Friday, August 31, 2012

Freebie Friday

This week I received samples and coupons to give out at a sampling party from Nescafe Tasters Choice. 

I've had these sampling parties before and everyone loves getting free samples and trying new things, so they go over very well. You can also sign up to be a Taster and if approved, you may receive free samples to share at your own sampling parties. 

-A member of the Nescafe Tasters

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Petrified Wood

A friend of mine posted some pictures of the Petrified Forest a couple of weeks ago and I commented that I inherited a piece of petrified wood from my mother after her passing. So I thought that would make a good blog post and here are pictures of the piece of petrified wood I have. 

It's about 6 inches long and think in some spots while thin in others. My mom got it from her father who got it who knows where. 

This picture shows how it's thick on one half while being thin on the other half. 

I have been to the petrified forest located in Arizona but I hardly remember it since I was a little kid. But at least I have this little piece of history from a time when maybe my grandfather or even my great grandfather may have visited there. 

On a side note, my daughter also has a small piece of petrified wood that she found in a box of junk that someone threw away. Obviously they had no idea what they had. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Unless you have dealt with depression I really don't think you can really grasp the effects it has on the person experiencing it. I've been dealing with depression related symptoms for almost my entire life and I wrote about my experiences with depression in this article. I know that when I was really young the reason I was depressed and had thoughts of suicide for the first time at age 9 was because my father was a very abusive alcoholic. So I attribute most of my depression back then to the situation I was in but as years went on the depression just got worst until I found out in my 20's that I had Hypothyroidism and that can also cause depression. Read my article about The Thyroid and Depression for more information on that subject.

Although getting treatment for my Hypothyroidism has really helped with the depression symptoms, I also have clinical depression and a personality disorder called Schizotypal Personality Disorder. The personality disorder combined with the clinical depression makes it really hard to find an anti-depressant that will work because the personality disorder isn't something that medication can really eliminate.

But since I have tried so many different medicines and know first hand of some of the side effects I had thought of writing an article explaining which ones have the least amount of side effects.

Recently I wrote an article about two of the different medications I have tried, Effexor and Lexapro. It can take years like it did for me to find the right medications or combinations of medications to alleviate the symptoms of depression without having to deal with some of the awful side effects that come with these medications. So I thought I would give people trying to find a good anti-depressant with little to no side effects a heads up.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Do Children Need Cellphones?

No, this isn't a cell's my cordless land line phone and the only phone I have. A while back I read that parents were buying their kids as young as ten years old a cell phone along with all the other back to school supplies. When did a cell phone become a back to school supply?

I've actually been asking myself this question for some years, I wrote an article about Kids and Cell Phones a few years ago and my view really hasn't changed on the subject. I don't see the need for a 10 or 12 year old to have a cell phone. If a kid wants a cell phone, they should have to wait until they are 16; old enough to work and pay for their cell phone themselves. 

When my daughter was 16 and asked for a cell phone we both said no, that when you get old enough to have a job you can get one for yourself, until that time we have the house phone. Of course she didn't like it but we didn't back down from this, I just don't see a cell phone as being one the things that a kid needs. A kid needs food, clothes, shelter, love, structure and an education...not a cell phone. 

I also didn't let my daughter have a computer in her room. The only computer has always been in the family room and still is. When she was a teenager and wanted to go onto MySpace and then FB, I told her before she was able to go to those place I had to have all her passwords to all her accounts. of course she didn't like it but that's what parents are supposed to do. Too many parents these days have no idea what their kids are sending/receiving or talking about online and that's scary. 

My daughter is 21 years old and even though I may not have her passwords I still stroll through her fb account and look at her friends, I visit their pages, look at their pictures, read their status updates and she calls me a creeper. Hey, I'd rather be a creeper than not know anything about my kids friends and have no idea what is going on with her and her friends. 

I was watching the back to school commercials on tv and saw they were showing the newest cell phone accessories right in the same isles with the backpacks, paper, pens and other school supplies. Most people do know that cell phones aren't even allowed at most school's, right? 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Heidi Betts Bookmarks and $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

I wanted to do something nice on what would have been my mother's birthday this year. So I decided to hold a little giveaway as a way to celebrate that day. 

