Saturday, February 27, 2010

Camera Critters (#99)

A young moose from our trip to the zoo.

All the animals at the zoo just seemed to pose so nicely!  I guess they’re used to people looking, and pointing cameras at them.

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Giveaways Entered This Week

Here are the giveaways I entered this week:
I think that's it for this week.  I'm hoping to do this regularly.  Usually you get an extra entry for blogging about a giveaway, so that's part of it, but it's also a good way to keep track of what I entered.  Some weeks I enter more, and some weeks I don't enter any.
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As Long as He's Got Ramen

I've been thinking about sending Cory off to college next year.  We need to sign him up for housing and figure out a meal plan, and get that done.  I keep telling him he needs to get busy on this stuff, and he keeps telling me that he's so busy with school and Forensics and Spring play and....  Well, the list just doesn't end.  You know, I got straight A's in high school, but I wasn't involved in all this stuff.  It was easy to get good grades when I didn't have all these other things on my plate.

But, enough about me, this is about Cory and college.  When I was watching that video the other day about campus housing, I was excited to see that each residence has a full kitchen.  They looked really nice, too, at least the one they showed did.  How convenient is that?  I can just send the boy to college with a huge supply of ramen, his very own pan to cook it in, and a spaghetti spoon to stir.  What else can he possibly need?  Maybe a bowl to eat it from, a spoon, a fork.  We'll save so much money on food, even if the ramen isn't on sale, that he won't have to sell books or Bionicles or Pokemon cards, or anything else important to him, in order to eat.

What do you mean I can't do that?
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 47

I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

I’ve been scanning old negatives, and I noticed something.

Even back then I was taking pictures of the sky, out the front windshield while driving riding down the road.  This was 1988 in Florida.  Love those clouds!

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.

Let's Get Healthy with WellnessDaily

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of All opinions are 100% mine.

I was just thinking that Olympic athletes are not like normal people. The things they do to their bodies, the workouts, the training, the determination. Quite different from the fast-food eating, couch potato, overweight American. (Yes, I know McDonald's is an Olympic sponsor, but I don't really believe the Olympic athletes are eating Chicken McNuggets.  Of course, they get enough exercise that they can get away with it once in a while.)  The latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, shows that 63.1% of adults in the U.S. were either overweight or obese in 2009, a slight increase over 2008.  So, if you're out of shape or overweight, you're not alone.  Definitely not alone.

And with you won't be alone in your quest to get or stay healthy.  There are so many resources available - weight loss tips, tips for eating healthy, links to exercise videos, healthy recipes, and more.  Users can even build a custom feed to get the most relevant health and wellness news.  I'm thinking I'll want to check out some of those exercise videos and definitely the recipes.  I've kept in pretty good shape because of my walking, but as I get older, I'm afraid I'll have to try harder and add to my exercise or change it up.  The recipes - well, I'm always interested in new recipes, and what I really need to do is work a lot harder at making sure everything I cook is healthy.  I can't control what my husband eats on his own time, but I can control what I fix him for dinner and put in his lunch!  I really want to keep him around for a long, long time.  Really I do.

Anyway, check out WellnessDaily and see if you can use some of the tools and resources in your quest to get healthier.  It's really easy to sign up for, and when you sign up you can print a $5 rebate for any Jennie-O Turkey Store product, available to the first 25,000 submissions.  If I'd known that, I would have purchased a Jennie-O Turkey Store product when I went shopping yesterday so I could get my rebate in right away!  They've also got a twitter contest going where you can win a prize package which includes coupons for a year-long supply of Jennie-O Turkey Store product and a one-year gym membership, valued at $1,250.  Just follow WellnessDaily on twitter and tweet the following to enter:
Enter to win $ towards a gym membership & JENNIE-O turkey products. Just follow @wellness_daily & RT this!
I'm doing that right away, because I'd love a year's supply of turkey products and a gym membership for my husband!  I also signed up to receive the WellnessDaily Buzz newsletter every two weeks (I laughed when I first read that because I thought it said it was the Wellness Daily Buzz newsletter, which sounds like it should come daily - so why does it only come every 2 weeks?  What a difference a space makes.)

Everybody sign up for WellnessDaily, and let's get healthy together!  And, in case you haven't figured it out, WellnessDaily is sponsored by Jennie-O, but even people who don't like turkey can sign up.

Visit my sponsor: Attention aspiring health enthusiasts!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm Hoping Visa Calls

I went shopping today.  I used my Visa card in every store.  So now I'm hoping Visa calls and tells me I won that prize they keep advertising - a trip to the Winter Olympics, for the rest of my life.  How cool would that be?  I guess this promotion has been going on since January 1, so since we use our Visa for everything, we should have lots of entries.  Now, we just cross our fingers!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Why Am I Crying?

I just got finished watching an online video about what to expect from the Residence Halls at UW-Whitewater.  Not a sad video, right?  Kind of exciting actually - for Cory.  But, my baby is going to college next year.  I know it will be good for him, and he's supposed to do this, but still...  It was particularly hard when they showed all these parents helping all their students move into their dorms, and I'm thinking it won't be long before we are doing that.

