Saturday, January 30, 2016

Who Is They?

This week has been a week full of news. At work they have decided to reorganize the department I work in. Schedules need to be changed. And the way the system is set up, that means that jobs will be eliminated and then recreated. So anybody who has been in the workforce for any amount of time knows that there are a lot of unhappy people where I work. 

I have heard a lot of people saying they do this all the time. I have heard individuals say they don't know what they are doing. And I thought to myself, who is they? 

My experience has been that I often blame they when I don't want to take responsibility for a problem. And sometimes I blame they when I know that change is really needed. And often times I really have wanted someone to do something about the problem. 

But that change is often painful for some individuals. This week I have seen individuals who have worked for a company several years find out that they are going to have to face a change in their work lives. These individuals won't be unemployed. They will just need to do a different job than they have in the past. And my co-workers aren't happy about this. And that gets me back to my questions who is they?

I think that sometimes it is easier to be angry at a collection of people instead of placing the blame on a specific person. It is easier when a situation is out of our control to blame a concept instead of looking at the entire situation. It is easier to say to ourselves they are singling me out and they are wrong. Instead of saying someone is finally trying to solve some of the problems. And maybe they are doing the right thing and we just don't know it yet.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Glam It Up With Glamulet

The great hunt for the perfect Valentine's Day gift has begun. There are so many gift. But how do you find a special gift. One that the person you care about will squeal with glee upon receiving. One that is just a little different from what they ordinarily receive.

Well, Glamulet may have the answer for you. For those of you who don't know Glamulet sells charms and charm bracelets.

Now there are those of you who are saying how is this a special present? It's simple they have a set of photo charms that are so easy to create it is unbelievable.

The first step is to choose a charm. There are five different styles you can choose from. All you have to do is choose one.

Next step choose a picture for your charm. And then you have it a personalized charm. A great gift that is personalized for the one you love.

Now here is the really cool part of this post, you as my faithful followers can receive a 15% discount on your purchase All you have to do is go to Glamulet, register, create your personalized gift, and then when you go to checkout use this super special code.

15% discount code BB-VD15

Now there is another great part to this promotion. You can win a photo charm. Yes, there are going to be 20 winners. All you have to do is follow the steps above. And then you share your design with your friends through social media. Encourage them to vote, and the 20 designs that receive the most votes will win a photo charm. Winners will be selected on February 9th. 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, and I did receive a 50% discount on a photo charm in exchange for posting, but I really do think it would be a great gift for Valentine's Day.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


I was out and about the other day, and I noticed this little paw print in the snow. It's a little cat print.
And I wondered if it's owner had a home or if it simply ran out the door to explore the world. I wondered if he would be able to have a warm place to sleep at night and someone to feed him that afternoon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Anaheim Pepper Cranberry Orange Sauce

Every once and a while you just have to use what have around the house to cook with. So as I was foraging through the fridge the other day, I realized that I wanted to make a sauce. And I had ingredients to make something a little spicy. So this is what I came up with.

Here's What You Need

1 lb Anaheim peppers halved and deseeded
1 lb fresh cranberries
1 lb of cuties peeled
3/4 cup of honey

Here's What You Do

Add your cranberries to boiling water. Allow them to cook until they soften about 15 minutes. Then add your peppers for about 5 minutes. Next add the mixture to a blender. Blend it until it is a little smooth. While your blending the cranberries and peppers, boil your oranges for a couple of minutes. Then add your oranges to the blender. Then boil the mixture and add the honey. Allow it to thicken up a little. And then you have a sweet spicy and tart sauce that goes great with pork, fish, or chicken.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ocean Mineral Facial Cleanser by Oz Naturals

I thought to myself it’s time to take a look at new facial cleanser. And the opportunity came about when Naturals sent me a free same of their Ocean Miner Facial Cleanser in exchange for a review.

The Product

The cleanser contains Rose Hip Oil and Vitamin E. Rose Hip oil contains antioxidants, and it is able to penetrate into deeper layers of the skin. It’s a great addition to any cleansing routine, and I was pleased that it is part of this product.  And we all know that Vitamin E is essential to healthy looking skin. It contains two great ingredients that make your skin look great.

Now, how do you use it? The package states that you apply a little to your hands or washcloth and then you moisten it. And it really is that simple. All you have to do is squeeze a little from the tube onto your fingertips and then moisten it. Apply it to your skin, and rinse it off. It’s that easy. I do recommend that you only use a small amount like two or three drops. The first time I used it I put too much on my hand, and it took longer to rinse off.

What I Liked and Disliked

I really liked that this contains the rose hip oil. It’s so good for your skin, and many skin care products don’t contain it. I also like just how easy this is to use. It did leave my skin feeling fresh and clean after I used it. And it was easy to squeeze it from the tube.
I didn’t like that the product is 72% organic. What is the other 28%? Perhaps, if I look up all of the ingredients on the side of the box I would figure it out. But I do applaud Oz Naturals for clearly stating it on the box.

Who Should Use This?

Anyone who I looking for healthier looking skin will probably like this product.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Right Or Almost Right Book Spotlight

There's a new book that all of you should here about, instead of a book review. I decided to share with you a spotlight that contains information about the book.

“Network marketing changed my life beyond my wildest imagination,” says John. His story is amazing, from living in a trailer park to a well-known network marketing leader. And his story can help you to make your dreams come true too!