I have 5 Heidi Betts bookmarks to give away to 5 lucky people and one of those people will also win a $10 Amazon gift certificate. 

To enter this giveaway please click here to read an article I wrote and then come back here and leave me a comment about your thoughts on the subject of the article along with your email address so I can get in touch with you if you win. 

I will pick a winner on September 2nd, which would have been my mother's birthday. 

Good Luck!

This giveaway is now closed.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Baby Registry

Someone in my family asked if my daughter had her baby registry made up yet and you know what? I hadn't even thought about doing that. So I helped her make one and thought I would share it with you because who doesn't like looking at baby stuff? lol

So here is my daughter's baby registry.

Hard to believe that my daughter used to be that small. Oh how time flies.

Gumball Machine

I finally have a gumball machine. My sister in law brought it with her and gave it to me the last time she came for a visit. Yes, it's actually made for Jelly Belly jelly beans, but it works great as a gumball machine too. Yes, I have a gumball obsession. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Freebie Friday

This weeks Freebie Friday is filled with chocolate, mermaids and coffee. I can't think of a better combination.
I won this delicious chocolate bar From the Fall River Chocolate Company in a contest on Kandy Sheperds post on Tote Bags n Blogs

It's a dark Belgian chocolate bar made with wild rice grown in their valley. It was 110F the day I found the package in my mailbox and the chocolate bar had partially melted but I just popped it into the freezer for a little while and then ate it. It was in a sealed package which made it very easy to do. 

There is a crunch in this bar from the wild rice that was very interesting and the dark chocolate is so good. The bar is now gone so obviously I enjoyed it very much. If you're looking to try something new and you like chocolate, I would definitely buy a bar of this wild rice chocolate. 

You can contact Melinda Booker at  for more information. 

I also wrote an article review on Yahoo Contributor Network for this chocolate bar which you can find here

I also received two samples of Nescafe Memento, one of which I tried while nibbling on my chocolate bar. I really liked the Cappuccino and the caramel isn't bad either. 

I also won a mermaid pin from Cassandra Curtis on her Blog, When Midnight Comes. How cute is that?

Thursday, August 23, 2012


As you can see from my bedroom bookshelves right here, I need more room. Like a lot more room. lol This is actually two large book shelves side by side and they are completely packed with books. We plan on moving before my grandson gets here, so probably in November when it cools down because who in their right mind would be moving when it's 113F outside, right?

This is the hanging bookshelf in my hallway. I really like this one because it gave me a little room to put a nice long stack of books up out of the way and it fits in my small hall way. 

This is the bookshelf in the living room. you can't tell but these are stacked two deep. There are books in back of books. I plan on buying several more book shelves when we I better make sure I have enough room for them. lol 

And this is the corner bookshelf. There are so many books on this thing. I think I might just buy several more of these and put them in every corner in the new apartment because I sure can fit a lot of books on this and it doesn't take up precious floor space. 

So there you have it. All my bookshelves. Do you have a lot of bookshelves too?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Picture of Big Bear Lake

When my brother, sister in law, daughter and nephew went fishing at Big Bear Lake in California, my daughter took some amazing pictures of the surrounding area. 

I've always like going to Big Bear because of all the tree's and the little places you can go hiking. 

I love looking at these pictures because they bring back such great memories of going there as a kid and renting a cabin with my family. 

What's not to like, it's beautiful. 

Do you think you would like Big Bear?

Monday, August 20, 2012

What Scares You?

I love horror movies, horror novels and Halloween. I don't scare real easily while watching horror movies but there is the occasional movie that gets under my skin...something like, The Exorcist or Paranormal Activity can make me think that an angry ghost will come and try to take their frustrations out on me while I'm sleeping in my bed.

Not the best thoughts to go to bed with, let me tell you.

There are other things that scare in particular. Bee's..I hate bee's, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, oh and have you seen those humongous Japanese Hornets? They are the most disgusting thing I've ever seen...ever! When my brother first sent me a picture and then a video of one to me, I thought for sure this thing was pure fiction..but Noooo, thank you very much Mother Nature for making my nightmares come true.

