorable as children, and grew up into princesses that if I had a daughter I would love for her to emulate. The music was phenomenal and I got the soundtrack for my birthday! My son loved it, even though it’s kind of a girly movie, and I came home all “Disneyfied”. Meaning I felt happy, wanted to dance, and loved everything Disney, I immediately wanted to see it again and again, and I have already pre-ordered it for when it comes out on Blu-Ray. So here are some pictures, coloring pages, links to how to braid your hair and all the cool stuff I can find. It is my fun, sharing post. I will be sharing Disney with you every week from now on, as long as my plans work. Tee Hee. I love Disney, and I’ve decided that life needs more magic, more princesses, more adventure and fun. To top it off, I just found out I get to babysit a darling newborn three mornings a week. It answers part of our money problems, and will be a joy for me, so

 

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And while we’re at it, my husband and I are addicted to the Frozen App Free Fall. It is a lot like Candy Crush. It goes through the storyboard, and has a ton of levels that get more complex as you go along. The movie characters guide you through, and we play regularly. The app is free on iTunes, and a ton of fun!

So, if you’re stuck in the snow, take a look at Frozen and learn to love wherever you are. We have bright, sunny weather here in Vegas, and I miss snow, although not so much it knocks out my power. It’s a new week and a new day! Anything is possible.

Best Laid Plans

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This is a terrible picture. It is one day after brain surgery, the cape is for my son. You don’t see the bruises from the many tubes, or the back of my head, which has a 4-inch incision. I was lucky the surgery was perfect, and I went home the next day to recover for 6 weeks.

So this was me last February. I found out I had an Arnold-Chiari malformation, and within a month had surgery to correct it. In so many ways life is 100% better now, but it is far from perfect. I still have a failed pituitary gland, due to the high pressure in my brain that the surgery corrected, and I seem to have damaged nerves all through my body that are starting to heal, and that is painful. Now I have chronic migraines. Separate issue from the brain thing, but still brain related, and it definitely slows you down.

I had big goals for this week. I have a blog calendar with topics for everyday. I am searching for music students, and will possibly get to babysit the most adorable baby girl in the world for a few hours a week. I am looking for freelance writing opportunities, and studying for my Certified Personal Trainer exam. My family is broke in a weird way because of my illness and the fact that I believe in paying my doctors because they have kept me alive and running, but that’s another story for another blog. Which is another plan I have. I have another blog, based on health and fitness that is being designed and created as soon as I can communicate with the designer. So many things, and then this week, asthma and migraines take me down. I mean flat-out in bed all day, all night type of down. I am so frustrated. I know I should be thrilled that it is only a migraine and some asthma issues, considering last February was life or death, but the pain and the memory is so fleeting, and I want to really live life. I want to be busy.

I don’t make resolutions. I set goals, and I make lists, and I plan big. Then I am crushed when the plans fall through. Being sick with a chronic illness is the hardest thing I will ever have to go through because of my personality. I would rather be the person nursing the sick, feeding the hungry, and doing it all with a dozen children, living on a working farm, while volunteering in schools and whatever else there is to do. I want to do a little of everything, and it is so hard when I have to stop and let my body rest.

So in a time of planning, goal setting and resolutions, the quote, “We plan and God laughs.” comes to mind. I will continue to plan. I will continue to try to do a little of everything and anything that I can. I will continue to be frustrated when I can’t, but my biggest hope for this year is that people will be understanding and patient. Know that I plan, and try, but everybody has issues, and faults, and flaws, and problems, and mine is that I cannot be the person I am because I have a chronic medical condition, and there really is no shame in that. It also means I can’t drive a fancy car, own a big old house, work a full-time job or have more kids. Good things have come from my illness and the experiences I have had, I am just not counting on a cure and I am learning patience in abundance. Maybe next week you’ll get all the high-quality content, giveaways, reviews and wonderful ideas that I dream about in my darkened room.

iCaughtSanta.com Photo Giveaway

Welcome to the iCaughtSanta.com Photo Giveaway

Hosted by: SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways

Sponsored by: iCaughtSanta.com

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This week I was a Grinch. I was doing good before, but money is tight, which means my birthday and Christmas will be tiny. My son will always get what he wants, but I was feeling deprived. My pain levels are high for no known reason, and I am generally just not feeling the Joy of Christmas. Since my name literally means Christmas child it is rare for me not to be full-on Christmas celebrating by now. I’m usually baking, singing and preparing for quality family time by now. Instead I find myself in bed depressed and ready for it to all be over with. So NOT how I wanted to celebrate this year. This giveaway caught my funny bone, and makes me laugh. My son still believes in Santa, although we’re pretty sure he’s more in love with the idea then stuck to the reality of it all. I want to make this fun for him. It won’t be too many more years until he just doesn’t have that same childlike wonder and spirit, and I don’t want to waste that. So today I am starting over. Money, health or whatever, I will capture the Spirit of Christmas, and possibly Santa Claus himself! :)

 

 

Six years ago I wanted to surprise my kids with a picture of Santa Claus caught in the act in our living room so I created iCaughtSanta.com. Imagine the look of wonder and surprise when a child receives a photo of Santa caught in the act in his or her very own home. iCaughtSanta.com is a unique website that helps visitors create those memorable keepsake photos.

Do you want Santa by the Christmas tree? Coming down the chimney? Eating milk and cookies? Sleeping on YOUR sofa? Stealing a kiss from Mommy? Anyone can bring back the wonder of Christmas and be a hero to children by catching Santa “in the act.”

Do you send Christmas cards/eCards?  Now you can add Santa to make a unique Christmas card.  Add him to a family photo or add him and Rudolph on the front lawn in the snow.  Be creative and use your imagination.  Make it funny or festive!

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Right now you can enter a giveaway on iCaughtSanta.com to win Over $1500 in prizes like iPad, Amazon, Visa & Starbucks

Now for the giveaway: Nine lucky people will win a code for a free picture on iCaughtSanta.com. This is open to US & WW, 18+ and ends 12/25/2013 @ 11:59 pm est. To enter, Simply do the tasks on the Giveaway Tools widget below and you’re set to have a chance to win!

Good Luck, Thanks for entering!

Disclaimer: Please note that SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize.

Jamba Juice #JambaJuice #JambaAmbassador

http://cmp.ly/2/QDaloQ

Jamba Juice has a flurry of holiday specials coming up! I would love to take advantage of all of them. They have a great new flavor Eggnog Jubilee.

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They are also offering 25% off of their catering services, which are awesome and have some great items for your Teacher appreciation, or other Holiday events.

 

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A few other fun offers in case you’re interested. As always sign-up for their e-mails to get the latest news on freebies and more!

 

 

 

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$420 Cash Bash Giveaway

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Who is ready for another Cash Bash? It’s officially Christmas season and shopping is in full swing!  Winning $420 can help you purchase some of those gifts on your list or maybe even something fun for yourself! However you’d like to spend this money is up to you! This giveaway is brought to you by Kara’s Deals and Steals and dozens of amazing bloggers who make such an awesome prize possible. You can see the list of all bloggers who sponsored this event here.

One lucky winner will get the choice of $420 Paypal cash or $420 in Amazon gift codes. This giveaway will run from 12/2-12/30 and is open WORLDWIDE. Please enter on the Rafflecopter below. All entries will be verified and anyone with false entries will be disqualified. Good luck to all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This blog is not responsible for providing the reward.

Deluxe Salad Bowl Giveaway

Welcome to the Collapsible Deluxe Salad Bowl Giveaway

Hosted by: SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways

Sponsored by: Smart Planet

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Smart Planet carries Household Items with an Eco-friendly twist.

Founded in 1995, for more than 15 years, it has been Smart Planet’s mission to help you live in our planet earth with our Eco-friendly household items.

Smart Planet is an internationally renowned source of innovative and Eco-friendly products that make life more enjoyable.

If it’s good for the environment and it’s good for business, then it’s good for Smart Planet and our partners.

We need new BPA free containers and I am shopping around. These look great!

 

About the Collapsible Deluxe Salad Bowl:

•Silicone Base is Microwave and Dishwasher Safe. Lid is not Microwave or Dishwasher Safe.

•Expands to Double the size, push down to collapse and store at half the size.

•Has 2 inner compartments.

•Includes a dressing container, toppings tray and a reusable spork utensil that stores in the lid!

•Available in 4 fun colors (Blue, Pink, Green & Orange)!

• Sells for $17.99

 

Now for the giveaway: One lucky person will win a Collapsible Deluxe Salad Bowl. This is open to US, 18+ and ends 11/30/2013 @ 11:59 pm est. To enter, Simply do the tasks on the Giveaway Tools widget below and you’re set to have a chance to win! Remember you can’t win if you don’t enter.