I'm just going to have to start thinking about Branson vacation packages or something fun - to get my mind off of it.  It probably won't work, especially since we'll be spending a lot of time between now and then helping him get ready to go, but at least I can try. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Heads or Tails - Rumor

Heads Or Tails
The theme/prompt for THIS week, February 23, is:

HEADS - "Rumor"
Make any kind of post using any form of the word "Rumor"

I've missed Heads or Tails the last three weeks.  I can't believe it's been that long since I've played!  I better watch it or rumors will be flying that I stopped blogging or something.  What?  You didn't miss me?  Well, then I guess I better make an effort to participate more regularly so you just can't forget me!

I'm not really sure why I don't play.  I have good intentions.  I read the prompt, think it sounds like fun, and then I can't decide what I want to do.  There's a group or fanpage on facebook called 'I overthink things WAAAAAAAAAY too much' which I should probably join!  Anyway, before I know it, the day is over, and I still haven't posted anything.  It's usually about then, or the next day, that I think of the perfect post - but by then it's too late.  (If I was really smart, I'd go ahead and do that perfect post and save it as a draft for the next time we get to choose any past theme - but I think the part about my being smart was just a rumor, too.)

Alright, this has nothing to do with Heads or Tails, but if you wouldn't mind, run over to my recipe blog and answer a couple questions for me, OK?  Just for fun.  Thanks.

Heads or Tails is a fun weekly meme created and hosted by Barb (aka Skittles) – feel free to join in!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Win Free Groceries for a Year

Hey, I just entered this contest on to win free groceries for a year. All you have to do is put in your email address.

Even if you don’t enter, please click the link to help me win. (I get an extra entry for telling you.) Thanks!

Runs through March 11, and you can enter every day.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I just signed up for MyLikes, because one of my twitter friends said she'd get paid for everyone who signed up.  And, it might just end up being a way to make some extra money.  Basically, it's word-of-mouth marketing that lets you share things you like on social media - twitter, facebook, and even your blogs.  You start by liking things, which I'm having a lot of fun doing.  You just start searching for things you like - Apolo Anton Ohno, facebook,, Glee, etc. - whatever you want! It can be anything - products, people, websites, books, movies, and the list goes on and on.  Then you add a comment about why you like it, add photos or videos, and just have fun with it.  You can just save them to your MyLikes profile, or choose to share them on facebook or twitter, too - just so people can see what you like.  I'm finding it really hard to believe that I was the first one to LIKE Apolo Anton Ohno, but this is a relatively new site.  Now that he's won more Olympic medals than any other American Winter Olympian, I'm thinking there will be quite a few people liking him really soon.

Anyway, the money comes in when you choose from a list of Sponsored Likes.  Sponsored Likes are the same as other likes/recommendations on MyLikes except that they happen to be for products or services that advertisers want to promote.  You get paid per click and your cost-per-click is set and constantly adjusted based on how influential you are and how relevant your Likes are. Judging by the response to my current giveaway, my cost-per-click probably won't be too high, but it will still be fun to try.

Another way to earn money is to refer your friends.  So, if this sounds remotely interesting to you, please sign up using my link (or click the badge at the top of this post) - so I can earn some money, and you can start compiling a list of your likes, too.

Win a Book

I'm still trying to give away this book - Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner.  I guess nobody reads any more?  It's not like I'm giving away a book on the best cholesterol medications. This book is funny!

The odds are in your favor if you think you'd like to win a copy of the book.  So far only two people have entered.  Two!  So, somebody enter, OK?  I'm feeling unappreciated here.

Camera Critters (#98)

It’s a good thing he’s so cute.
…because Weasley, the little brat, has started getting on the kitchen counter as often as he can.  Now I know there are people who don’t seem to mind cats on the counters or cats on the tables, but I mind!  Especially when he starts ripping into the bread sacks and trying to eat my bread.  You'd think we've put the little guy on some kind of diets for quick weight loss the way he's always looking for food. Well, people food, anyway.

So far he hasn’t jumped from the floor to the counter.  I don’t  know if he can or not, and he doesn’t know either.  He just recently figured out how to jump onto the bar stools.  Before that he was using the rungs of one stool to climb onto the other stool, kind of like a ladder.  And then, it was an easy hop up onto the counter and all around the kitchen.

So, we’ve moved the stools away from the bar, to make it a little harder.  He still figures out how to get from the stool to the bar, but it’s a little harder, and when we catch him – he gets water squirted on him, and he runs.  It doesn’t stop him from doing it again, though.  He’s a persistent stubborn little munchkin.  And, he likes water, at least he likes playing in the bathroom sink.