You know that wild dance most people do when they encounter a spider web to the face? That dance where you look like you are having an arm waving epileptic fit while running, gasping in between screams and cries of horror? Yeah that one...well I do that every time a bee gets near me. 

Funny story, or not so funny if you are me. O_o back in June of 1991, I was 9 months pregnant with my daughter and my husband Ken had a beeper on him for me to alert him if I went into labor. It was Las Vegas, Nevada which meant the bee's and hornets were out flying around flying from flower to flower or spotting people they could terrorize. So a bee got into my apartment and was buzzing around my living room.

I wasn't going to try and swat it out, so I did the next best thing. I picked up the phone, hid in the bathroom with a towel at the bottom on the door. *You know just in case the bee tried to follow me in the bathroom* I called Hubby's beeper number and knew he would be there in a matter of minutes because he worked as a maintenance man for the apartment complex we lived at. 

With 2 minutes he and his boss were running in the door and yelling for me. I cracked open the bathroom door and yelled, "bee!, In the living room." and then shut the door. I hear him talking to his boss and laughing and with a minute or so he knocks on the bathroom door and tells me it's safe to come out. I come out and felt justified calling him but he was kinda mad. His boss tells me they ran from the other side of the complex because they thought I was in labor...but all I needed was a bee swatted out of the apartment. 

Of course the entire apartment complex, the manager and all my neighbors heard the story with a few days and I never lived it down as long long as we lived there. Oh and that wasn't the last time I beeped him to come kill a bee either, which caused all sorts of amusement with his co workers. 

So what are you scared of?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

NECTRESSE Natural No Calorie Sweetener

NECTRESSE Natural No Calorie Sweetener: Thx NECTRESSE 4 my free sample! Get a free sample of the no calorie sweetener made from fruit! #NectresseNatural

If you sign up at smiley360 you can get free products to try at home and share with friends too. 

Disclosure: I received these free samples from Smiley360 in exchange for trying the product and telling others about it. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Book Review: Stygian's Honor by Lora Leigh

I think I've probably told you all how much I read each week and this week was no different and when I got my shipment of books this was the one that I wanted to read first. I've been reading the Breeds series since I found it and now this is the 27th book on the Breeds series and I've enjoyed each and every one of these books. 

If you've been reading this series you already know what you're likely to read about, mating heat, mated pairs, finding a mate and a little mystery to solve along the way. 

We get all that and more in this book. 

Stygian is a wolf shifter and his mission is to find Honor, a woman who might be able to help solve the questions regarding the sickness that baby Amber has because of the serum she was given. 

Along the way Stygian finds Liza and has to save her when someone is out to get her. Liza has vague memories that she shouldn't have and I could see where this storyline was going right from the very beginning but I won't give anything away, you'll just have to read it and find out. 

The more time Stygian and Liza spend together the closer they become and the harder it is for Stygian not to mate her, but she's just not ready and he has to wait for her to want him, which isn't long after he kisses her. If you've been reading this series you already know about the Breeds intoxicating kisses and what it does to their mates and this time is no different. 

Liza's parents have a secret and they don't want it to get out but Jonas isn't going to let that stop him when he finds Honor and she has to face what's happened to her so she can help his daughter and maybe help find a cure for her from the sickness that the serum has caused. 

This story moved along quite well and we find out a lot of information including why Gideon is acting the way he is and it's not what we had been thinking it is. I can only hope that Gideon's story is next and we see that things aren't always as they seem when it comes to him. 

I loved this installment and am looking forward to finding out more about Fawn, Honor, Judd and Gideon. 

Freebie Friday

This weeks Freebies are all books. 
I won Aidan: Rodeo Cowboy by Cathy McDavid, from CJ Carmichael's post on Tote Bags 'n' Blogs
The other three I bought on Amazon and bought them with free gift certificates I got for doing surveys at the survey sites I talked about in this post

So this week was all about the books, which I love. I don't know which one I'm more excited about but I know the first one I'm going to read is Lora Leigh's book because I love those Breeds and want to know what happens in this book. 

So did you get anything for free this week?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Have You Ever Had An Emotional Reaction To A Book?