Good Luck, Thanks for entering!

Disclaimer: Please note that SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize.

SmartSilk pillows Giveaway

Welcome to the SmartSilk Pillows Giveaway

Hosted by: SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways

Sponsored by: SmartSilk

SmartSilk™ PillowThe SmartSilk™ Pillow offers you a delightful sleeping experience with our luxurious blend of all natural and luxurious material. We begin with the cozy silk-filled liner that smoothly borders the entire pillow. The all-natural soft cotton outer shell then encases our unique polyester micro gel fiber filling providing you with a very comfy combination for a relaxing night’s sleep.

About the pillow:

– Polyester micro gel fiber filling

– All natural silk fill liner

– All natural cotton outer shell

– Moisture wicking properties help to reduce effects of night sweats

– Keeps your skin moisturized

– Water repellent non-woven material

– Breathable materials: no longer need to flip the pillow around looking for a cool spot

 

We buy pillows every year for Christmas. I am still looking for that perfect pillow, but I prefer firm pillows, while my son and husband just want lots of pillows. What is your perfect pillow?

Now for the giveaway: One lucky person will win a pair of standard pillows. This is open to US & CAN, 18+ and ends 11/27/13 @ 11:59 pm est. To enter, Simply do the tasks on the Giveaway Tools widget below and you’re set to have a chance to win!

Good Luck, Thanks for entering!

Disclaimer: Please note that SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize.

Life Keeps on Rolling

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So there are a LOT of giveaways and very few posts or updates. It’s because my life sucks in many ways, and writing about it just doesn’t seem to fit what I want for this blog, but life is life, so I will share. My health has been quite tenuous lately, as has my weight and psychological well-being. I have been extremely depressed, anxious and unable to blog or even leave the house some days. I hate this person. It is not who I was or am or want to be, but it is my current reality. To illustrate some of the struggle, I have included pictures of my physical changes over the past 8 years. Most of them have occurred in the last 3 years. I started extremely underweight, even emaciated, but that has been fixed, and now I am two wardrobes bigger, and hurting for winter clothes. It is hard to adjust to changes in your body this quickly, without something like pregnancy, and I never could understand how people got fat, or were fat. I could eat anything and still look like I was starving. It was because I had a medical condition and was starving. My blood work still shows chemical and vitamin imbalances that we are working to overcome.

This is a picture of me right after our son was born. I weighed  under 130, within days of his birth, and I gained very little during my pregnancy.

 

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This picture was taken right after all my major medical issues began. I had just been diagnosed with pituitary failure and placed on steroids, which caused me to gain a healthy 20 lbs. I was in shape and feeling good. I still had residual neurological issues, but for the most part, I was able to be active and resume “normal life”

 

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The picture below was taken shortly after I had brain surgery. I avoided the gruesome surgical pics, but you can see in my face the results of many high-dose steroid episodes. I had gained up to my highest 180 lbs and nothing fits, or even feels right. At this point my body is so swollen from the steroids that I have developed stretch marks that go all the way down my to my knees and part way up my back. My stomach is distended, and I feel like my skin is so stretched it could burst. Needless to say, it was very unpleasant.

 

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The picture above is of this summer. My weight gain has stabilized to around 160-170lbs. I am learning to be comfortable in my skin, and I am mostly functional in the sense that I can walk around, and go places. There have been times when even that was impossible. I have spent time bedridden, wheelchair bound and close to death. 2011-2013 are years where my health has gone from scary to terrifying to unbearable to okay to good. Last month I slipped a disc in my lower back and couldn’t feel or put a lot of weight on my left leg. I probably have problems with my cervical discs as well, as my arms often lose feeling. I see a pain specialist, but so far nothing helps.

So to the point. I have two rare brain disorders and many medical issues. I am gluten intolerant, have a failed pituitary gland, have asthma and slipped discs plus degenerative signs in all my joints. I have had a complete hysterectomy due to endometriosis and other problems, and I am in constant, sometimes unbearable pain. The brain issues cause depression, and I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I have frequent panic attacks, and I am sometimes so depressed it literally feels like I cannot move. My anxiety has hospitalized me, my disorders have mistakenly placed me in mental institutions as my thyroid failed with my pituitary failure and no one noticed because it is extremely rare.  My medical issues have nearly bankrupted our family, and we are in collections for medical bills that I don’t know if we can ever pay. It is hard enough to just afford food and medicine.

This week I decided the pain killers weren’t working and the side effects were worse than the drugs, so I stopped  taking them. There are withdrawal consequences as I am dependent on pain killers at this point, and I will suffer a lot before I have cleared them from my system. There just has to be a better way, and I will find it. My depression and anxiety got better without the medication, so I know they were contributing to the major panic attacks I’ve been having for the past several weeks.

After a few weeks of not taking the stronger drugs, the pain became so unbearable I had to spend two days in the hospital. I am now on Depakote for migraines, psychosis and pain. It helps. I am calmer, and in less pain. I sleep better, and I am less volatile, most of the time. I was told to avoid morphine at all costs due to my reaction to it, and my doctors are desperately searching for reasons for the pain, ways to control it, and ways to control the depression that is partially driven by my pituitary failure. I was rediagnosed with fibromyalgia and undiagnosed of Multiple Sclerosis. I was diagnosed with chronic migraines and tests confirmed that my L5, C4, C5, and C6 vertebrae are bulging and if they become inflamed I fall or cannot feel my arms and hands. Plus I get to be in a ton of pain. Since I have a natural inflammatory condition and pain condition, this seems to show that I will always struggle with pain.

Mostly I am so lonely. My son and husband leave for school early and come home late. I get precious little time with them, and because I have a child with special needs, much of that time is filled with therapy and working through his tantrums and struggles. Then my husband passes out every night around 8:30  or 9 because he is exhausted doing the Mom and Dad thing, and taking primary care of our son, since I cannot. He had bronchitis all last week and is just starting to recover. So I enter online contests. I read. I am not a t.v. watcher, but I have to find something to watch. I clean, I read magazines. I would cook and do crafts, but often my body does not allow me to even get out of bed. When I can I exercise because that is the only treatment that doctors agree on.

If you’ve made it to this point in the post, I will share with you my point and my goals. I don’t want to be the person in the picture above. For now I am, but I want to be a Health Coach, a Personal Trainer, and a Zumba Instructor. I want to be the person that people can look at and see how to turn their lives around. I want to write that book of overcoming the impossible. I need help. I need cheerleaders and people to hold me accountable. Will you do that for me? Will you join me on this journey and allow me to take all my blogs in whatever direction life has for me. I will still have giveaways, and fun stuff, but underneath will be health and wellness, and struggles and pain. Join me, share where you struggle. I will be starting a new e-mail that will go out once a week that will have tips, highlights, and crafts and fun. Somehow I will get through this depression that is crippling me. Somehow I will overcome the anxiety that makes me scared to write or leave my home. Somehow I will deal with rare neurological disorders that have taken my life, and my ability to have more children, or to work. It is not a journey I know I can endure, but if you support me I will try, and I will be your cheerleaders too.

 

Here are my goals:

I want to be as medication free as possible. There are some I will take all my life, but others are optional.

I want to become a certified personal trainer and teach Zumba and Yoga or Pilates.

I want my weight to drop to 150-160 at the highest.

I want to become independent and debt free.

I have many more, but this is as good a place as any to start.

 

The government shutdown delayed the ruling from my judge on my disability case, which is quite annoying. Before I become anyone’s personal trainer, I need to get in shape myself. I am a licensed Health Coach, and I need to use what I know to become healthy and manage my pain naturally. This is a journey I never wanted to take. It sucks big time. My son is autistic, ADHD, dyslexic and has a mood disorder. My husband has his own health issues. We are not a healthy, happy family. I don’t plan holidays, we just manage to celebrate them. I regularly borrow money with no idea how I’m going to repay it. I am the family member that others either feel sorry for or avoid. I literally hate my life. I love my son and husband, but I would do a lot to get out of my medical issues and our financial distress. I welcome all ideas and commentary. I have a pretty tough skin online. You really can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said. Join me, and pray for me, or send positive vibes or whatever you believe in. I need them. If you need them, I will do what I can for you.

 

Thanks,

Natalie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ImageThe picture to the left was taken shortly after I had brain surgery. I avoided the gruesome surgical pics, but you can see in my face the results of many high-dose steroid episodes. I had gained up to my highest 180lbs and nothing fits, or even feels right. At this point my body is so swollen from the steroids that I have developed stretch marks that go all the way down my to my knees and part way up my back. My stomach is distended, and I feel like my skin is so stretched it could burst. Needless to say, it was very unpleasant.