I put some aluminum pie pans on the edge of the counter, because I vaguely remember something about that.  (Yes, I know I have the Internet, and I could look it up, but I didn’t)  When he jumps up, he’ll hit one, and the sound of it clattering to the floor will scare him – except that sounds don’t seem to bother this cat, he just comes and checks them out.  Still, worth a try.  And maybe I should look it up to see if there’s something I’m missing, like putting a little water in the pans maybe?  Does anybody know?

Like I said, it’s a good thing he’s so cute.

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 46

I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

There’s nothing like that particular blue of a winter sky.

When I'm looking at that blue sky, the last thing I'm thinking about is the side effects of adipril or anything as mundane as that. 

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dark Chocolate Giveaway

How would you like to win ALL OF THIS?
  • 1 box Hershey’s Special Dark Dark Chocolate Bars (36 bars in each box)
  • 1 box Hershey’s Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate Bar with Almonds (24 bars in each box)
  • 1 bag of Hershey’s Nuggets Dark Chocolate with Almonds
  • 1 bag Hershey’s Miniatures Assortment – Dark Chocolate
  • 1 bar/pouch combo of Hershey’s Extra Dark Pure Dark Chocolate in one of the following flavors:
    • Hershey’s Extra Dark Pure Dark Chocolate
    • Hershey’s Extra Dark Pure Dark Chocolate with Cranberries, Blueberries and Almonds
    • Hershey’s Extra Dark Pure Dark Chocolate infused with Raspberry flavor
    • Hershey’s Extra Dark Pure Dark Chocolate with Pomegranate flavor

I never understood chocolate until I discovered DARK chocolate, so I'd love to win all this.   If you feel the same way, visit Table for Five and enter to win all this Hershey's chocolate.  There will be 3 winners.  Enter by Monday, Feb. 22nd at 1:00 PM EST.  (Actually, I'd rather you didn't enter so my odds will be better, but I get an extra entry for telling you)  And, speaking of chocolate, I'm going to make these Peanut Butter Blossoms with DARK chocolate Hershey's Kisses.

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Be sure to enter my giveaway, too. You could win a copy of Matthew Paul Turner's brand new book Hear No Evil. Perhaps you'll be reading and eating chocolate at the same time...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Like the Idea of an Online University

With my youngest practically grown up and planning to go off to college next year, maybe it's time I figured out what I want to be when I grow up.  You think?  My husband keeps saying things about me going back to work, and I'm sure a little extra money will come in really handy, especially considering we somehow have to help pay for this boy to go to college.

The problem is, I haven't actually had a 'real' job (besides MOM and chief cook and bottle-washer around here) for several years.  I've done the occasional babysitting, interview or web design job, and now I write blog posts.  I'm not sure how any of that can translate into a 'real' job.  Before kids I worked retail, but I'm not really a people person, so I'm not sure that's something I really want to do again.  Dealing with nice people is one thing, but dealing with customers is a whole other thing altogether.  Still, I wonder if I'm even qualified to do anything else without getting a degree of some kind from an online university.

Western Governors UniversityImage via Wikipedia
If I am going to go back to school for something, I really like the idea of being able to do it from the comfort of my own home and still get a quality education.  Also, with a kid in college, I wouldn't want to spend too much on my own education.  An online university like Western Governors University sounds promising.  The tuition is under $3000 for a 6-month term.  Of course, I'll have to do some research, but they say that's about half the cost of a typical online university.  Actually, there's a table right on the site that gives an idea how much it's going to cost to complete a online nursing degree, business degree, or any of the other degrees offered through WGU and through several other online universities.

Before I think about getting any kind of degree, I guess I still have to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, so I know what kind of degree to pursue. But, in the meantime, I've got some bottles to wash, or towels to fold!
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Hear No Evil - Review and Giveaway

I just finished reading

 Hear No Evil
My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost

by Matthew Paul Turner.

Every Life Has a Soundtrack. 

If you’ve ever had the opening bars of a song transport you back in time or remind you of a pivotal spiritual moment, Matthew Paul Turner’s honest—and frequently hilarious—musings will strike a chord. Straightforward and amusing, Hear No Evil is Turner’s “life soundtrack,” a compilation of engaging personal stories about how music—and music’s ability to transform—has played a key role in his spiritual life.

Groove along on his journey as young evangelical Turner attends forbidden contemporary Christian concerts, moves to “Music City” Nashville, and dreams of becoming the Michael Jackson of Christian music.

Cosmic and compelling, keen and funny, every page is a new encounter with the people, places, and experiences that have taught the music-editor-turned-author some new things about God, forced him out of his comfort zone, and introduced him to a fresh view of grace along the way.
I really enjoyed this book.  It was full of laugh-out-loud moments and shake-your-head 'what are these people thinking?' moments.  Matthew Paul Turner does a wonderful job of taking the reader through his growing-up years.  I almost hate to admit it, but I saw a lot of my past in his book, too - as will anyone who has ever been a part of organized religion.  Because Matthew does it with such humor, it's not as painful to take as it might otherwise have been.  Instead we can laugh at ourselves and realize we're not the only ones.  We all have to find our own path to God and what we believe.