When I was a teenager I started out reading Horror and couldn't get enough of it for a time. I loved being scared, being so scared that I had to leave the light on when I went to sleep. I remember reading Silence of the Lambs and having to stop because my heart was pounding out of my chest. I put the book in my lap for a few minutes and was actually shaking.

But it's not just Horror books that get an emotional reaction from me. I remember going through a Historical Romance phase where I gobbled up every Historical Romance I could find and I don't remember the title of the book but the supposed hero had me so mad at him, I wanted to throw the book against the wall and scratch his eyes out.

In some books there's the attraction first, the betrayal in the middle of the book where the hero is acting like a real jerk and the heroine gets her feelings hurt and then the ending of the book where they make up, find out there was a miscommunication and if they had just talked and told each other the truth things wouldn't have been so bad.

Now we as readers can see all of this but the characters in the book don't see it until the end and when the hero really does something awful to the heroine like lock her in the dungeon while she is pregnant *which is what happened in the book I cannot for the life of me remember the title of* and he tells her that as soon as she gives birth he is going to take the baby and raise it himself and she'll never see the child again. That made me so mad, I wanted to stop reading the book but I also didn't want to leave without seeing for myself that things didn't end up like that...and of course they didn't. They lived happily ever after, even though he was such a jerk.

The other obvious emotions I've had during reading a book were crying or laughing. To read a particularly funny book like from Kristan Higgins and laugh my butt off because some of her books are hilarious, I just love that.

When an author can write a scene so touching that I actually start crying, that's just amazing because I'm not usually an emotional person. But it does happen at times.

Here recently I've been reading Paranormal Romance and there are some hot, erotic, double teaming type M/M- M/M/F paranormals out there and you can guess what type of emotional response most who read those are going to get, can't you?

Oh and don't even get me started on cliffhanger endings. When I read a book, I want there to be a start, middle and end. Not a start, middle and I'll just leave it open to your own personal imagination on how this ended. What the hell kind of BS is that? You better write an ending to the book and I better be able to say you answered all the questions you had in the book. Especially when it comes to a long series that had all sorts of questions left open during the reading of the different books, when that series ends, I better be able to answer all the questions that I had. Don't tell me that you are working on a follow up series about the kids in the series I just read, or the secondary characters or the serial killer who never got caught...but you'll answer all those questions in the new series based on the series I read and you just ended. No, that will just piss me off and I won't read the new series.

I will say, the one thing I have a hard time reading are books that make me disgusted and there are a few of them out there. I don't mean small gross things like someone having a puss filled sore, no I mean really disgusting things in a book that are there solely for the shock value and nothing more because the book really has nothing more than that in it and if you took the shocking part away you would be left with a book that no one wanted to read anyway.

Let's say for example an author wrote a vampire story about strange alien vampires who could only live off the blood of aborted fetuses...that's the type of disgusting I'm talking about. I'm not going to read something like that. I think the best emotion to have after finishing a book is to be sad because you feel like you really knew the characters and you want to know more about them and read more about their lives and now you're going to have to wait months before you can visit your friends again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Gerber Graduates For Rats

Did you guys know I feed my rats these toddler foods? I do. I even wrote an article about it last year that you can find here

My guys love those banana cookies and because they are made with real bananas, they are a good treat for my boys. 

Back when Brodie was being a finicky eater I had started buying the Gerber baby foods when I couldn't find anything he would eat, and wouldn't you know it...he ate those really well. He loved those dinners and I knew they were good for him. 

Here's Ares just looking for a Gerber Graduates banana cookie. Now that my daughter is pregnant I have a feeling that my grandson will be sharing his foods and treats with our rats. 

Who knew that toddler foods would be such a great treat for rats!

Let's Talk Books

When I was 16 years old I read Cujo, which was the very first book I read for my enjoyment and not because some teacher told me I had to for a class project. After that I was hooked on the Horror genre and read everything I could get my hands on, but my favorites were always vampires and werewolf stories. I read everything Stephen King, John Saul and Clive Barker had to offer and wanted more. Then when I was in my early 20's my mom started giving me her books and she only read romance so I reluctantly picked one up and read was Once in Paris by Diana Palmer and I loved it.