Image

 

 

 

The picture to the right is of this summer. My weight gain has stabilized to around 160-170lbs. I am learning to be comfortable in my own skin, and I am mostly functional in the sense that I can walk around, and go places. There have been times when even that was impossible. I have spent time bedridden, wheelchair bound and close to death. 2011-2013 are years where my health has gone from scary to terrifying to unbearable to okay to good. Last month I slipped a disc in my lower back and couldn’t feel or put a lot of weight on my left leg. I probably have problems with my cervical discs as well, as my arms often lose feeling. I see a pain specialist, but so far nothing helps.

So to the point. I have two rare brain disorders and many medical issues. I am gluten intolerant, have a failed pituitary gland, have asthma and slipped discs plus degenerative signs in all my joints. I have had a complete hysterectomy due to endometriosis and other problems, and I am in constant, sometimes unbearable pain. The brain issues cause depression, and I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I have frequent panic attacks, and I am sometimes so depressed it literally feels like I cannot move. My anxiety has hospitalized me, my disorders have mistakenly placed me in mental institutions as my thyroid failed with my pituitary failure and no one noticed because it is extremely rare. I have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and that is still a possibility. My medical issues have nearly bankrupted our family, and we are in collections for medical bills that I don’t know if we can ever pay. It is hard enough to just afford food and medicine.

This week I decided the pain killers weren’t working and the side effects were worse than the drugs, so I stopped  taking them. There are withdrawal consequences as I am dependent on pain killers at this point, and I will suffer a lot before I have cleared them from my system. There just has to be a better way, and I will find it. My depression and anxiety got better without the medication, so I know they were contributing to the major panic attacks I’ve been having for the past several weeks.

 

Here are my goals:

I want to be as medication free as possible. There are some I will take all my life, but others are optional.

I want to become a certified personal trainer and teach Zumba and Yoga or Pilates.

I want my weight to drop to 150-160 at the highest.

I want to become independent and debt free.

 

The government shutdown delayed the ruling from my judge on my disability case, which is quite annoying. Before I become anyone’s personal trainer, I need to get in shape myself. I am a licensed Health Coach, and I need to use what I know to become healthy and manage my pain naturally. This is a journey I never wanted to take. It sucks big time. My son is autistic, ADHD, dyslexic and has a mood disorder. My husband has his own health issues. We are not a healthy, happy family. I don’t plan holidays, we just manage to celebrate them. I regularly borrow money with no idea how I’m going to repay it. I am the family member that others either feel sorry for or avoid. I literally hate my life. I love my son and husband, but I would do a lot to get out of my medical issues and our financial distress. Sometimes I need an experience to tell me what life would be like if I didn’t exist because I wish I didn’t. I also often dwell on suicide. I am morally against it, I know it would majorly damage my family, but sometimes the pain and illness is so bad, I would do anything to make it stop. Being depressed and not thinking straight doesn’t help either. So far, I am still here, still trying and still coping. We’ll see how long that lasts. Tomorrow may be a very different rant. I may hate life and wish I were dead, but that is the purpose of this blog. I need a place to rant, to vent, and to share my feelings. For those of you who stumble onto it, I hope it helps, if not, it isn’t the blog for you.

 

 

 

 

ImageThe picture to the left was taken shortly after I had brain surgery. I avoided the gruesome surgical pics, but you can see in my face the results of many high-dose steroid episodes. I had gained up to my highest 180lbs and nothing fits, or even feels right. At this point my body is so swollen from the steroids that I have developed stretch marks that go all the way down my to my knees and part way up my back. My stomach is distended, and I feel like my skin is so stretched it could burst. Needless to say, it was very unpleasant.

Image

 

 

 

The picture to the right is of this summer. My weight gain has stabilized to around 160-170lbs. I am learning to be comfortable in my own skin, and I am mostly functional in the sense that I can walk around, and go places. There have been times when even that was impossible. I have spent time bedridden, wheelchair bound and close to death. 2011-2013 are years where my health has gone from scary to terrifying to unbearable to okay to good. Last month I slipped a disc in my lower back and couldn’t feel or put a lot of weight on my left leg. I probably have problems with my cervical discs as well, as my arms often lose feeling. I see a pain specialist, but so far nothing helps.

So to the point. I have two rare brain disorders and many medical issues. I am gluten intolerant, have a failed pituitary gland, have asthma and slipped discs plus degenerative signs in all my joints. I have had a complete hysterectomy due to endometriosis and other problems, and I am in constant, sometimes unbearable pain. The brain issues cause depression, and I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I have frequent panic attacks, and I am sometimes so depressed it literally feels like I cannot move. My anxiety has hospitalized me, my disorders have mistakenly placed me in mental institutions as my thyroid failed with my pituitary failure and no one noticed because it is extremely rare. I have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and that is still a possibility. My medical issues have nearly bankrupted our family, and we are in collections for medical bills that I don’t know if we can ever pay. It is hard enough to just afford food and medicine.

This week I decided the pain killers weren’t working and the side effects were worse than the drugs, so I stopped  taking them. There are withdrawal consequences as I am dependent on pain killers at this point, and I will suffer a lot before I have cleared them from my system. There just has to be a better way, and I will find it. My depression and anxiety got better without the medication, so I know they were contributing to the major panic attacks I’ve been having for the past several weeks.

 

Here are my goals:

I want to be as medication free as possible. There are some I will take all my life, but others are optional.

I want to become a certified personal trainer and teach Zumba and Yoga or Pilates.

I want my weight to drop to 150-160 at the highest.

I want to become independent and debt free.

 

The government shutdown delayed the ruling from my judge on my disability case, which is quite annoying. Before I become anyone’s personal trainer, I need to get in shape myself. I am a licensed Health Coach, and I need to use what I know to become healthy and manage my pain naturally. This is a journey I never wanted to take. It sucks big time. My son is autistic, ADHD, dyslexic and has a mood disorder. My husband has his own health issues. We are not a healthy, happy family. I don’t plan holidays, we just manage to celebrate them. I regularly borrow money with no idea how I’m going to repay it. I am the family member that others either feel sorry for or avoid. I literally hate my life. I love my son and husband, but I would do a lot to get out of my medical issues and our financial distress. Sometimes I need an experience to tell me what life would be like if I didn’t exist because I wish I didn’t. I also often dwell on suicide. I am morally against it, I know it would majorly damage my family, but sometimes the pain and illness is so bad, I would do anything to make it stop. Being depressed and not thinking straight doesn’t help either. So far, I am still here, still trying and still coping. We’ll see how long that lasts. Tomorrow may be a very different rant. I may hate life and wish I were dead, but that is the purpose of this blog. I need a place to rant, to vent, and to share my feelings. For those of you who stumble onto it, I hope it helps, if not, it isn’t the blog for you.

 

 

Thor: The Dark World

My husband and son adore video games, and all things Marvel and DC Comics. We have watched every movie leading up to the Avenger’s and will watch every movie after it. We will also own them, love them, and watch them until they will no longer play. Due to some issues with my brain, I was hospitalized this week, but my son and husband got to see the premier of Thor: The Dark World. Here is what they thought:

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As the hammer flew by our heads in 3D my son said that he almost caught it. This was an amazing thing considering that this same 8-year-old had been sleeping right before the movie started. He told me he might sleep through the movie instead he stayed awake the whole time and could not stop talking about it all the way home. Thor: The Dark World kept up the Marvel movie tradition of fantastic story lines and great characters. The whole story blended well into the Marvel universe and did not disappoint with its special effects.  I highly recommend this movie to all people and yes girls they have a scene where Thor has his shirt off. Go see Thor: The Dark World and don’t let the hammer hit you.

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It took everything my son had not to give away the ending, but I still have surprises waiting for when I finally get to see it. I am excited and happy that there are movies with great heroes out there. Everyone needs heroes. And just in case you missed it, here is a fun preview.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD (in Digital 3D and RealD)
MARVEL STUDIOS
Website and Mobile site: Marvel.com/thor
Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/Thor
Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/ThorMovies

Genre:                          Action-adventure
Rating:                          PG-13
U.S. Release date:        November 8, 2013
Running time:                112 min.

Cast:                            Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander with Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins as Odin
Director:                       Alan Taylor
Producer:                      Kevin Feige, p.g.a.
Executive Producers:    Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Craig Kyle, Alan Fine, Nigel Gostelow, Stan Lee
Story by:                      Don Payne and Robert Rodat
Screenplay by:              Christopher L. Yost and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely

Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself.  In the aftermath of Marvel’s “Thor” and “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. To defeat an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor sets upon his most dangerous and personal journey yet, forced into an alliance with the treacherous Loki to save not only his people and those he loves…but our universe itself.