Our church wasn't quite as strict about music, but I do remember a certain Assembly when I was in college (yes, I went to church college - we called it God's college) where they told us there were certain bands and music we shouldn't be listening to.  Some people didn't have any of that music to start with or got rid of it if they did.  And some of us couldn't help but go out and get some of the same music we were just told was inappropriate!  Who me?  I labeled it my RL tape (for Restricted Listening), and I'm pretty sure I still have it around here somewhere.  I've noticed in recent years that the 'rebels' back then are still the ones who are making their own decisions about how best to have a relationship with God and not just following along with what some church tells them is right or wrong.

Anyway, enough about me.  I'd never heard of Matthew Paul Turner before reading this book, but I liked it so much that I'm planning to look up some of his other books like Churched: One Kid's Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess so I can read that one, too.  And I added his blog to my blog list so I can see what kind of stuff he's saying on a regular basis, between books.

Hear No Evil goes on sale tomorrow, February 16, 2010.

  • This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Besides sending me a review copy, Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group also sent me a copy to give away to one of my readers.  If you'd like to win your own copy of  Hear No Evil, leave a comment on this post telling me the name of a song that means something in your life.  You don't have to tell me why the song is special to you, but feel free to share if you want!

I know it's just a book, but it's a good book so if you want additional entries: (leave a comment for each one)
  • Follow me on twitter (@bcmom) and tweet the giveaway link, you can tweet once per day and leave a separate comment for each.
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post.  Leave me a comment with your url.
  • Subscribe to my blog in a reader or by email, or Follow this Blog with Google Friend Connect.  Let me know which way you subscribed - or let me know if you're already a subscriber.
  • Link to Beth & Cory's Mom on your sidebar or add me to your blog list or blogroll.
  • If you can think of any other creative way to spread the word about this giveaway, go ahead.  Just leave me a comment letting me know how and where you shared.
Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.  All entries must be received by 11:59am next Tuesday, 2/23/10.  Winners will be randomly chosen, and if you're a winner, I will contact you by email, so be sure I have an email address for you.  Good Luck!

Cathy Marie Buchanan Visits Alice Baker Library

I went to our library yesterday for a very interesting event. Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Day The Falls Stood Still came all the way from Canada to visit our little library. Granted, she didn't come from Toronto specifically to visit us.  She was already in the area visiting her sister, who lives not too far away. I'm currently reading her book, so this was definitely on my upcoming events calendar as soon as it was scheduled.

Cathy talked about some of the history of Niagara Falls, about becoming a writer and how this book came to be, and some of the environmental issues threatening Niagara Falls and the River today.  She read a chapter from her book and answered questions from the audience.  We had quite a nice turnout - over 30 people, which is great for our small library.  Our library director did a great job of promoting the visit.  I even heard Cathy comment to her sister that other places she gets a couple lines in the paper when she visits, but in Eagle, WI she gets a whole page!

After Cathy's talk,we had snacks - our Friend's group and library staff went all out!  Copies of The Day the Falls Stood Still were available for purchase and signing by the author.  Cathy Marie Buchanan is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. Overall, it was a very enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.  It just goes to prove that some of the best events in Wisconsin aren't necessarily the biggest ones.

Now, I really want to sit down and finish the book.  So far I am really enjoying it and so happy that Alli, our library director suggested it - and arranged for Cathy Marie Buchanan to visit our library!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Camera Critters (#97)


While visiting Camera Critters posts at the beginning of January, I noticed several tigers.  Apparently 2010 is the Year of the Tiger by the Chinese calendar.  I thought I’d missed a great opportunity to share some of the tiger pictures I took at the zoo this last summer, but then when I went looking for information on the Chinese calendar I found out that the First Day of the Year of the Tiger falls on 2/14/2010.  So, I thought I’d post a tiger picture or two to welcome the Year of the Tiger (formal name Geng Yin).

Isn’t he gorgeous? I didn’t really need an excuse to post these, did I?  I took them at the zoo when we went in September.


Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Testing my Feed

This icon, known as the "feed icon" ...Image via Wikipedia
...and, NO, that does not make me a farm animal as my dear friend Peggy suggested in response to my post yesterday, Changes in My Feed:
are you a farm animal? Did the vet recommend this to your farmer/keeper?
I'm speaking of my RSS feed and getting it to post to my twitter account, which then forwards to my facebook account, and therefore lets everyone know what I'm saying, whether they want to know or not.  That kind of feed.

Twitterfeed seems to be working just fine for my other blogs, but for some reason it just won't work for this one.  So, last night before I posted my Looking at the Sky post, I set Google Feedburner up to Socialize my feed.  It's supposed to automatically post updates from my feed to my social media account - twitter.  But it didn't work, even though it says it's active, and twitterfeed didn't work either.  So, I'm testing it again, thinking maybe it just needed some time to actually get set up.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 45


I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

I finally broke down and bought a new camera.  I’ve been looking for one that is small enough to fit in my purse that also has a decent optical zoom.  I bought this Olympus Stylus-9000 – it was on sale with a coupon code and bing cashback, so I got it for around $158.  That $150 price range seems to be our norm when it comes to buying digital cameras, and the cameras have improved every time.