When I first started reading romance I read mainly books by Diana Palmer and Nora Roberts because that's what my mom had stacks and stacks of. Later on I realized that there were whole sub genre's of romance books, called paranormals that I had yet to read and so I pounced on them with the tenacity of a wild bear.

The paranormal books gave me a nice balance of the romance and vampires as well as other monsters I had come to love reading about. Now years later there's so many sub genre's it's sometimes hard to keep them straight and really know what you're picking up based on what people are calling it. Is it a paranormal, fantasy, urban fantasy or even a paranormal thriller? How can I tell the difference between all these different types of genres or is there a difference. I actually think there is a bit of a difference and you can tell me if you agree with me.

To me a Paranormal Romance would be set in the normal world and just having paranormal aspects added to the story. Things like ghosts, werewolves, shifters, vampires ect. Twilight would be a good example of a paranormal romance.

Fantasy is set in an alternative dimension, other world and has magic or mythological creatures in the story. Harry Potter would be a good example of a Fantasy.

Urban Fantasy would have elements of crime, mystery or a thriller type feel to it. A good example of Urban Fantasy might be, The Dark Swan series by Richelle Mead.

Paranormal Thriller would be a paranormal story that has a Horror type feel to it or is scary rather than romantic. I'm kinda guessing at this last one because I can't think of any books that fit this description.

I have no idea if I'm right or not, but after reading so many books from the library and having the little stickers on the sides of the books telling me the book is either Paranormal, Thriller, Fantasy or some other type of genre I think I've gotten pretty good at telling some of them apart. I've been reading paranormals now for about 10 years and each year more and more great books are published so I am never going to be able to read all of the great paranormal books out there, but I can try!

Have I left anything out?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Captcha Tip

I'm sure by now you all have seen the new Captcha's with the numbers when trying to post on blogs and and websites. Well I just figured something out and decided to pass along my little tip to you. Did you know that you don't have to type in the number along with the letters?

That's right. I accidentally just typed the letters the other day and clicked on 'submit' and it went through. So to make sure it wasn't a fluke..I did it a few more times on other blogs and sure worked. So there's my tip to you. Ignore the numbers and just type the letters in the captcha. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The House I Grew Up In

This is what the house I grew up in looks like now. 
When I was a kid there was a chain link fence around the front yard and an apple tree in the front yard. It's a duplex and we lived in the front house as well as the back house. The back yard is huge and has a big avocado tree in it. Billy and I had a tire swing on that avocado tree and we taught our dog poochie how to climb the tree. 

It looks a little different but the same. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Freebie Friday

So Freebie Friday is a day late because of my brother's birthday post yesterday. But look what I got! This is only about half of the Colgate Toothbrushes and Colgate sample size toothpastes I received in the mail. I couldn't fit all of them into the picture without it looking really jumbled. 

So how did I get this? I signed up for a freebie on about 4 years ago and each year I get a box of freebies filled with these samples. This is my third one. Regrettably this freebie is no longer being offered to new sign ups, but everyone who signed up for it 4 years ago is still getting it. Don't know how long they will keep doing this but it's pretty cool.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy 40th Birthday To My Brother

Today is my Brother's 40th birthday and most likely we are having a birthday party for him at my place right now. I am writing this blog post a little early because I knew I would be busy today. Here is my hubby *The red head* and my brother *The one not flipping me off* lol 

This is me and my brother at his birthday party when we were kids. 

Here's my brother and my daughter who is making faces. lol 

And this is me and my brother when I was 16 and he was 14. 

Happy Birthday Billy. 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

It's A Boy!

We found out today that my daughter is having a boy. She is 13 weeks pregnant and the baby was moving all over the place while she had her ultrasound. 

I'm gonna have a grandson. 

A Hamster Story

This was Bambi, a hamster we had a few years ago. I thought I would share a funny story with you about my very first hamster.

The first time I had a hamster my grandma bought the little guy for me after my mouse died, I called the pet shop because I thought he was choking on his food when he stuffed his pouches so full. I was so upset and the guy couldn't stop from laughing and trying to calm me down and tell me he was ok. Then I saw him empty his pouches and thought he was My grandma almost lost it after that she and the guy on the phone were laughing so much. 