Book Description:  

Right or Almost Right is based on John Haremza’s 25 years of success in network marketing. It’s John’s answer to the questions so many ask such as, “Where’s the money? Why am I not seeing the success I expected?” As John says, “I meet so many intelligent, hard-working, dedicated network marketers who are struggling. They are not seeing the results they expected, and they always ask, “Why?”

John believes that the small subtleties of how the network marketing business is done make the big difference between making a little money versus making a lot of money, between success and struggling. He addresses many of the basics of doing “the business,” from prospecting to leading your organization, and points out what is “right” as compared to what is “almost right.”

John has lived every example contained in his book. “Network marketing changed my life beyond my wildest imagination,” says John. His story is amazing, from living in a trailer park to a well-known network marketing leader. And his story can help you to make your dreams come true too!

Buy the book:   Amazon  Barnes & Noble   Book Depository

ChalkO Chalkboard Markers Review

If you read my recent post What Was That Detail?, you already know that I am trying some new things in order to pay attention to details. I was really fortunate to receive some white chalk markers by Chalk-O to review. They fit in perfect with my new project.

The Product

When I received the package with my new markers in it I opened it up. It contained four markers and eight chalkboard stickers. So far so good, the package contained everything it said it should.

I got one of the markers out, and opened it up. The marker and the package both provided instructions on how to get the liquid chalk to flowing. I shook the pen and pressed down per the instructions. And it worked. I was able to write my task for that I wanted to complete on the mirror. It worked. I was pleased.

Then I went to put the cap back on the marker. Somehow I pressed to hard against the tip of the marker. And the tip came out. I thought oh no. I've used it once and it is ruined. And there was some liquid that spilled. I looked at the marker again, and I was able to put the tip back in the marker. I tested it to see if it would still work. And it did. And the mess was super easy to clean up. I just used a wet paper towel to clean it up. No more mess.

Now, I knew that it would clean up easily when it was wet, but would it clean up when it had dried on a surface? When I was ready to erase what I wrote on the mirror, I sprayed it with glass cleaner. And then I wiped a paper towel across the area, it was gone. It required little to no effort.

So overall, this product did what it claims to do.

Who Should Buy This Product

This product would be great for teachers and parents. It recommended for children over the age of three. And I believe that a child who is supervised could easily use this product. Due to the fact that the tip will come out, I would not let younger children use these markers. It is super easy to use on glass. So if you have a project that requires writing on glass this will work for you.

Disclaimer: I did receive this product free in exchange for an honest review, and I have provided you with what I thought of this product.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Staring At The Blank Page

I sat here staring at a blank page today. I was wondering what I wanted to share with the world this Sunday morning. I didn't know what to say. Quite frankly, nothing really seemed to come to mind. And then I thought my life is pretty great. Why not share what is great about my life or at least the past couple of days in my life.

It is absolutely great that it is a sunny day today. Winter seems so long to me sometimes. It's such a hassle to put on all of the extra clothes. And oh, yes, the joy of having to start your car a little early because it needs to warm up. Apparently, cars don't like winter much either. But today the sun is out and I can go out and play. It's made me think of the song Dear Prudence.

I thought how it was great that I got to celebrate my friend Andy's birthday not just once this week, but twice. It was great to be able to spend time with friends, and of course you always deserve a full week of celebrations. And a big thanks to El Azteca for the big table and warm welcome you provided us last Sunday to start the celebrations. Those Big Benji's were fabamundo!

My friend Gloria, who was at my house when the scanner wouldn't work. Oh, yes, she got to be around me when I got totally frustrated with my total lack of mechanical skills. She helped me figure out how to get it working right instead of just putting the project to the side. Thanks, Gloria!

That gift $25 gift card I was able to get through Swagbucks. If you don't use it, you're missing out. All you have to do is search like you normally do on the internet you win points, and you can cash those points in for gift cards.

My cat finally approved of a treat I brought home to him. He went crazy for the Hairball treats I bought by Pet Naturals. I couldn't believe it. He is picky. He normally turns his nose up to a lot of treat, but not these. It felt good to finally please Mr. Picky Pants.

And last my friend Laura made me a fantastic wand for Harry Potter Day. It looks great, and well it was perfect for the festivities at Sweets So Geek. Even though we were late for the costume contest. They put together a absolutely great Harry Potter themed party! Can't wait to see what their next promotion is. I know it will be great. And that pumpkin juice they make is the greatest! You all should check it out if you are in Ft. Wayne.

And that absolutely fabulous co-worker who cancelled a day of vacation to come in and work because we were going to be short handed. You are the best co-worker of the week! And maybe even ever!

So somehow I went from staring at a blank page to a page full of things that are really wonderful in my life. Not bad is it?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Breaking Into Song

Imagine living in a world where people suddenly broke into songs. You know just like a musical or like the show Glee. I thought about it, and I wondered what a typical day would sound like. What songs would come be sung?

The first song of a typical day could be Here Comes The Sun. It happens every day.

As I get ready for work, The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars might just be sung.

When lunch time comes around and it sounds like a burger and fries sound great. Cookie Monsters version of Healthy Food could be the song.

That time in the afternoon when you just feel a little bored and silly. The song could be Mahna Mahna by the Muppets.

When you are thinking about going out for the night, and this is how you want things to go.

And then when it's time for bed, and you're having a sleepless night Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart.