Anyway, I haven’t completely figured this new camera out, but I did take a couple pictures of the sky this week, trying it out.

Sunrise Wednesday morning:

Before sunrise Thursday morning:

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.

Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Purex. All opinions are 100% mine.

I've been seeing the ads and the buzz around the internet for the new Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheet. I'm sure you've seen it, too - a revolutionary new laundry product that combines detergent, fabric softener, and anti-static all in one sheet.  You just throw the sheet into the washer with your dirty clothes and then transfer it along with your clothes to the dryer.  The detergent is released during the wash cycle, and then in the dryer a heat activated strip releases fabric softener and anti-static. How easy is that?  I know that there have been plenty of times that I've forgotten to throw the softener sheet into the dryer, only to realize it when I pulled a whole load of static-filled clothes out of the dryer.  There have also been times when I couldn't remember whether I actually added detergent to the washer or not. There have also been times when I forgot to start the washer, and didn't realize it until I started to transfer completely dry clothes into my dryer - but I doubt Purex 3-in-1 can help me with that.

I recently got the chance to try the Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets.  I got an entire package to try out.  Of course, they came in the mail right after I had finished the last load of laundry for the week.  Luckily, Beth had some laundry that she was planning to do, so I told her I'd do her laundry while she was at work, just so I could try the Purex 3-in-1 Sheets.  Imagine, actually volunteering to do her laundry when she has finally decided she's old enough to do her own!

After using the Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets, here are my thoughts:

The Good:
  • These sheets are very convenient.  They work just as described - throw them into the washer, transfer them to the dryer, and they do it all.
    • I think they would be especially convenient for someone who has to go to the laundromat for laundry.  Instead of lugging multiple products, just grab the Purex 3-in-1.  
    • I'm also thinking it would be good for college students who have never been away from home and had to do their own laundry.  Purex takes all the guesswork out of it - just toss the sheet in.  I somehow think my college student next year will be packing his laundry up and bringing it home on the weekends for mom to do, but that's beside the point.
    • These would also be great for taking on a trip - just take a couple sheets along.  They'll pack better than a bottle of laundry detergent.
  • There was absolutely no static in the clothes that came out of the dryer.  Since it's winter when static is especially bad, that's really important.
  • The loads I washed for Beth were pretty full, but if you have smaller loads, you can cut the sheets in half.
  • The clothes come out smelling fresh and clean.
The Bad:
  • The clothes do come out smelling fresh and clean, but the scent was a little strong for me.  Do take into account that I am especially sensitive to smells, and I had a slight headache yesterday, so the smell bothered me more than usual.  The scent I got is called Spring Oasis.  The 3-in-1 Sheets also come in Tropical Escape and Pure & Clean, which I think would have been much better for me.
  • I couldn't figure out how to get the sheet out of the package and into my washer without getting the scent on my hands, and then it was hard to get off.  Maybe it would have worked better if I had the Purex 3-in-1 dispenser instead of just using from a refill pack.  
So, overall, the good outweighs the bad.  These Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets are really easy to use and do a good job.  Even if I don't decide to use them on a regular basis, I think I'll want keep some on hand for things like traveling, sending to college with my student, and for those times when I just don't feel like explaining to someone how to do laundry or how much detergent to put in.

If you haven't already done so, be sure to visit Purex and request a free sample so you can try it out for yourself. I'd be interested in hearing what you think of it, too.

Visit my sponsor: Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheet

This is Why We Have Triple A

Beth left for work yesterday morning.  Shortly after, I got a phone call - she had spun off the road and into the ditch.  She's been driving back and forth to work in bad weather for a couple winters now, and this is the first time I got that particular phone call.  I had actually stopped worrying about it so much.  I really wasn't too worried yesterday, because the snow had stopped, and the roads were relatively clear.  Yet, somehow, she managed to hit a patch of ice or something and spin into the ditch.

So she called me to see what she should do. (She really does still need her mom!)  I reminded her that we have AAA so she can call them to get a tow truck to come and pull her out of the ditch.  So she did, and they told her it could be any time in the next hour.  So she waited, and they showed up fairly quickly and got her pulled out of the ditch and on her way to work.  This is why we have AAA - not that we want to have to use it, but when something happens it's available.

Thankfully, she just went into the ditch and didn't hit any cars or trees or fence posts or...  And, even though she's a good driver, maybe this means she'll be a bit more careful.  Hopefully.  Also, should your car ever get stuck in the snow, be sure to knock all the snow off the bottom and around the wheels, because once Beth started driving again, she noticed that the car started shaking when she got up to around 50 mph or so.  Once the snow was cleaned off, it was fine.  I'm thinking she drove the rest of the way to work very carefully and slowly, because she didn't notice the problem until she was on her way home.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Get Coupons for Store Brand Baby Formula

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

I mentioned a few times on twitter, which then forwards to my facebook, that store brand baby formula is just as good nutritionally as the big name brands.  That means, if you give your baby formula, you can save money by buying the store brand.  This sparked a bit of a discussion on facebook, with the majority agreeing that breastfeeding your babies is best.  I completely agree with that, and both my babies were breastfed.