After sitting next to the cage for about an hour and watching this crazy animal stuff his pouches several times and deposit the stash in spots all over the cage, I calmed down and didn't think he was choking anymore but my grandma called my mom and grandpa and anyone else she could think of to tell them how I freaked out and thought he was choking and called the pet shop and how the poor pet shop guy couldn't stop laughing. 

I see how it would be funny to have a 12 year old on the phone trying to explain that the hamster isn't choking and is only stuffing his pouches, but he probably could have stopped laughing for a few 

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Neighborhood Wildlife

This little lizard was sitting just outside my door the other night. We see lizards every once in a while around here but they usually skitter off before we can snap a picture. 

But as you can see, this little guy even looked over at us and smiled for the camera before running off. 

Monday, August 06, 2012


When my daughter went to California with my brother and his wife they stopped at places like Big Bear Lake and took pictures. Here are some pictures of the ducks they saw in the Lake when while they were there. 

My daughter's favorite animal has always been ducks. Of course Rats come in a very close second. So when she saw the ducks, I'm sure she wished she could bring one home. 

When I was little I had a pet duck. I only had him for a few months because one day when we went to the store and left the little guy in the front yard..someone stole him by the time we came back. I was heartbroken. 

I found it funny that my mom had a pet duck when she was a kid too. Ducks must run in our blood...

We have ducks closer than where these pictures were taken. The ducks and geese are at Lorenzi Park and we've gone there several times. Mostly when my daughter was younger, to feed the ducks and geese. 

Sunday, August 05, 2012

My Hubby's Art

This is done with water color. Ken loves to draw and then paint the things he draws. 

Believe it or not this started out as a doodle on a piece of paper. I call it Mushroom Planet and it only took ken 15 years to finish drawing it and then paint it. lol But it was well worth the wait. He used water color paints to paint this also. 

Our daughter has some drawing talent as well and she gets it from Ken because I can't draw a stick figure. lol 

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Is It Worth the Jump?

Sometimes I want to jump into a new project, a new thing to do. I get the energy to do something new and then boom! it's all gone. The energy to do it, the will to want to do it and the emotion needed to want to do it. 

Sometimes it seems that it's just not worth the the time and energy it would take to make the jump into trying something new or trying to do it again. I don't like being let down and I really don't do well when plans fall through or when things don't go the way I expect them to. 

Sometimes it's better to think about it, before jumping into something you know you just won't be able to finish. Sometimes the jump is just too big and no matter how many times you try to make it..the space between you and the place where you'll land is just too big to make it all the way across. 

Sometimes it's better not to try. 

Friday, August 03, 2012

Feebie Friday

This week I received one free sample in the mail it's a pouch of Chicken of the Sea Light Tuna. 

How did I score this cool freebie? 
I joined the Chicken of the Sea Mermaid Club a few months ago and they send out free samples and coupons ever once in a while. How cool is that? If you'd like to sign up too, just click here

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Are You Dehydrated?

This is my daughter's hand after being sick with a flu like sickness for 2 weeks last year. She was unable to keep anything down for days at a time and after she started feeling better her hands and feet started peeling. I found out that this can happen after being very dehydrated. 

This is my daughter's sick sense of humor *She must get it from me* as she used her dried skin as a pocket to hold her ring. Totally grossed out my brother. 

We had no idea that the feet and hands would peel like this after being really dehydrated. Getting a stomach bug and not being able to keep anything down will seriously do that to you. 

I wrote an article several years ago explaining the signs and symptoms of dehydration and it's had a lot of traffic so I'm guessing that people are curious as to what the symptoms are. You can read my article at the  following link...Are You Dehydrated?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Knorr® Homestyle Stock Friends Mission

Knorr® Homestyle Stock Friends Mission: Enter 4 a chance 2 win a $200 gift card by taking this short survey from Smiley360! Take the survey at

If you click on the link and take the survey you could win a $200 gift certificate from Smiley360 and if you win..I win one too!

Disclosure: I received points and a free sample of Knorr Homestyle Stock from Smiley360.