What other songs could be included in a breaking into song playlist?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Finds

Another Friday has arrived, and I have spent some time looking at things that I would love to have. So here are my Friday Finds.

I so love little papers. And I love cute little memo pads. These fit the bill. And I love that you get an assortment of 100. Please person in charge of all paper send me some of these.

The Big Bang Theory / Star Trek Amy 8-inch Action Figure
 I don't think I have talked to a fan of The Big Bang Theory who isn't a Fan of Amy. She has her own action figure. I need this like a hole in my head, but I want one.

Do I have to explain why I want a this? Baking with Batman could be a series couldn't it?

Who doesn't like cashmere, and they are long sleeved gloves? And they would be perfect for an Oscar Party wouldn't they?

And it always makes my feet happy when I have cute socks. And well these fit the bill.

Tell me what you think of my Friday Finds and what would you add to the list?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What Was That Detail?

I often find that I don't always take care of those little details that can wind up causing a lot of trouble in the end. So my faithful followers may remember from my post New Year New Word that my word for the year is details.

But my problem is how do I focus in on some of those details. I mean there are days when I think to myself in the morning, I need to do this today. And then the day just gets away from me. Or I just forget.

So, I thought to myself I need a new approach. I need to put something where I will see it several times throughout the day. That way I wouldn't be able to say that I forgot. I thought about the refrigerator that's where everyone puts stuff like that. But I decided that was quite frequent enough.

And then it hit me. The bathroom is one place I go to several times a day. And I always end up looking in the mirror. That's where I needed to put the reminder. But how to do it? A post it note? That's too easy to ignore. So this is what I came up with.

The picture isn't that great, but I decided that I would use erasable markers to draw out what I needed to do. It has given me the chance to be a little creative with my reminder. I've tried to use pictures to remind me of the detail I needed to accomplish. I think this is an additional prompt. And I think that it has encouraged me to complete some of the tasks. 

So I guess sometimes in order to remind myself to complete tasks, I just have to be a little more creative.

How do you get yourself to complete those little details in life?

Simply Wonderful Craft Projects

One of the really great things about blogging is the chance to visit other blogs and see what other individuals are thinking. And what they are creating. Everybody has something really unique that to offer the world. And here are a few on the simply wonderful craft projects I have seen recently.

I visited a new blog by Kelsey and saw this fabulous Tetris Crocheted afghan. She's only had two posts, but if she starts out this way imagine all of the super geeky crafts she is going to offer the world. I can't wait to see more. And who doesn't love Tetris?
When I saw these adorable little Cupid Arrows, I thought to myself I need to make some of these. It' simple and perfect for Valentine's Day. It's coming up really soon isn't it?

When I saw this Valentine's Day chalkboard, I thought how could something that cute be so simple. But believe it or not it really is. So it's on my to make list for this Valentine's Day.

I always love recycled crafts. And when I saw what Suzy created out of toilet paper rolls. I thought this is beyond wonderful. It is recycled, and it looks fabulous. I need to start saving those toilet paper rolls now so I can make some.

It's strange that I came across this project. I have a bunch of old cd's that I never listen to. I have been thinking about getting rid of them, but now they have a new purpose. Gotta make it!

So what craft projects do you want to try this winter?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


I was thinking the other day about movement. And how do I picture it. And then I went outside. The were flying back and forth from the bushes to the side of the garage. And I decided to take a picture. I caught one them mid flight. And well it just kind of made me think that there are those who are just sitting around in life talking about what they want. And then there are those who are up and moving around to make what they want happen.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Giving Candy To Strangers

I recently had  the opportunity to read the book Giving Candy to Strangers by Stan Holden. I did receive a free copy of the book in exchange for a review, but I will tell you what I think of the book.

The Story

This book is a guide to increasing your sales. We live in a world where everyone is looking to see what they can get out of everyone else. How are we going to get what we want. But in this book the author points out that in order to get something we need to focus on what is really important. And the truly important thing in life is the people that we come in contact with. 

His plan for a successful business is simple. Give to people. And you need to give something that is valuable to everyone. Give your sincerity. Give without really expecting to get something in return. And more times than not your get something back. You get that sale that you wanted.

Just because the author encourages you to focus on giving doesn't mean that he doesn't tell you that you shouldn't sell. He just encourages you to remember that the relationship you are building is more important than that a one time sale. 

What I Liked and Disliked

I really liked that this book was not a sales formula. So often books about customer relationships tell people this and you will get this. The author really focuses in on give and see what happens. And he shows how this works. He uses examples of how this has been successful in his life. I liked that this book encourages individuals to put out positive activity in order to get positive relationships in your life. 

The one thing that I disliked about his approach is he encourages the reader to use every aspect of social media to assist them with sales. I get what he is saying, and I believe it works, but there are times when I have a love hate relationship with social media. And this is exactly why I have that relationship. Everything that is shared there is open for everyone to know. I believe that the author truly does use it to put a personal touch in his sales approach, but it just isn't my style I guess.

I also liked that the author reminds the reader just how important everyone is. He reminds the reader that the secretary to an individual is just as important as the individual you are trying to meet. And that people often forget that they may be the way for you to meet that individual you really want to meet. In essence he encourages the reader to treat everyone with respect.