That being said, if you must give your baby formula, and there are plenty of mothers who feed their babies formula for a variety of reasons, then I think it's definitely worth looking into buying the store brand over the name brand.  Feel free to read the labels and compare for yourself, because it's not just about saving money.  The most important thing is to give your baby the best that you can give him or her, and FDA regulations say that all formula marketed in the U.S. must meet the same basic nutrient specifications.  That means store brand must have the same nutrition as the name brand, and by buying the store brand, you can save as much as 40% per ounce compared to buying the name brand.  You know how much I like to save money, so if I'm sure I would have been looking for the best deal if I had needed to give my babies formula. 

Besides the lower prices on store brand formula, did you know you can get a store-brand formula coupon to save even more?  You just have to fill in your name and address, and they'll send you a coupon.  That's pretty cool, because you don't see many coupons for store brand anything. That's not the only one, because if you take the Baby Formula Quiz, you can also get a $3 coupon for store brand formula, and learn a little more about baby formula while you're at it. 

Visit my sponsor: Found: Store-brand infant formula coupons

Monday, February 08, 2010

I Got My T-Shirt Today

Today I got my official International Federation of Snowball Throwing t-shirt, and it is really cool. I'm hoping I'll be able to hold onto it for myself, because as soon as Cory saw it, he was trying to claim it for himself.  I told him he should enter my giveaway, but I'm not sure that would really be right.  I mean, I'm going to choose the 3 winners randomly using - but still, it might look a little funny if my own son ends up winning.  Maybe I can just let him borrow my shirt.  Once in a while.

Now, the rest of you don't live with me, so be sure to enter the giveaway.  There will be 3 winners! 

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

College *GASP!*

This week Cory got accepted to go UW-Whitewater next year.  He's not sure what he wants to do with his life besides become a famous actor or some such thing, so it's a good place to go, take some classes and figure out where to go from there.

We submitted his FAFSA online today, so hopefully he will qualify for some kind of financial aid.  Something.  Because it's looking like putting a kid through college is not going to be cheap.  Whitewater is supposed to be a lot better than some, but still, that's a big chunk of money.  I've told Cory that he needs to go into the guidance office at school and get every scholarship in there that he remotely qualifies for, and fill them all out.  Every little bit will help.

I'm just having a hard time believing my baby is going to college.  How did this happen?  How did he get old enough for college?  I feel like I should be looking for exit signs to get off this road and go back to when he was just a little guy.  I guess that's not possible, is it?

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Camera Critters (#96)

Last weekend the Pep Band went to the Bradley Center to play for a boys basketball game.  They did a great job.  Jeffrey and I went along as chaperones.  After the game, we went to a mall close by so everyone could get something to eat and walk around a little, and then we went back to the Bradley Center to watch the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Miami Heat.

Before the game, I got a picture of this critter:

And during the game, I caught this one:

That’s one tall buck!

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Snowball Throwing Should Be an Olympic Sport (Giveaway)

I don't know about you, but I'm getting kind of excited about the Winter Olympics coming up later this month.  I've got my Olympics calendar on the wall with the picture of one of my favorite Winter Olympians, Apolo Anton Ohno, and I've got my viewing guide handy.  It won't be long!

Coca-Cola is once again one of the major Olympic sponsors, and they're working to generate some excitement.  One of the fun things they've done is create the International Federation of Snowball Throwing. (
The IFST is an “organization” created to rally support from citizens of the world who love throwing snowballs and want to see snowball throwing added to the Olympics.  The IFST supports snowball throwing in various forms, including individual accuracy competitions, team events and even competitions with ‘fake’ snow. Any competition involving a handmade ball made of soft, crystallized precipitation is recognized as an official sport by the International Federation of Snowball Throwing. Skill levels ranging from world-class athletes to anyone who loves to throw things are welcome.

"handmade ball made of soft, crystallized precipitation" - I really love that.  Anyway, the official IFST Blog is a family-friendly site designed to get people excited about the Olympics and playing in the snow.  There are videos, instructions on how to build the perfect snowball, and information on how to get in shape for this winter sport that anyone can participate in.  If you're thinking you live in Hawaii or somewhere that doesn't have snow, they've even taken care of that.  Click the link to play the snowball throwing game at - challenge your friends or compete against people all over the world.  There's also a petition you can sign to get Snowball Throwing added to the Olympics.

Why Snowball Throwing?