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, and Jaimie Alexander with Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” is directed by Alan Taylor, produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a., from a story by Don Payne and Robert Rodat and screenplay by Christopher L. Yost and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and is based on Marvel’s classic Super Hero Thor, who first appeared in the comic book “Journey into Mystery “ #83 in August, 1962.

Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself.

OFFICIAL BOILERPLATE:

Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself.  In the aftermath of Marvel’s “Thor” and “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. To defeat an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor sets upon his most dangerous and personal journey yet, forced into an alliance with the treacherous Loki to save not only his people and those he loves…but our universe itself.

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano and Jaimie Alexander with Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” is directed by Alan Taylor, produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a., from a story by Don Payne and Robert Rodat and screenplay by Christopher L. Yost and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and is based on Marvel’s classic Super Hero Thor, who first appeared in the comic book “Journey into Mystery “ #83 in August, 1962.

“Thor: The Dark World” is presented by Marvel Studios. The executive producers are Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Craig Kyle, Alan Fine, Nigel Gostelow and Stan Lee. The film releases November 8, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Xbox One Giveaway #Giveawaay

Xbox One GiveawayWelcome to the Boost Your Biz, Xbox One Giveaway.

Organized by Mom Powered Media

Welcome to a new generation of games and entertainment with the Xbox One. Where games push the boundaries of realism and television obeys your every command. Where listening to music while playing a game is a snap and you can jump from TV to movies to music to a game in an instant. Where your experience is custom tailored to you and the entertainment you love is all in one place.

My family would love to win this! My on is autistic and a gamer at heart, I love their new exercise programs! So exciting. Enter, win for Christmas, and save some dough!

Now a word from our amazing sponsors….

Educating and Encouraging Small Businesses and Business Owners to utilize Social Media to their advantage. Social Sullutions offers Social Media Training for businesses and employees in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

and

Emperola.com is the easiest way to create giveaways on any Facebook page.
Just simply create new giveaway here and Get thousands of new fans NOW!
All giveaways are strongly promoted at Emperola.com

One lucky winner will receive an Xbox One!

Giveaway ends December 2nd at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:News Wahl is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

Disney Infinity Wii Starter Pack Giveaway

 

It is time to officially kick off Momma Lew’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guide!  The first Giveaway in this month long series is a Disney Infinity Wii Starter Pack!  

 

 

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And to all of our participating bloggers!

 

Disney Infinity is one of the holiday season’s hottest video games!  Disney Infinity figures are compatible with all Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U consoles.  Disney Infinity gives you the complete freedom to create a world straight from your imagination!  To find out more about how Disney Infinity works check out Momma Lew’s complete review.

 

I am pretty sure this is on my son’s Christmas list. He loves games, and a game where you have to collect things just makes it that much more fun!

One lucky reader will win their own Disney Infinity Wii Starter Pack (ARV: $74.99)!  Giveaway is open to US residents, 18+.  Begins November 1st and ends November 15 at 11:59pm EST.  One entry per household.  To enter, follow the steps on the rafflecopter below. 

Thank you for entering & good luck! 

 

Disclosure: Momma Lew’s Blog received a Disney Infinity for review and all opinions are 100% her own and were not influenced in any way.  All participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.   Social media networks are not affiliated with this giveaway. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

 

What’s On Your Wish List Giveaway

holiday_wish_list_event

What’s On Your Wish List Giveaway

Organized by Mom Powered Media and the MPM Blogger Network.

Co-hosted by these amazing bloggers: Life According To GreenVics, Mrscpkc – Personal Memoir and Lifestyle Blog, My Dairy Free Gluten Free Life, Mama Orquesta & Miami 4 You, Libby’s Library, Barefoot In Bluejeans, The Jenny Evolution, Capri’s Coupons, DownshiftingPRO, Plum Crazy About Coupons, Giveaway Bandit, Growing Up Bilingual and Making of a Mom.

My gift wish list includes a new computer, an iPad and a professional quality camera and gear. I have rich taste on a poor persons budget, which means I’ll either have to win it, or blog a lot better. :)

One lucky winner will receive $ 1,000 Visa Gift Card or Amazon Gift Card {choice}!

Giveaway ends December 1st at 11:59pm, open worldwide, ages 18+. Please note if the winner is a non-USA or non-Canadian resident, they will receive $1,000 via paypal instead. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:NEWS WAHL is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

 

NOVICA $25 Gift Code Giveaway

Welcome to NOVICA $25 Gift Code Giveaway

Hosted by: SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways

Sponsored by: NOVICA

Novica logoNOVICA.com was founded twelve years ago as an online, fair-trade marketplace based in Los Angeles, with offices in eight developing nations. Novica features more than 30,000 limited edition and one-of-a-kind handmade works of art daily, ranging from artisan-crafted jewelry to handmade apparel to world-style home decor. So far NOVICA has succeeded in helping change the lives of more than 75,000 people in developing nations, including artisans and their dependents, uniquely helping each artisan earn personal recognition and real-world prices for their work. My husband loves unique gifts like these!

Amethyst wristband bracelet

Now for the giveaway: One lucky person will win a $25 Gift Code to NOVICA. This is open to US & WW and ends 11/09/2013 @ 11:59 pm est. To enter, Simply do the tasks on the Giveaway Tools widget below and you’re set to have a chance to win! Remember you can’t win if you don’t enter.

Please note that SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize.

TheBouqs: Flower bouquet Giveaway

Welcome to TheBouqs: Flower Bouquet Giveaway

Hosted by: SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways

Sponsored by: TheBouqs

close upThe Bouqs Company, a new flower service that is bringing quality, simplicity, and a little romance to online flowers. The company is solving a basic problem: buying flowers online today is a terrible experience. I love having beautiful flowers around my home and giving them as gifts. I live in a desert, so flowers are harder to find here than most areas.

Now for the giveaway: One lucky person will win a Flower Bouquet. This is open to US and ends 11/7/2013 @ 11:59 pm est. To enter, Simply do the tasks on the Giveaway Tools widget below and you’re set to have a chance to win! Remember you can’t win if you don’t enter.

Disclaimer:  Please note that SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize.

Pumpkin Carving Giveaway

Welcome to the Pumpkin Carving Kit Giveaway *4 Winners*

Hosted by: SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways

Sponsored by: Sweet Creations by Good Pumpkin Carving Kit

Sweet Creations Pumpkin Carving Kit

Just for my readers: You can get 25% off of any Sweet Creations Halloween product at www.goodcook.com with promo code: HAUNTED23 or PUMPKIN25.

Disclaimer: Individuals can enter the Good Cook Halloween contest on multiple participating blog sites to increase their chances of winning. However, one prize will be awarded per promotion. If an individual wins a Good Cook prize on two or more bloggers’ sites, they will only qualify to receive one prize. Limit one Good Cook win every 6 months.

close upNow for the giveaway: Four lucky people will win a Pumpkin Carving Kit. This is open to US and ends 10/31/2013 @ 11:59 pm est. To enter, Simply do the tasks on the Giveaway Tools widget below and you’re set to have a chance to win! Remember you can’t win if you don’t enter.

Disclaimer: I got the Good Cook Products free to do this product Review and was not paid for my response. Please note that SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize.

Ended: Uh Oh Bands Giveaway

Welcome to the Uh Oh Bands Giveaway

Hosted by: SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways

Sponsored by: Uh Oh Bands

Uh Oh Band

Our simple, intuitive design uses the international symbol for first aid to send out a quick “call to action” to “call my mommy”.  All you do is write your phone number on the back of the band.  It’s simple and potentially life-saving!

My son wanders off frequently because he has severe ADHD, even though he is older now, we worry we will lose him. He just gets distracted and forgets. We have tried many tactics to teach him, but now I think it’s just time to take preventative actions.

A few more things about our bands:

•waterproof

durable

100% silicone – that means they’re latex allergen free!

comfortable

designed by a mom

GREAT for kids with autism and learning disabilities!!!

Now for the giveaway: Two lucky people will win a UH OH Band. This is open to US (no P.O. boxes) and ends 11/04/2013 @ 11:59 pm est. To enter, Simply do the tasks on the Giveaway Tools widget below and you’re set to have a chance to win! Remember you can’t win if you don’t enter.

Disclaimer: I got the UH OH Bands free to do this product Review & Giveaway and was not paid for my response. Please note that SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize.