What I Learned

With everything I read I learn something new. Sometimes that learning comes from reinforcing something I might have already known. And the thing I learned from this book is that every person is important. Relationships are a journey. And they don't come with road maps. You are never sure where those journeys will take you. The relationship you build with that individual sitting at the table next to you at an event might become the connection to your biggest sale of the year. Or they may be the person who introduces you to new opportunities and adventures in your life. The author encourages us not to miss the journey because we are afraid of what others might think of us. 

Who Should Read This Book

If you are looking for a new approach to bring success to your business than this book is for you. If you follow the authors plan of putting people first you will find positive results in your business. Anybody who knows how people operate knows this is true. But this book is also for those who are facing a little bit of stagnation in their life. He encourages you to go out and make new relationships. It doesn't matter if it is a person that you may only see once in your life, or if it is a person that becomes your new business partner. Everyone is important and you never know what these individuals may become in your life.

Overall, I liked this book. I liked how the author encouraged more positive interactions with individuals. I like that he encourages the reader to not limit ourselves, but to take a leap into new relationships. And well you never know where you will end up do you?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Time Management Tips

A couple of months ago I did a review of Ditching the Drive Thru by J. Natalie Winch. The book encouraged me to put a little more effort into what I was eating. And I mean that in all aspects. From the amount I spent on the food to going through the drive thru. Natalie has agreed to do a guest post today. And I'm really happy to present her ideas on time management which is something I always wrestle with.

You can keep up with some of what she is doing and what she has planned through her facebook page or through her website Food Empowerment Blog. For those of you who are interested in a more healthy lifestyle that isn't overwhelming. It's a really good place to begin.

I love the New Year. 

Although I look at time as a random man-made concept, I do love the idea of marking time, of tracking it.  I think it is undervalued, though.  It is highly sought-after, since we only have a limited quantity, and should have a high value.  However, I see so many people squandering it, wasting it.  We can never get time back.  Money, we can get back.  I’m never too worried when I spend money, because I know that I can work and make more money.  But if I spend time, it is gone.  And if I work, more time is gone.  So no matter what I do, even sitting here writing this blog post, I have spent time.

The New Year always feels like New Time for me.  Not just a new beginning for new ideas, new approaches, but that time itself is somehow renewed.  Maybe it is connected to the daylight.  The days get shorter and shorter as December speeds by, and I don’t think I am truly cognizant of the daylight extending until about the first of the year.  It’s only a difference of about 10 minutes or so, and I am not particularly aware of it in the morning, but I notice it in the evening.  In pagan times, it must have been very reassuring, every year when people realized that the days were getting longer and that Spring would eventually arrive.

I love January.  It is one of my favorite months of the year.  Sure, the snow is sometimes frustrating, and I don’t like the heating bills, but it is a month that I end up spending a lot of time with my family, students are fairly low-key and I can get a lot accomplished in the classroom, and I am invigorated by newness.  We have no sports to attend in January, which changes our meal schedule to one that is more consistent; we aren’t running out the door early Saturday morning to get to a game site, or out late on Mondays and Wednesdays for practices.  There are no major Jewish holidays in January, so I have no big programs to plan and worry about for the Hebrew School.  Senioritis has not quite set in, because the Senior Trip in March still feels far away for the students.  And I had ten days off to get caught up on grading, and plan and prepare lessons.  I have organized my book bag, and updated my planner.  I always feel “ready” for the month of January.

Do you? 

OK, maybe January isn’t your month.  You have basketball, wrestling, and ice-hockey to juggle.  You are in charge of the cookie sale for Girl Scouts.  You have a major presentation for a client in two days.  I get it.  That is how September is for me.  How does one survive this dearth of time?  Prioritizing and planning.  The best advice I ever received was to write things on paper.  The visual trigger, actually seeing where your time goes, is extremely helpful in sorting out how to spend time.  In my book, Ditching the Drive-Thru, I discuss a 30-Month Plan to help people try and reach their goals.  But even setting up a 30-Month plan can be daunting if you don’t know if you have any time to spend working on goals.  Don’t know where your time goes?  Try this:

On a piece of blank paper, held landscape, make a chart with 7 columns, one for each day, then fill in your chart with every single thing that you do on a given day.  There are many things we tend to overlook when we are accounting for our time:  getting ready for work, making the children’s lunches, responding to emails and texts, doing the laundry, sweeping the kitchen floor.  Understand why:  we value neither the 10 minutes we spend nor the task we complete.  If it takes 3 minutes to change over the laundry, and 7 minutes to fold it, then you spend 10 minutes per load doing laundry.  It doesn’t seem like very much.  But if you are doing 6 loads of laundry, times 10 minutes per load, you have spent an hour on laundry.  If you spend 30 seconds per text (reading, and then responding) and you are in textversations (Winchian from the Latin “versus” meaning furrow or line of writing, line of text-writing between two or more cellphone users) 60 times a day, you have spent 30 minutes texting.  Over the course of a week, that’s three and a half hours.

Fill in your chart with a task and the estimated amount of time you spend on that task.  For example, I used 9 ½ hours for school because I am including the 40-minute each way commute time.  Looking at the picture of my chart, I realize that I haven’t read or sent a text, had a conversation with any of my family members; I didn’t get ready for bed, read a book, or sleep; I forgot about stopping by my parents’ house, checking social media, watching TV, and eating or preparing any meals on Saturday.  Try to be as complete as you can.  Then total up your hours.  It’s crazy, right?  Part of me wants to cry when I look at that chart.  It can be overwhelming.