Check it out, have a little fun, sign the petition then come back here and enter the giveaway.  Coca-Cola is sending me an official IFST t-shirt, and 3 winners will also get a t-shirt and a collector’s edition bottle set from the 2008 Beijing Olympics  - note these are from the Summer Olympics and not the Vancouver Olympics coming up this month.  They're pretty cool!
To enter:
  • Visit (link opens in a new window or tab) then come back and tell me which video or post you liked best.  So far all the videos are making me laugh.  Just let me know what you think.
For additional entries: (leave a comment for each one)
  • Follow me on twitter (@bcmom) and tweet the giveaway link, you can tweet once per day and leave a separate comment for each.
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post.  Leave me a comment with your url.
  • Subscribe to my blog in a reader or by email, or Follow this Blog with Google Friend Connect.  Let me know which way you subscribed - or let me know if you're already a subscriber.
  • Link to Beth & Cory's Mom on your sidebar or add me to your blog list or blogroll.
  • If you can think of any other creative way to spread the word about this giveaway, go ahead.  Just leave me a comment letting me know how and where you shared.
Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada.  All entries must be received by 11:59am next Friday, 2/12/10.  Winners will be randomly chosen, and if you're a winner, I will contact you by email, so be sure I have an email address for you.  Good Luck!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Trying Some New Music

I like a lot of different kinds of music, but I do have to wonder about some of the stuff that is popular nowadays.  Some of it isn't too bad, though, or at least worth another listen.  One of the popular artists I never paid attention to is Lady Gaga.  I just thought she was strange with all those weird outfits she insists on wearing, and what kind of name is Lady Gaga, anyway?  OK, I paid attention at least that much, but I had never really heard any of her songs.  Then when she performed on the Grammys with Elton John it hit me.  He's had his share of crazy outfits and costumes, but he's also very talented, and I like his music.  I have to wonder - are the crazy outfits just a way to keep some people away?  At first glance you think, 'that's weird' and don't look any further?  Or maybe it's just a way to stand out from the crowd and get some attention, which would be the total opposite.

Either way, since then I've heard a couple of her songs on the radio, and they weren't horrible.  I usually use my mp4 mp3 players to listen to books, but Cory says he has some Lady Gaga songs I can put on mine so I can listen to them and see if I might like them.  If I don't I can always go back to the books, or listen to my girl P!nk.

Is there any music you listen to that you never thought you would?

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 44


I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

At the risk of seeming to repeat myself, I’m posting the moon again.

I'm just a sucker for a full moon! If someone tells me the moon is coming up and looking exceptionally bright and gorgeous, I'll ignore the white lcd tv to run outside and try to get some shots.  This last week the moon was supposed to be extra big and extra bright, so of course I had to try and capture it.  Next week I’ll try to post something different.  Maybe. 

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.


The day after Beth got her lost cell phone back, she and Tim went to USCellular and got new phones - and signed a new 2-year contract, together.  Basically they have the same plan we do - a nationwide plan with 1000 anytime minutes, free incoming calls, free mobile to mobile, and nights and weekends that start at 7pm.  Plus they got new phones that require an internet plan, so they're paying extra for that.  The only thing they didn't get is texting, but if they really need to text, they can always do it through the internet.

It should be a good deal for Tim, since he was with Sprint before, and it sounds like they charged outrageous prices for everything.  Seriously, $5 for receiving a picture message?  Charges for incoming texts?  It just all added up, and it sounds like his cell phone bill went over $100 on a regular basis.  So he'll be cutting his bill way down.  Beth, on the other hand, was on our plan, and all she was responsible for was the $5/month she added for texting.  For her, this isn't such a great deal.  They could've gotten Tim a phone and a plan, still saving him some money, and Beth could have stayed on our plan, saving her a lot of money.

And then, today, one day after getting the new phones and signing that 2-year contract, together?  They got into a huge fight.  Again.  There was talk yelling about giving back stuff and 'get out of my house!' and 'I'm done!' and various other things.  I'm pretty sure getting a cell phone plan together was not the best idea in the world.  Of course, these two thrive on drama, so I can't start doing any funeral planning for their relationship yet. Next thing we know  they'll be saying I love you and everything will be 'just fine' again - until the next time.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Lost and Found

Beth told me today that she lost her cell phone.  Yesterday.  Apparently she went to Cousin's, and it must have fallen out of her coat pocket when she got in the car, and she didn't notice it was missing until later.  She went back to Cousin's but didn't find it.  Because someone else had already found it, and she started calling some of the recently called numbers on Beth's phone to find out who it belonged to and figure out how to get it back to her.  She ended up calling Marshall's and arranging to bring the phone in to Beth at work.  So, Beth lost the phone yesterday and got it back today - she really lucked out!  It's encouraging to know that there are still people out there who do the right thing

Then, when I was telling this story to Jeffrey he said, "I never told you what I did."  "When?"  "A couple weeks ago."