$25 Giftgard Giveaway

Welcome to the Green Giant’s “Raise A Giant” Anti-Bullying Campaign & $25 Visa GC Giveaway

Hosted by: SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways

Sponsored by: Green Giant’s “Raise A Giant” Anti-Bullying Campaign #MyBlogSpark

Green Giant’s “Raise A Giant” Anti-Bullying Campaign

Green Giant knows it takes a lot more to raise a healthy child then just getting them to eat their vegetables. Kids these days live in a world that is bigger and scarier than the world we grew up in, and they need help and encouragement to navigate that world with confidence and pride.

Unfortunately one of the hardest things kids have to deal with is bullying. When a child is bullied by a peer it can turn his or her life into a daily gauntlet of fear and anxiety.

Raise a Giant

How Do You Raise A Giant?

We’re asking parents to write a letter to their kids telling them how special they are and encouraging them to be part of the bullying prevention solution by being a giant. To get started parents can visit our community at the Green Giant “Raise a Giant” Website and read the letters others have written. My son is bullied, and has even been the bully this is a problem everywhere. Please teach your children. It shouldn’t be “cool” to be mean.

Now for the giveaway: One lucky person will win a $25 Visa Gift Card. This is open to US and ends 11/22/2013 @ 11:59 pm est. To enter, Simply do the tasks on the Giveaway Tools widget below and you’re set to have a chance to win!

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by Green Giant® through MyBlogSpark. Disclaimer: I got a $25 donation in my name to do this product Review & Giveaway and was not paid for my response. Please note that SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize.

Mrs. Fields Jack-O-Lantern Box Giveaway

Welcome to the Mrs Fields Jack-O-Lantern-Box  Giveaway

Hosted by: SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways

Sponsored by: Mrs Fields

Jack O' Lantern Box

Check out the full review here

Yum, Yum and so much fun!

Now for the giveaway: One lucky person will win a Mrs. Fields: 36 Nibblers Jack O’ Lantern Box. This is open to US and ends 11/03/2013 @ 11:59 pm est. To enter, Simply do the tasks on the Giveaway Tools widget below and you’re set to have a chance to win!

Disclaimer: SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways and all participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.  This giveaway is in no way associated with social media. Please note that SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize.

Family Safety Kit Giveaway

Welcome to the Family Safety Kit Giveaway

Hosted by: SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways

Sponsored by: Energizer: Change Your Clock Change Your Battery

cyccyb-logoThe Change Your Clock Change Your Battery®program is just one of the ways Energizer brings to life the company’s commitment to making a positive impact in communities across the country. that’s positivenergy™   For more information, please visit energizer.com/change and facebook.com/energizerbunny

Review kitFamily Safety Kit complete with a reusable grocery tote containing:

·         One 16-pack Energizer® MAX® AA Batteries years

·         One 1-pack of Energizer® MAX® 9 volt batteries

·         One Energizer® Weatheready® LED Safety Light flashlight – Waterproof flashlight powered by AA, AAA or C cell batteries

·         One Kidde Battery-Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm

The total value of the Family Safety Kit is approximately $60.

As renters we are required to check our smoke detectors monthly. My son is terrified our house will catch on fire. Having a plan, checking the batteries, and replacing old detectors has all helped him feel safe and he’s able to sleep without worry.

Now for the giveaway: One lucky person will win a Family Safety Kit (detailed above). This is open to US and ends 11/05/2013 @ 11:59 pm est. To enter, Simply do the tasks on the Giveaway Tools widget below and you’re set to have a chance to win! Remember you can’t win if you don’t enter. It only takes one entry to win!

Disclaimer: I got the Energizer Family safety kit free to do this product Review & Giveaway and was not paid for my response. Please note that SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize.

9thandElm.com Review and Giveaway #9thandElm.comIntro

This is a Fashionista Event.  I was given a promotional item to review by 9thandElm.com to share my opinions about the website.  All opinions are my own.

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About 9thandElm.com: 9thandElm.com was founded by Clay and Elly Bethune in the spring of 2013 with a mission to bring its members fabulous fashion from the best handmade and independent designers. We realize it is extremely difficult to sort through and discover handmade fashion geared towards the “fashionista”. Search no longer. Exclusive deals handpicked by our buyers will be delivered daily to our users inbox. This site is a multiple designer site.

9thandElm.com is a new boutique type online store. I was given $70 to spend on what I wanted, and found two fabulous Maxi skirts and a great assortment of hair ties that do not work for my hair yet, but I am growing it out and they are a great incentive, or a potential gift.  :)

I love the boutique style and the fact that many of the items featured are handmade, or custom designed by small business owners. Someday I hope to be one of those small business owners and have my products featured on such sites.

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The shopping process was fun, there was so much to choose from, and every week there was something new. I finally just had to make a decision. I will be shopping there again and again, and I love the e-mails they send featuring their newest products. My items shipped fast and I received them without any problems. I will add more as I find them. I wore the Chevron headband to the beach at Fort Bragg and had a great time finding seashells, and rocks, and exploring the tide pools with my husband and son, and without my hair in my face. We then wandered through a patch of wild blackberry brambles, which wasn’t as fun, but was tasty. The headband kept my hair out my face during the windy day, and made for some cute pictures. I can’t wait to show you the skirts. They are long, fit perfectly and super comfortable. My favorite type of outfit is a skirt and a simple shirt. I wear them to Church and around the house.

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Connect with 9thandElm.com on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Now for the Giveaway

By entering this event, please note that you are agreeing to be subscribed to 9thandElm.com newsletter. This giveaway is worth $400! One person will get a $200 credit, and two will win $100. This is an amazing giveaway, and the types of items you can get are endless. Many bloggers are involved in this event, and I urge you to check out their pages, and see what they found. Start with the Fashionista herself. There are so many choices there is something for everyone!

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Giveaways to Look Forward to/Bloggers Wanted

My son really wants this!!

Momma Lew’s Blog is kicking off her 2013 Holiday Gift Guide on 11/1!

The kickoff prize will be a Disney Infinity Wii Starter Pack!

11/1-11/15

Free & Paid Links are available!

**SIGN UP HERE**

Please tell them News Wahl sent you!

Coach Giveaway photo coachstripes_zps7e843691.jpg Everyone loves COACH! I don’t know anyone who would not be happy to receive a BAG, let alone a COACH HANDBAG! I have been wanting to get myself one of these and then I know some of you would surely want to own one of these so I decided to have a COACH GIVEAWAY! Yipeee!

About the Prize:

SIGNATURE STRIPE SATCHEL

  • Signature fabric with patent fabric trim
  • Inside zip and multifunction pockets
  • Zip-top closure, fabric lining
  • Outside open pocket
  • Handles with 7″ drop
  • Longer strap for shoulder or crossbody wear
  • 12″ (L) x 8 1/4″ (H) x 5 1/2″ (W)

ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY:

  • Free Twitter Link
  • Additional links are available. See the form for choices
  • Giveaway will be open WORLDWIDE!
  • The giveaway will start on November 16, 2013 and ends on December 16, 2013

SIGN UP HERE

Please mention News Wahl referred you.

Janitors Book 3 – Book Review

 

janitors 3

My son has a new favorite series called The Janitors. He and his father have read them together, and every night they delight in the tales of children as they conquer monsters bent on stopping them from focusing in school, and an agency that wants only their students to be smart so they can take over the world. In this third installment that we were privileged to review, the story of how the Janitor’s and the Glop and all the mystery surrounding the strange creatures that sabotage education emerges. My son was enthralled and compared so many things to the book that I began to wonder if he had gotten reality mixed up with fiction. My teacher husband loved it, and is offering on his shelves for students and recommending to other teachers all the time. I even enjoyed the tidbits that I caught here and there as they read together, but will have to go back and steal it now that they have moved on to different tales, as they claimed it the second it arrived in our home! I love that my son loves to read, and that these stories have captured his imagination and interest. He is dyslexic, and sometimes struggles, but he has read the Janitor’s series with his Dad and on his own again and again, which has increased his comprehension and reading level.  I know he read in his bed at night with a flashlight, but with such wonderful tales of good versus evil and kids and parents working together to save education, I can’t find a good reason to stop him. Janitor’s is a great series, that we will follow and read for many years to come. I expect it to join the ranks of other new classics like Harry Potter, and the Percy Jackson series. It is perfect reading for anyone in 3-5 grade, and even parents like myself can find interest in the story. Click on the pictures to be linked to Amazon to buy them, or check them out from your nearest library. They are well worth the read!