What do you do from here?  Prioritize.  What is most important?  What can I do without? What can I move?  Turn the chart into a list: What do I spend the most time on to what do I spend the least time on.  My chart goes from school (about 50 hours) to making my lunches (about ½ hour).  I spend more time writing blog posts than I do making my lunch for the week.  I never realized that.  After you have looked at things in a time-expenditure way, rank the items by how important they are to you in terms of necessity and personal satisfaction.

Then comes the planner.  Did anyone ever teach you how to use a planner?  There are many different methods, but many people agree that “on the phone” is the least successful way to manage time.  Yes, the alerts and reminders are convenient, but we miss the visual cues because we don’t look at the month as a whole, or even a day as a whole.

Here’s a great method that was passed along to me many years ago: have a monthly planner AND a daily/weekly planner.  The monthly planner gives you the overview.  When you get your new planner, put in all of the birthdays, anniversaries, or other remarkable days.  When you make doctor appointments put them in.  Add in the kids’ school schedules, activities, and events.  As you get information about family plans, add those in as well.  All of this should go into the daily/weekly planner, as well.  I know it sounds like double work, but when you look at a coming week, seeing it all at once on a monthly calendar is helpful.  As to the day-to-day, make To Do lists in the daily/weekly planner.  If something doesn’t get done, move it to the next day.  If something absolutely MUST get done, highlight it.

There’s another thing that I forgot to put on my chart: working in my planners.  I spend about 5 minutes a day, updating my planner, maybe ten on the weekends.  It’s about 45 minutes a week and well worth it. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Fabulous Moments

The past couple of weeks were full of challenges. But this last week had some really great moments. Here are some of the fabulous moments from the last week.

Getting my car back from the auto collision shop. Those of you who are my faithful followers know that New Year's Eve was not too kind to me. And well I found that my car was broken into. You can read all about it here. I finally got my car back last Monday. Yes, I had to work out logistics. My friend Laura volunteered to drive me over to the repair shop early Monday morning to pick up my car. And my friend Gloria over at Edge of Gloria gave me a ride home after I dropped off my rental car. (And just in case you don't know Enterprise really will give you a ride home after you drop off your car. I wish I would have asked about that policy before I asked Gloria to go out on a cold winter night.)

That lady who brought in not one but two boxes of DeBrand Chocolate when she noticed that we were having a hard day at work.

Yes, girl you are the reason that working with the public can be great! You make it worthwhile. Sometimes Just a Smile can work, and more often than not we really do mean to be smiling.

Last night I had the chance to go out to dinner with my friends Mike and Laura. Savor Fort Wayne is going on. We decided to use the event to visit a restaurant none of us have visited before. We chose Queen of Sheba and it was a fantastic choice. The food was wonderful, and the staff were fantastic!

If you live in Fort Wayne or if you will be visiting the area make sure to check out this restaurant. And save room for the Queen of Sheba baklava. It is the best desert I've had in ages. Sorry didn't get a picture of the baklava, but trust me it is wonderful. I'm so glad we all opted to try something completely different for the evening.

Tonight we'll be celebrating my friend Andy's birthday. Celebrations are always fun, and we all know that nine times out of ten Andy's birthday party is the coldest day of the year. And if it isn't the coldest day of the year. Well it's one of the coldest days. Today is no exception it is currently 12 degrees. Yes, that's an even dozen. We all venture out in the cold, because it's Andy. But part of me is happy because deep in my heart I know that the worst of winter is coming to an end. Temperatures should rise into the twenties and thirties really soon. Happy Birthday Andy!

What have been some of the fabulous moments in your life this week?

Wasabi Broccoli Bacon Slaw

The other day I needed a side dish. I wanted something a little different than I usually eat, but I didn't want to go to the grocery store. And quite honestly, I needed to use up some of what I had around the house. I am trying to not waste as much food as I have at times. And I recently read a post called Winging It by Donna over at Tomatoes and Tangles. It reminded I can forage through the fridge and put together a meal more often than I think. So here is what I came up with Wasabi Broccoli Bacon Slaw.

Here's What You Need

1 package broccoli slaw 
1/2 cup almonds preferably wasabi almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup bacon bits
1 cup of  slaw dressing
1/4 cup of wasabi sauce

Here's What You Do

Put all those ingredients in a bowl and mix them up. It's easy!

The wasabi sauce will give the slaw a little kick, so if you don't like a lot of heat in your food. Use the amount that suits your tastes.

Did You Know?

Did you know that the wasabi plant grows along water beds originally in Japan. And it is difficult to recreate the ideal growing environment. At this point North Carolina and British Columbia are the only two areas in North America that have been to successfully recreate the environment.

Friday, January 15, 2016

At The Sharp End of Lightening

I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of At The Sharp End of Lightening by NR Bates. I'm always glad to read new books. And I'm always glad to let others know what I think of them. So here is what I think of this book.

The Story

Yalara is a Sea Sprite who is searching for her love across the oceans. She meets catastrophe and somehow the world she knows has changed. In another place Eionon is facing his own problems. He is suffering from a disease and then someone is trying to kill him. And soon the two find that they are connected and must find the meaning of what has occurred in their lives.

What I Liked and Disliked

First, the two things I didn't like about the book. It is a bit slow at the beginning. And it is part of a series. But once you get past the first couple of chapters you will get more involved in the story. The characters are interesting. And I like that the author chose sea creatures as some of the main characters. This isn't the norm in the fantasy fiction world. This is part of what makes the book unique. And I like that. 