Then he proceeds to tell me that a couple weeks ago he went on a tour of the plant, where he is not allowed to wear jewelry.  So, he took his watch and wedding ring off and put them in his pocket.  Midway through the tour, he pulled his watch from his pocket to check the time, so he wouldn't be late for a conference call he had to be on.  Then, about 2 minutes before he had to leave to join his call, he pulled his watch from his pocket to put it back on and realized he had lost his wedding ring.  It had fallen out of his pocket when he checked the time.  He didn't have much time to look and he didn't find it.  But he did let people who work in the plant know that he'd lost it and asked them to keep an eye out - and they found it.  So, I guess he lucked out, too.  I wonder if he was ever going to tell me?  I told him when I lost mine at work that one time...

Do You Like Waiting?

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Charter. All opinions are 100% mine.

2 It's hard for me to believe that anyone still has dial-up internet access.  Is it because of the cost?  Or do you just like waiting?  Waiting for that page to load, waiting for all those pictures of your cousin's new baby to download, waiting for all those widgets on your favorite blog to load...  I can't speak for you, but that would absolutely drive me crazy.

Maybe we need to learn more patience, but waiting isn't something we do well in this country.  We have movies on demand.  We get our fast food even faster by going through the drive through. We buy our music via MP3 download instead of going to the store.  Oh wait, not you people with the slow internet, because you would still be waiting.  I wouldn't even want to begin adding up all the wasted time - waiting for a song to download, waiting while the progress bar inches across the screen when you try to pay a bill, just plain waiting.

If your reason for not getting high speed internet has been the cost then stop waiting and get going. Charter has high speed DSL packages starting at $19.99/month with FREE installation.  They're calling it the new dial-up because it's practically as cheap as dial-up - maybe it is as cheap?  I'm not sure how much dial-up is costing these days, but $19.99/month sounds pretty good for high-speed internet.  Think of how much time you'll save, the YouTube videos you'll be able to watch now, the blogs you'll be able to read.  You might even finally be able to see those pictures of your cousin's new baby!

The high speed will make you so happy you'll want to fan Charter’s Facebook page. And, of course, the speed means you will be able to visit that page, as well as the rest of facebook! Just don't get sucked into too many games, OK? You may be saving tons of time, but you don't want to give it all away. Trust me on this.

Visit my sponsor: Stop Waiting, Start Doing

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Discharge The Battery

It hasn't been that long since I bought a new battery for my laptop.  I thought I got a pretty good deal on eBay.  It was definitely a better deal than buying it from Dell!

When I first got the battery, I could run my computer for 2-1/2 hours on battery power.  Then it was down to 2 hours, an hour and a half, an hour.  It just seemed that the battery should last longer than that.  Then last week I was using the computer on battery power when it told me, after about an hour, that I needed to plug my computer in or risk losing my work, and then it went to Stand-by like it's supposed to.  So, I plugged in and re-started.

I was happily surfing the net when I noticed the low battery indicator light was still flashing.  That's when I realized I had been using the computer for about 45 minutes, and I wasn't really plugged in.  I had plugged into a power strip, but the power strip wasn't turned on.  So, even though my power indicator told me that my my battery was out of power, it really wasn't.  Somehow it wasn't monitoring it properly.  I decided to just keep using the battery until it really died, to see how long it would last.  Altogether it ended up lasting over 2 hours before the computer completely shut down.

I was thinking I needed to find a way to re-set the power monitor so it would read my battery properly, but the next time I ran the computer on battery, it seemed to keep track of it just fine.  I guess completely discharging the battery did the re-setting for me.  Aren't electronics fun?  Several times in the past I ran the computer on battery after it told me it was low and went to Stand-by, but usually only for a couple minutes because I was afraid to let it go too long and completely die.  Obviously, that is exactly what it needed, so I'm going to have to make sure I discharge the battery completely every once in a while.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Union Atlantic, a Review

I got an Advance Reading copy of Union Atlantic by Adam Haslett, so I read it. All of it. I was so tempted to just quit several times. The book was hard to read and hard to understand. There were moments that bordered on enjoyable, but those were few and far between and hard to find amongst the rest of the verbage. It felt like Adam Haslett was trying to prove his intelligence by writing in a way that most people would find hard to follow.   Often I found myself reading the same paragraph over, trying to figure out what Adam or his characters were trying to say.

Adam never made me care about any of his characters and their improbably entwined lives, unnatural tendencies, and shady business practices. If he had managed to make the world of money and high finance understandable, that may have saved the book, but as it is, I'm just disturbed by the general idea, but I don't understand it any better than I did before. 

Taking some excerpts from, it sounds like it should be a great book - 'The first great novel of the new century' - 'a bleak, brazen, beauty of a book.' - 'this year's hot read' - 'Adam Haslett's page-turner of a debut novel'

Well, you get the idea. I just don't agree. Would I recommend this to a friend? No. Don't waste your time.  Would I even have finished this book if I hadn't gotten a free copy to review?  I really don't think so, and I don't give up on many books. Sorry.  Finally finishing the book was "a kind of relief from the responsibility to understand."  (One line I did like from the book)

If you still want to read it, perhaps to tell me what I've missed - after all, I didn't appreciate The Lovely Bones, The Time Traveler's Wife, or Twilight either, and look where they've ended up - Union Atlantic is set for release on February 9.