Janitors, Book 3: Curse of the Broomstaff

A secret society of Janitors with wizard-like powers continue their battle, and now, the stakes are even higher. The Bureau of Educational Maintenance is after Alan Zumbro and this time they mean business, deadly business. Spencer, Daisy, and their little team of rebels must find the source of all magical Glop and destroy it before it can destroy the world as we know it. No small task with the BEM and their monster toxites at their heels. It s a wild and dangerous ride as they follow the trail of clues all the way to the hiding place of the mysterious aurans: guardians of a secret landfill. What they discover there will change the way Spencer sees himself, not to mention the fate of the rebels.

Just in case you missed them:

Janitors, Book 1

No one takes Spencer Zumbro seriously when he tried to warn his classmates about the mysterious things prowling the halls and classrooms of Welcher Elementary School. But when he sees Marv, the janitor, going after one of the creatures with a vacuum, he knows he’s not the only one who can see them.

With the help of his new friends, Daisy, Spencer has to find out what the janitors know. The children’s search uncovers the magic taking place behind the scenes of their seemingly ordinary school, where a battle is being waged for the minds of the students. Who can be trusted – and can Spencer and Daisy protect their school and possibly the world?

Janitors, Book 2: Secrets of New Forest Academy

No one takes Spencer Zumbro seriously when he tries to warn his classmates about the mysterious things prowling the halls and classrooms of Welcher Elementary School. But when he sees Marv, the janitor, going after one of the creatures with a vacuum, he knows he’s not the only one who can see them. With the help of his new friend, Daisy, Spencer has to find out what the janitors know. The children’s search uncovers the magic taking place behind the scenes of their seemingly ordinary school, where a battle is being waged for the minds of the students. Who can be trusted – and can Spencer and Daisy protect their school and possibly the world?

Tyler Whitesides
Tyler Whitesides worked as a janitor at an elementary school to put himself through college. He graduated from Utah State University with a degree in music. In addition to writing novels, Tyler is an avid composer and arranger of instrumental music. He and his wife, Connie, who teaches third grade, live in northern Utah.

Coach Ashley Signature Carryall Bag Giveaway

 

Hosted by:
 
Co-hosted by:
 

 

 
More fun prizes and bags!
You can be the lucky winner of a 
Coach Ashley Signature Carryall Bag 
Value $358 
 
 
Details:
 
Dates  October 10 12:01am  to November 17 11:59pm
 
US Resident Only
 
All entries are optional


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Disclaimer: News Wahl is not responsible for the awarding of the prize.  Host is responsible for prize fulfillment.  If you have any questions about this giveaway, please email the host at nysavingspecials@gmail.com

2013 Fall Fashionista Giveaway Event #FashionistaEvents

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this post or this giveaway. I chose the items I love, and am giving them to you, because I love winning things, and these are fun things to win! Regardless of sponsorship or connections all opinions on this blog are always mine, and are usually brutally honest.

Fall-Fashionsta-2013

 

The Fall Fashionista Giveaway Event is hosted by The Chief Blonde at Still Blonde After All These Years http://stillblondeafteralltheseyears.com and Katy from  ModlyChic http://www.modlychic.com/.  K Squared Glamour   http://www.ksquaredglamour.org/ is our co-host!   All Fashion!  Only FASHION event! Largest Fashion Giveaway event on the internet with $26,000+ in prizes, 100+ participating blogs and 3/4 million entries.  Each individual blog has a minimum of $125 prize!

For every giveaway in the Fall Fashionista Event that an entrant enters, they gain one entry toward the FALL Fashionista Events Main Event Prizes.  Go here to enter Main Event==> $1000 in Main Event Prizes  including a $300 prize from Coupons.com

My dear wonderful readers. I am late with this post due to an injury to my back. I moved a couch at the beginning of the week, slipped/injured/or pinched a nerve, we’re not sure yet, but I was in so much pain they’ve sent me home on morphine, and I’m not quite myself. Hopefully we’ll find the cause and a useful treatment soon, and the morphine won’t make me quite so loopy. In the meantime, I do have a fabulous giveaway for you all, and I have been preparing it for months. I hope you like it.

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My fabulous prize for this year is a Guess Bag, a super secretive Prize Candle with a guaranteed jewelry gift, and just in case you don’t like the jewelry in there, I have a beautiful ring that is worth over $200 to sweeten the pot. I hope that a loyal blogger wins, and I encourage you to check out all the other fabulous giveaways in this event!

Just a final warning. I have extended my personal giveaway by a few days to make up for my late posting. The official end-date of the Fall Fashionista Event is the 9th so get your entries in soon!

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Still Blonde after all these YEARS , Modly Chic, K Squared Glamour , Fall Fashionista Events Giveaway or the Fall Fashionista Events Giveaway bloggers are not responsible for sponsors/bloggers that do not fulfill their prizes or for any product failure or harm caused thereby.

Blackmoore – A Review

Disclosure:  News Wahl received one or more of the products mentioned in the post below free for evaluation purposes, received compensation, and/or is an affiliate of one or more of the products, links and banners you will see on this site. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% genuine. This is disclosed in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. Thanks for reading  Natalie.

 

Proper Romance

blackmoore

 

My Review

Blackmoore is a heartwarming classic that I enjoyed immensely. I laughed and cried as Kate made the transition from girlhood into womanhood, and adored the romance and love story. This book is everything I would expect from a period novel and more. I especially appreciate the true nature of love as described in the characters relationship. It is refreshing when most love stories follow a given pattern and are utterly unreal and selfish. These characters reminded me of my relationship and courtship with my spouse and of the love that we share. This is the second book that Julianne Donaldson has written that I have read, and I am already a devoted follower. I am a romantic at heart, and hopefully will get to read her books for many years to come.

About Blackmoore

Kate Worthington knows she can never have her heart’s desire and so believes she will never marry. But Kate’s meddlesome mother has other plans. Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore on the cliffs above the seashore, where she must face the truth and the man that has kept her heart captive.

Set in northern England, Blackmoore is a Regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn to follow her heart. With hints of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, Blackmoore is a page-turning tale of romance, intrigue and devotion.

About Julianne Donaldson

Julianne Donaldson grew up as the daughter of a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. She learned how to ski in the Italian Alps, visited East Berlin before the wall came down, and spent three years living next to a 500-year-old castle. After earning a degree in English, she turned her attention to writing about distant times and places. She lives in Utah with her husband and four children.

 

Please buy, read and discover for yourself the true nature of romance and love once again. If you are a fan of Austen or Bronte, this is the perfect complement to their writings, and a great addition to the books you will read again and again.

Julianne Donaldson can be found on facebook here:

 https://www.facebook.com/DonaldsonJulianne

You can purchase her book on Amazon for your Kindle, or in paperback here:

 

prAna E.C.O Mat’s & Mat Bag Giveaway

Sponsored by prAna
 
Hosted by
 
Co-hosted by
 
 
prAna E.C.O Mat’s along with a mat bag 
 
Details:
September 19 to October 10
US Residents only
All entries are optional
I love Yoga, hope you win and enjoy this giveaway!
We appreciate the support of our sponsor, please show your support by following them on their social medias pages.
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 



Disclaimer: News Wahl is not responsible for the awarding of the prize.  Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.  If you have any questions about this giveaway, please email the host at nysavingspecials@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Flash Sale, Gluten Free Books

BundleoftheWeek.com, 5 eBooks for $7.40!

 

My family eats gluten free, and this is a great set of books for getting started, or adding to your gluten free recipe collection. I would love to help anyone who has been diagnosed as gluten intolerant, or who wants to start a gluten free diet. Please e-mail me at aliejudd@gmail.com, and I can walk you through the process. In fact, I am starting a new blog called Medical Soup, and Gluten Free, Milk Free, and other special diets will be a huge part of that blog. It is only hard at first, and then it is a great diet. We are in the process of going Vegan. I just finished watching “Forks over Knives” and am convinced that it a Whole foods diet with no processed foods or oils is going to help my family be healthy. It is a journey I will share on that blog, just as soon as I finish figuring out the technical details. I love writing, and sharing what I know.

I also have a Health Website at http://www.youruniquelifestyle.com. I am excited to start writing more and sharing more on that site as well. It is my professional/business site as I am now a Licensed Health Coach. I can do consultations online, over the phone, or in person. Your first consultation and health history are FREE!!  I am also excited to announce that through that site I will be putting out a weekly newsletter full of healthy eating and healthy lifestyle tips.

If you want to receive your free consultation and newsletter head over to my website and sign-up. I promise it will change your life for the better! Having a chronic illness and a son with special needs has given me a unique perspective on health, diet and lifestyle. I want to help others avoid some of the challenges we have struggled with, and would love to create a community where families like mine can help and support each other. I’m all about communities, and seeing as I get sick a lot, and going out in public with an autistic child can sometimes be a challenge, my online community is a little like my family or my friends. I may not ever meet some of you face-to-face, but I love you and would help you and share with you all the same. I am so grateful I found blogging and the associated communities. They are lifesavers, and have been more patient and understanding than many people I know in “real life”.