I like that the author has developed a fairly complex story line. His story takes place on four different worlds. And I really liked that part of the story revolves around environmental issues. 

Now I said at the beginning of this section that I don't like books that are part of a series. And I usually don't. I feel like I am being forced to read another book to find out what happens. And I feel like a lot of times it's just a gimmick to sell more books. But since the story in this book is intelligent, and it has such a complex plot. I actually look forward to reading the next book. That's not something I always say about series. I don't see how the author could have resolved the story in just one book.

Who Should Read This Book

If you are looking for an easy read this book may not be for you. The story line moves around, and you will need to use the glossary the author has included in the book. But if you are a fan of intelligently written and complex books in the fantasy genre this book is for you. 

Just A Smile

How many of you work with the public? More specifically how many of you work with customers? Yes, they are a blessing and sometimes they are a curse. It often feels like the individual working in customer service is at their mercy. But are we really?

Recently, I had a customer who was angry when she arrived. She had a screaming baby and an hour wait. She was not pleased. She was angry with the system, and she was angry that she couldn't get what she wanted immediately. She was angry because people didn't allow her to move forward in the line because she had a baby. She was angry with a manager who told her we may not be able to assist her today. In short there was nothing she wasn't angry about that afternoon. And she had no problem telling everyone that she came in contact with that she was angry.

Then she gets to me the representative of everything she is angry about. The one she can tell just what she thinks of the system. The one who has no control over how the system is run. But none the less will have to listen to her complaints. Oh, yes, she was a customer service nightmare!

So, I decide this is a challenge and not a problem. I apologize for her wait, and inform her that I will help her as much as I can. She tells me that she should not have to wait to be assisted. I smile and redirect her to the work at hand. She then tells me that she has a baby. I smile and think to myself everyone knows you have a baby we've been listening to the baby scream for an hour.

I apologize again for the system that is in place. I remind her that we will get through the paperwork necessary as quickly as possible so that she can carry on with her day. She continues to tell me that nobody will help her.

I smile and think to myself thank you for calling me nobody. I carry on with the questions and paperwork I need to complete.

I listen to her as she tells me that how awful it is that individuals have to wait. I smile and think to myself  lady tell me something I don't already know.

We finish the paperwork and I provide her the information about the customer service survey that is available. She assures me that she will be completing the survey to tell them how she had to wait. And I smile thinking to myself I'm glad you're going away.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Atom Age Band Review

The Atom Age is a punk band that has been around for a few years now. They have released four cds and all of them are great. They focus in on a little different sound than a lot of punk bands. Yes, there are the guitars, and the heavy beat. But a lot of their music has a heavy 60's psychedelic influence. That means you can actually hear that organ playing in the music.

Their music also has a little bit of that 60's surf sound to it. It's just a little faster. It's kind of like Jan and Dean on speed. And then you add in The Sex Pistols backing them up. That's kind of what it's like. 

Their newest cd Hot Shame was put out by Asian Man Records. (I have long been a fan of a lot of music put out by Asian Man.) But anyway, I can't decide which song on this release is my favorite. It changes each time I listen to the cd. But today, my favorite is Wasteoid. I like the sax in the song, and well I'm pretty sure the video added to pushing it over into favorite of the day. I mean it does star an Elvis impersonator dancing in the streets. Watch it and see what you think. 

This band probably isn't for everyone, but I like it. And maybe it's time for people to broaden their horizons a little.

Looking for another great punk band to listen to?
The Dollyrots

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Kings Or Pawns

I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of Kings or Pawns by J.J. Sherwood in exchange for an honest review of the book. And here is what I think of this book.

The Story

This is the story of the elf city of Elvorium. Prince Hairem has taken over a city that is corrupt. And his desire is to end the corruption of the council that runs the city. It's a big undertaking. The city is at war, and he doesn't have an heir. What should he do? He decides perhaps he needs to marry, but as you read the book you will wonder if that was such a good idea.

What I Liked and Disliked

First this is a well written and crafted story. The city of Elvorium is full of characters who have only their best interests at heart. As I read the book I thought to myself that the politics of Elvorium aren't really that different than the politics of the world we live in today. Politicians whether they be humans or elves really don't seem to do things for the people they are meant to serve. They often will do whatever they can to stay in power. And in that world it is difficult to find individuals to trust. 

I liked that this book focuses in on the world of the elves. I've always thought that they are some of the more interesting creatures of the fantasy realm. It explores many sides of the elf world from its politics to its religion. 

My absolute favorite character in the book is Alvena. She is a mute, and she is a servant. But she is the person who knows exactly what is going on. Her character reminded me that in life the person who has the most knowledge about something is often the person we don't think knows anything.

As I've stated in reviews before, I don't like books that are part of a series. Someone once told me that the sign of a really good book is that the story is complete at the end of the book. And well these series books don't exactly do that. It doesn't mean that they aren't good. I just don't like having to read 3 books in order to know how the entire story unfolds. But after I completed this book I will definitely look at the second book in this series.

Who Should Read This Book

Fans of the fantasy genre will enjoy this book. It has intelligent characters and it is full of a few twists and turns. And it does explores what life in the world of elves may be like. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Farewell to David Bowie

The first news I heard this morning was that David Bowie died. So I figure this evening it's just time to share my favorite Bowie song.

That's Too Deep

It's been raining a lot in the Midwest. There was a foot of rain in a couple of days in Missouri and Illinois over Christmas week. That's a lot of water. When it rains that much creeks and rivers flood. And the roads do too. My faithful follower know that there was a death in my family over the holiday week. If you read my post Cousins you can learn a little more about that loss our family suffered.

When flood waters come driving a vehicle can become dangerous. We've all done it. We've come up to some standing water in our car and thought if I just keep pushing the gas I can make it through. But that water could be deeper than it seems, and there is always a possibility that your vehicle may stall.

The truth is six inches of moving water can knock down a full grown adult. And 12 inches of moving water can sweep a vehicle away. That's about what it takes to fill a bathtub if you think about it. So if you are driving and come across high water follow the simple advice of the FEMA campaign Turn Around Don't Drown.

If you can't avoid the water and your vehicle is stalled. Do what makes sense get out. Remember that vehicle is heavy and it can sink. Get to the highest ground you can and remain there. Even if you are a strong swimmer flood waters are much different than swimming in a pool. Your wet clothes and shoes will make it quite a bit more difficult to swim. And the water will be cold on top of that.

Following simple steps of avoiding flooded roads can be a choice. Remember the result could be one of two things. The first if you choose to avoid the water is that you could sit around telling your friends and family about how long it took you to get home due to all of the water.

Or it  could be that your vehicle ends up looking like the van my cousin was in when he hit the flood waters.

The choice is yours. Make sure you use some caution when it comes to that high water.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Can Animal Planet Save The World?

Have you ever watched the movie Dude Where's My Car? The one made back in 2000 with Ashton Kutchner. The movie where two guys with no ambition loose a car as well as a night in their life.

In the movie Jesse and Chester are two likable guy, but not necessarily the brightest guys you've ever met. They are just two guys who smoke a lot of pot, and watch a lot of Animal Planet. They aren't complicated at all.

They are the guys we all see as not really accomplishing anything in life. But one day these guys wake up, and realize they can't remember what happened the night before. Yes, they had a wild night partying. But something else happened that night. They met some travelers.

Low and behold these travelers were from outer space. And well Jesse and Chester were the keys to keeping everything together in the universe.

The guys who sit around and watch Animal Planet are the ones who might just have the information to saving the world. You see the guys are holding the key to save the world when the giant aliens are attacking. They can't quite reach the button, and then it comes to Chester. That scene where chimpanzees use a stick as a crude tool to get into a small area. It's exactly what they need to punch the button and save the world.

So the next time you make fun of that person who watches all those animal documentaries you might just want to think twice. You never know when that little bit of trivia from that show may be needed.

Want To Read Another Fun Post?
How I Became a Cambodian Space Project Fan

Friday, January 8, 2016

Ginger Tumeric Chai Tea

It's winter, and we all want something hot and tasty to warm us up on those cold winter days. I am a fan of chai, but I never made it before I made this batch. I was surprised how easy it was to make, and how many of the ingredients I included were really good for me.

Here's What You Need

1 can of coconut water
1 can of coconut milk
8 slices of ginger root
2 cinnamon sticks
4 Tablespoon tumeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup honey
4 teabags

Here's What You Do

In a pot combine the water, milk, ginger, cinnamon, tumeric and cumin. Bring this mixture to a boil. Next reduce the heat and simmer for about ten minutes. Then remove it from the heat stir in the honey and add the tea bags. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Then enjoy your drink.

Did You Know

Did you know that ginger has been used to treat flu symptoms for ages. If you've ever had an upset stomach and taken ginger. You already know that it can settle that queasy feeling. And scientific studies have shown that it is effective in easing the nausea of sea sickness. Is it a cure? Probably not, but relief of those nasty symptoms that go along with the cold flu and always appreciated at my house.

Need another warm drink for the winter?

Home Sweet Home

I drove past this abandoned home the other day. Abandoned homes like this have always fascinated me. I always wonder about the people that lived there. I wonder about the lives they led, and I wonder about the circumstances that caused the house to become abandoned. Imagine all the stories those walls could tell.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

January 2016 Goals

January has arrived. It's hard to believe that 2015 is over, and yes I still have to remind myself to write 2016. And well I don't have to remind myself that there are loads of things I want to accomplish in life, and it's a new year. So it's time to come up with some goals that will move me to completing these goals.

First we should take a look at the December Goals 2015. First, I'll state that December was not a good month for me accomplishing my goals. Somehow no matter what I did I got sidetracked.

My first goal of December was to actually put up my Christmas tree this year. This seemed like a really simple goal for me to accomplish. It was something I really wanted, and I had some really cool stuff for the tree. It didn't happen though. I had to clear out a lot of stuff in the area I was going to put the tree up in, and while I did get this accomplished. It was actually the last Sunday in December when it was finally cleared out for a tree. And I was leaving for Illinois on Tuesday. So even though I could have. I just opted not to put it up. There just wasn't enough time to enjoy it.

The second goal was to clean behind the refrigerator. This was a huge fail. When it comes to cleaning the house, I do believe I would rather chew on aluminum foil than clean. I mean I can find any reason not to clean the house. And well I did get a huge area cleared out in my living room. I had a cat tree for the cats to climb on. They never used it so I decided it would be a great place to stack stuff. That was the area that I decided to put my Christmas tree. So I think I decided to focus on that area to clean. And yes, I accomplished that but I think I didn't focus on cleaning behind the fridge. Perhaps, two cleaning projects in one month are just too much for me.