Blogging has saved my life, as it has been a source of information, support and community when I was stuck at home in bed, and when I have gone through episodes of serious depression. I have had major illnesses and surgeries. I’ve been there. I want to help. In fact this weekend I get to speak at the Niche Parenting Conference about blogging and having special needs children. I am super excited, and hope to share what I have learned and inspire other mom’s or people to join this amazing community. I also hope to create in our area a community that mirrors what I have found online. I may be disabled, and such, but I always have something to say, and I want to be busy helping and doing. So I do. Check out these books and let me help you, and you’ll help me in return.

Whole Foods Book Bundle and Health Coaching Offer

News Wahl received one or more of the products mentioned in the post below free for evaluation purposes, received compensation, and/or is an affiliate of one or more of the products, links and banners you will see on this site. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% genuine. This is disclosed in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. Thanks for reading  Natalie.

 

BundleoftheWeek.com, 5 eBooks for $7.40!

I just discovered a great way to get books on homemaking, cooking, parenting and many other topics at a greatly reduced rate. I love it. It is called Bundle of the Week, and each week, this company puts together a grouping of fun books around a theme. I have purchased a couple of these bundles and have yet to be disappointed. Often, they will come with great extras that are also fun. This weeks bundle is all about Whole Foods. I am a huge proponent of Whole Foods since becoming a Health Coach. I also recently watched the documentary “Forks Over Knives” and was startled yet again about the benefit that a plant-based, no sugar, no meat, oil or additives diet can do.

The list of eating Whole Foods, which are fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and grains are astounding. A huge study in China demonstrated that this type of diet, reduces or eliminates most of the diseases of the day. Diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancers, and many other types of autoimmune disorders are all reversed and cured by a whole foods diet. There is evidence that this type of diet turns off cancer causing genes, and turns on protective genes, and it the effect of the foods working as a whole that makes the difference. There isn’t one compound or one set of vitamins that you can take to replace the benefits of this diet, it is something that you will use everyday. I would suggest you get a great multivitamin, because how we produce food has robbed most of our food of many of their vital nutrients. I would also urge you to eat the most organic, pesticide free versions of the foods that you can find and afford. However, when push comes to shove, it doesn’t matter where you buy the food as much as the fact that we cut meat and dairy out and fill our diets with the rich and wondrous foods that mother nature has provided in plant form. It can be frozen, in a can, and you can gradually add them in. We call this crowding out. If you eat enough whole foods then you will eventually crowd out the bad, and I can promise you will feel better, and have more energy than any drink or pill can ever give you.

My favorite demonstration was when they showed how the stomach reacts to food. Our processed food is so rich that it only fills our stomachs partway, but is high in calories, fats and proteins. This leaves us feeling hungry, despite the fact that we have eaten enough. By filling our stomachs with whole foods we trigger the part of our brain that is satiated, and we have not over eaten in terms of calories, etc.

While I am discussing whole foods, I would be remiss if I did not promote my new abilities as a Licensed Health Coach. You can view my website, which is still a bit of a work in progress at http://www.youruniquelifestyle.com. I offer free consultations, and I can be your coach, friend and mentor to gaining the health, weight, and life that you dream of. It just starts with a simple phone call, skype chat or meeting. I am also nice, am not stuck on a particular diet, and have a background in diets for special needs, like gluten-free. I hope you enjoy the book offerings, and please, take up the offer for a FREE consultation. At the very least, you will get a clearer picture about what you want in life.

Minted Cards and Art – Get Ready for Christmas or your Next Business Meeting

News Wahl received one or more of the products mentioned in the post below free for evaluation purposes, received compensation, and/or is an affiliate of one or more of the products, links and banners you will see on this site. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% genuine. This is disclosed in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. Thanks for reading  Natalie.

Minted is a fancy and fun new site that I have just discovered and would like to share. They offer everything from business cards to Christmas cards, and their wedding invitations are divine. :) What I love about their designs is that they feature small designers, have inspiration boards and offer unique looks that are more my style than most pre-printed cards. I like to think of myself as an artist, and would love to make my cards by hand, but their unique and very cute designs totally save me from hours of labor.

One of my favorite inspiration boards is their “Peace” board.

I love the traditional colors and designs. I would love to someday live in a location where we could have an actual white Christmas, and pick up evergreen boughs from the local mountains or even neighborhood to decorate and add fragrance to our home.

Their business cards come in unique shapes and sizes, and are equally design friendly. All of their business cards can be customized to match your personal color scheme and logo. A few of my favorites are below:

MIN-Y34-BSC-007B_A_CPI love this one and would love a bunch to hand out when in public. I have an autistic son, and one of my favorite melt-down ideas was having cards to hand out to all those well-meaning, or judging well-wishers that stare at us. It would be so easy to hand them a card saying, “You have just witnessed an autism moment. This is not rare or unusual, we are handling it. If you would like to help, learn more about autism here, and support our efforts as parents to socialize our child so he can go out in public. Thank You!” It was an idea I got from another autism mom, and one that I have thought about a lot since then.

For my business cards, I love these designs:

MIN-74L-BSC-007B_A_CP MIN-X18-BSC-007B_A_CP MIN-X51-BSC-007B_A_CP MIN-X58-BSC-007B_A_CP MIN-X64-BSC-007B_A_CP MIN-X84-BSC-007B_A_CP MIN-X94-BSC-007B_A_CP MIN-Y22-BSC-007B_A_CP MIN-Y30-BSC-007B_A_CPI like to be busy and doing. I am working on becoming a personal trainer. I am a licensed health coach. I have a background in tutoring and teaching, and I teach piano and violin. As you can see, there are unique designs for every profession and non-profession. I can’t wait to order my cards, and will have to order more than one set to fit my eclectic lifestyle.

Please check them out at http://www.minted.com and order your Christmas cards now, you can never get those too early, or get new and inspirational business cards that are fun to hand out, and like them on facebook. I love the designs, and the fun. I love paper and all things paper crafting in general, and when you find a great site, with dedicated designers and quality materials, you keep their information handy. You never know when inspiration will strike. For all you designers out there, they have competitions for new designs, so keep in touch and maybe I’ll be buying your card design next.

My Amazing Author Friend!

My great friend is a real writer. She doesn’t just share her life and thoughts, although that would be fascinating, she writes novels, and stories, and short fiction. She also writes delightful horror. I didn’t know horror could be delightful until I met her. She has a new book coming out. She also has an agent, and a publisher. She will have many books to come, but I am just sharing the cover art for this one, special novella right now. I can’t wait to read it! I hope you look her up.

LIKE www.facebook.com/RagnarokPublications for updates and release information on Mercedes’ book!

Isn’t the cover intriguing. I can guarantee the book will be even better, and I am lucky to know someone who is so kind and talented!

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Upcoming Events

Make Our Own Network

Prize:

16″ Earth Ball

+

Winner School of Choice will receive a

1 Meter Earth Ball

ARV $143 Total

Hosted by:

 

Sign-ups close 9/3

**The blogger with the most referrals will receive the additional links at no cost

Click HERE to sign up and for more html info.

M.O.O.N. has now added several perks/discounts for frequent participation in our events but you must be a member of our Facebook group to be eligible.  Please visit the M.O.O.N. group if you are a blogger and would like more information regarding these perks and other group events.

**If you are a company and would like to see your brand advertised in a M.O.O.N. event similar to this please contact MakeOurOwnNetwork@gmail.com

 

Christmas is almost here!!

 

We are giving away

 

 

Target $200 Gift Card

 

 

-FREE Link with announcement (Twitter or Pinterest)

 

 

-Giveaway date:  October 14 to November 4

 

-Co-host $15.00

10 Links

2 Co-host pages

 

Extra links $1.50

 

Send payment to melisurveys1978@gmail.com

 

Sign up Here

 

One lucky winner will win 

a

 

Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 32GB

Value $299

 

Dates: September 2 – 20

US Only

 

Details

 

-Free Twitter or Pinterest with announcement 

 

-Co-host $15

2 Host pages

10 Links on the RC (no google links, if you have G+ on GFC on your blog, we can direct fans to go there and follow you from your blog)

 

-Extra links $3.00

Please send payment to melisurveys1978@gmail.com as gift

 

 

 

 

Blogger Opportunity

 

 

Giveaway  September 30 to October 21

 

 

We are giving away

Coach Ashley Signature Carryall  Value $398

 

 

Announcement required for free link

 

 

 

Details:

 

-Free Link (Twitter or Pinterest)

The first 50 bloggers to sign up will get free link with announcement.  