Another goal I set was a day trip. A friend and I decided to take a trip to a really cool place. We were really looking forward to it, but life had other plans for me. On the week that we tentatively planned to take the trip life took a dump. You can learn about that dump in my post There's No In Between, So my friend and I are planning to take that trip at another time. Yes, it is something to look forward to.

And the other goal I set was to spend a half hour a week planning out my blog and where I wanted it to go. I did do this. Hey one out of four isn't bad. It really did help me focus in on what I want my blog to be. And it reminded me that I have a lot to say. I planned out each of the posts. And while I didn't use each of them. I did have a lot more direction than many times in the past. And I set some easy to obtain goals. That has also helped me put together some great things for the future of this blog. So keep reading there are super posts with loads of energy coming.

Now, on to the good stuff what do I want to do in January?

Complete A Major House Repair

Yes, there is a major repair that I need to complete around my house. And this is the month it is going to happen. My kitchen sink has not been working for a while. Someone told me it would be an easy fix it project for me, but alas, I am not the do it yourself fix it type. It doesn't matter how good the video on youtube is. I couldn't get it to work right. I need a plumber. It's going to happen this month. I have the money saved up. I think I have enough. 

Return emails promptly

I believe that I have used a goal to this in the past involving phone calls. I am horrible at returning messages. I just put things off. It's kind of like that cleaning thing. My goal is to return emails within 24 hours of receiving them. Most days there is no reason that I put thing off, but I do. I'm gonna conquer it this month.

Get That Project Running

There is a project that I have had in mind for a while. This is the month that it's going to get a launch. I'm nervous about it, but it will happen. If I don't start it now, it may never happen.

Focus in on The Details

Most new word for this year is details. You can read more about it if you click on the link. I have decided that I need to pick out a detail to focus on daily you know either at night or in the morning. I haven't decided how this will work, but I'm going to give it a shot.

So what do you want to accomplish this month?

Puffiness Be Gone

OZ Naturals Ultra Ageless

I recently received a free sample of OZ Naturals Ultra Ageless Eye Crème in exchange for an honest review. And here’s what I think of the product.

The Product

This product is part of the OZ Naturals beauty skin care line. This crème contains ingredients that nourish, hydrate, and smooth the skin. It contains aloe and caffeine. And the directions indicate that it should be used in the morning and at night.

What I Think of This Product

First I have only been using the product for a few days, but so far I am mostly pleased. The crème is a white color and it applies smoothly. All you have to do is put a little pearl sized amount on your finger tip and then dab it around your eyes. So you see it’s really easy to use.

The product claims to reduce puffiness. I have problems with this. So I was excited to see if it worked. The first morning I tried it. I was a little disappointed. When I applied the crème there was a slight stinging under my eyes. I was unsure if I wanted to use it again. But I decided to try it that night. And there was no stinging that night. This pleased me. And I did notice a slight reduction in the puffiness around my eyes. As the week has gone on, I have noticed that this slight reduction has continued. Have there been miracles with no puffiness? No, but it has helped with the problem. I have only been using it a few days though.

The product also claims that it will reduce the dark circles under my eyes. So far I have not noticed any difference, but I have only been using it a short time so perhaps this takes longer. I’m still hoping to see some of those results.

Overall, I am pleased with this product, and I do intend to check out more of the OZ Naturals products.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Noticing the Lotus at Target

Derm e #NoticetheLotus

I was so fortunate to be allowed to participate in the Derm e #NoticetheLotus campaign through Brandbacker. They provided me with samples of their Firming DMAE Eye Lift and the Hydrating Night Crème that is available at Target. And I agreed to do a review in exchange for this, but the opinions are all mine.

The Products

This product claims that it will visibly lift and firm the delicate eye area while smoothing crow’s feet. The product contains Goji Berries which assist in lifting and firming. And it contains Hyaluronic Acid. When I read the package it stated that it also contained vitamin B3, B3 is great at moisturizing and increasing new cell growth in skin. This product was looking good so far.

Next the package itself looks great. It contains complete instruction on how to use the product. It recommends use twice a day.

The tube of crème was easy to open, and the lotion came out with little pressure. There was no scent to the crème. Just like the company claimed. It just received a bonus point. When I applied the lotion it spread smoothly, there were no clumps. The first day that I used the product, I noticed that the skin around my eyes did seem much moister. And the look lasted throughout the day. I was pleased. Often during the winter my skin gets fairly dry.

As I continued using the product I did see that the skin around my eyes looked much healthier. And as a result it looked younger.

I like that the product showed results in such a short time. I went to the company website, and I learned that the product is produced by a family owned business. And I really liked that it is 100% vegan. The one thing that I didn’t like about the cream is that the package states that it is Made in the U.S.A of foreign and domestic components. What does that mean? And where do the components come from?
Hydrating Night Crème

This product claims that it would plump the skin reducing fine lines. And it contains Aloe, Vitamin C and E. All of these make your skin look fantastic.

So I opened up the plastic jar of the crème, it has a slight pinkish color. And it smelled sweet. Like a slight fruity smell. It was creamy and well it did what it said my skin looked fabulous the next morning. I liked it!

So when I make my next trip to Target when I am picking up those supplies for the upcoming Super Bowl party, and of course checking out the accessories. I’m going to head on over to check out the line of Derm e products. Will you?