Announcement is required or you can pay $5.00 waiver fee

Please get your announcement here.

Please read the sign up form on the top to know if we still gave free space available

 

 

- Link / or Extra links $4.00 (if free spots are taking the link cost $4.00)

Announcement is required or you can pay $5.00 waiver fee

Please get your announcement here.

 

-Co-host $20.00

Co-host get 2 host page

10 links on the RC (no google links)

No announcement required

Please send payment to melisurveys1978@gmail.com

 

Smart Silk Pillows Giveaway

Welcome to the SmartSilk Giveaway!

Hosted by: Savory Savings

Co-hosts: Tunica Mama and Frugal Washington Mommy

Sponsored by: SmartSilk

smartsilk_logo

pillowsAre you an allergy or asthma sufferer?  If you are like many who do, your pillow may be a huge culprit to your nighttime symptoms.  Pillows are harbingers of dust mites, skin cells and other gross things you likely don’t want hanging around near your face.  Smart Silk brings you bedding and pillows that are naturally hypo-allergenic and are not nice homes for things like dust mites.

Krista over at Savory Savings had the chance to review two pillows from SmartSilk  – check out her review and see why she loved that these pillows help regulate temperature, resist things like mildew and mold, as well as are comfortable for both her husband and herself!

I have major allergies, and so does my husband. We also love to buy new pillows! I think I get him pillows every Christmas. This year I’d like to buy a new mattress to go with it all as we have been married for 10 years. We would love something hypoallergenic and natural.

If you would like to win two pillows from SmartSilk (and $130 value!), enter with the Giveaway Tool below.  This giveaway will be open to US residents, ages 18 and older.  It will run from August 16, 2013 and end on August 30, 2013 at 11 PM CST.

Good luck!

Savory Savings did not receive any compensation for this post.  Disclosure: Savory Savings and Pea of Sweetness did receive some products for free and are sharing their opinions with you.  Opinions may differ from yours.  Savory Savings and News Wahl are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.  This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any social media outlet.  We hereby release Facebook of any liability.  The post may contain affiliate links. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours after the giveaway ends to respond before another winner is selected.  All entries will be verified. 

Bored to Tears

This week has been hard. I am trying to start a new career as a health coach. I just graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and received my license, except, I got sick. My son gave me a sinus infection and pink eye. Then he got to go to a Lego camp with Dad while I slept all day for most of the week and recovered. Sometimes I hate that my body won’t keep up with my will. Me home alone and sick and sleeping a lot equals depression, which is not something I want to admit to, much less write about, but there it is. I get depressed. I am lonely and I feel really useless. It doesn’t help that my son comments on how I am “finally useful” when I manage to cut up the watermelon for them, or when they come home and nothing has changed. I want to be and do more, but sometimes you just have to go with sick and tired.

I realized during this week of pity partying that soon school will start and I will again be alone with myself and my thoughts for most of the day. I don’t know what my purpose is. I can’t get a full-time job, because I am disabled, I like blogging, but don’t live a very interesting life so sometimes there really isn’t anything to write about. I used to be the mom to a kid who needed me a lot, now he is independent and only needs me sometimes. I do side jobs and little things, but nothing that defines my day, or requires me to stick to a schedule of any kind. I will be happy to go back to my yoga classes when school starts, and hopefully realize some of my blogging goals and desires, but really I don’t have an anchoring purpose that defines my life and day. I am just drifting and therefore the title. I am bored to tears. What to do? I will let you know when I figure it out.

Good Things

Mom Loves 2 Read and NewsWahl are excited to offer an upcoming giveaway for a jewelry candle and a bag of jewelry tarts to two lucky winners. It combines two of my favorite things. Jewelry and candles. bag_of_tarts_new_medium eternal_honeymoon1903_mediumSign-ups for bloggers are going on now. Please go here to sign-up.

iPoll is a fun new way to earn money. Please join now.

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Gaiam TV offers health and wellness content that I love. Please go here to sign-up for your free trial today.

 

Sing up for My Job Chart and teach your kids responsibility and money management. It is fun, and will definitely be the new system we use for my son.

My son and husband are dyslexic and love listening to audiobooks. We own hundreds and they are always looking for more. In fact, my son falls to sleep listening to audiobooks every night, and he remembers so much We attribute his listening to his current ability to read with voice and fluency that most kids his age lack. Sign-up today for yourself, or to start your child on a new path to literacy.

New DIrections and Goals

I am officially certified and licensed as a Health Coach. I will be building my website and offerings within the next couple of weeks, and am super excited to enter a new phase of health and wellness. I have a lot of experience with illness, and am determined to shift my focus, and my life to one of wellness. I may never be perfectly healthy, but I can still be well, and I am passionate about helping others. So much of what I learned was how our diet and lifestyle can affect our health, and that making simple changes can save our lives in a very literal sense. I love writing, and I love public speaking. I want to share what I know everywhere.

Secondly, I have decided that I need to take my passion for blogging to the next level. I will continue to offer giveaways and fun things on this blog, but that is its new purpose. I will be starting two new blogs, one for health and wellness, and the other about blogging, and marketing, and setting up events etc. I love managing things. I love traveling and speaking to groups, and I want to become an expert/mentor/guru in the field of blogging and creating a successful business. I have products that I have searched and tried over the years that I will be promoting, and I hope to partner with other professionals to offer some amazing services to people. One day I will be a sought after speaker and trainer for corporations, blogging conferences and marketing groups.

Thirdly, I believe firmly that diet and lifestyle played a role in my life’s course and my son’s current medical and mental struggles. I hope to re-route that path for all of us, and to join with those that are seeking prevention and a “cure”. I know that genetics plays a part in autism, ADHD, autoimmune disorders and even depression, but there are ways to mitigate the effects. If diet and nutrition can reverse degenerative diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer, it can play a role in autoimmunity and autism. I will find that role. I hope to become a certified yoga teacher or personal trainer. I hope to get a certificate or some kind of formal training in marketing, SEO, ROI and all the other blogging and marketing essentials, but mostly I want to get out there and travel and do as much as I can.

I have been in a huge slump this week. It seemed like I had no control over my life, and I had no idea which direction to go. I was trying to do things that I like, but that don’t fit with my ultimate goals and dreams. It’s funny, but those keep morphing as I learn. I will probably write other posts six-months from now narrowing my focus and sharing exciting news about people I am partnering with. I love that I can change and develop and continue to learn and offer new things to the world. Blogging and writing are ideal for me as they fit around my medical issues, and my tendency to not sleep on a regular schedule :). I will need to learn and read a lot, and I would love to get a better understanding and talent in graphic design, but maybe I can partner with someone there. Another part of my slump is with the brain surgery I was put on a lot of steroids so my body would heal correctly, which it has had a really hard time accomplishing. I have gained more weight than I ever thought possible. I don’t even recognize myself. The hard part is it wasn’t cravings, and overeating, or anything I did. It was inactivity, and steroids. The other problem is I will have to take steroids until my pituitary gland starts to work, or I die, so the weight gain issue isn’t going away. I felt like I had to wait until I was more fit, more skinny to be a health coach, so I kept putting it off. I realized today, that my journey to returning to my healthy, fit body is part of my coaching and will make me a better coach. So here are before and after pictures. They aren’t pretty, I’m not happy with them, but I am learning to accept myself where I am, and live with the newness of it all.

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I had my disability hearing. The judge was mean and antagonistic. I think he will rule against me. We have to pay our bills somehow, and so I have to work. Hopefully this blogging deal will pan out, if not, I don’t know where to start next. I would love support, advice, and to partner with anyone who shares my vision. Here is my new bio (for now anyways). He suggested my son’s diagnosis of autism was “convenient”. After that it was all downhill. He gets to rule sometime this week. We’ll see if he changes his mind.

I have just finished my licensing and certification as a health coach and have a degree in Psychology. I am a wife, mother and blogger. I love public speaking and motivating people to become their best. My website newswahl is mostly for reviews, giveaways, coupons and other great offers. I have other sites where I blog about health and wellness, and I teach music, and offer private health coaching. My goal is to become an expert in the field of health and wellness and to create communities and movements that change the health of our children. I believe that autism, ADHD, and autoimmune diseases are linked to our environment, diet and lifestyle. I have struggled medically for years, my son is autistic and has ADHD and I have spent the last ten years working with children affected by those and other disorders. I want to spend the rest of my life finding solutions and preventing these disorders as much as is possible. There will always be sickness, but it can be addressed, and every child and adult can learn and change. So much of our life is in our control if we just realize it. My motto used to be muddling through. Now it is creating Joy.

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