Monthly Archives: October 2009

Bounce Dryer Bar *REVIEW*

I received a Bounce Dryer Bar from Viewpoints, have been using it for over a month now, and absolutely love it. It was very easy to install, and has a wonderful scent. It is available in a 2-month bar and a 4-month bar. I received a 2 month bar, and it seems to be lasting longer than expected. With 4 kids, we do A LOT of laundry…but, it looks as though the bar is going to exceed the 2 month mark easily. Installation was simple…clean a spot inside the dryer between the fins, remove the backing from the adhesive, press firmly onto your ‘cleaned spot’ for 15 seconds…and ‘Ta-da!’ 2 months of soft, fresh smelling laundry.

Aside from having a choice between a 2-month bar, and a 4-month bar, there are also 2 available scents…Outdoor Fresh and Fresh Line. Both of these smell wonderful, but I think my favorite is the Outdoor Fresh. I like a strong, long lasting scent, and this bar delivers way better than dryer sheets. The only thing I can see that it doesn’t out-perform dryer sheets on is preventing static cling. I’ve recently busted out some fleece blankets, and a couple sweaters in preparation for colder days and evenings, and after washing/drying using the Bounce Dryer Bar, there was significant static cling. Considering the fact that I do so much laundry, this issue is not really a deal breaker for me. I like that I don’t have to put in fabric softener or dryer sheets…plus the fact that I am not disposing of dryer sheets makes me feel a little more ‘Earth friendly’. (These are available at Wal-mart, and online at drugstore.com. I don’t recall seeing them at Walgreen’s, but I haven’t really looked that hard either.)

Bottom line, I would recommend these to anyone who does any amount of laundry. The Bounce Dryer Bar is a good value (especially if you can find coupons), it performs up to and exceeds expectations on fabric softening and scent, and is a time saver. A minimal time saver, but one none-the-less. I think it is a great innovation in laundry, and hope they are able to ramp up the static prevention part to where it works like it should.

To-Do Tuesday

Now that our episode of the Swine Flu is almost past us, I can finally give my house the attention it deserves. This means recycling most of my list yet again this week…I really hate doing that, but the stuff still needs to be done.
1. Find Christmas present list of presents already wrapped & plan remaining presents.

2. Read – daily quiet time & finish library book.
3. Re-vamp our chore/allowance policy…and make charts.
4. Get house ready for company.
5. Wrap Grayson’s Christmas presents if he takes a nap this week.
6. Finish taping off at the church so we can start painting a totally sweet design in the kids area.
7. Catch up on reviews…especially Sensa, Softsoap Body Wash, and Bounce Bar!
8. Get back on flylady routine…fell off the wagon a few weeks ago.
9. Make reservations for Thanksgiving & come up with some extra $$ to cover it. (resort already booked up…plus guy was a turd, so staying home for Thanksgiving)
10. Work on getting blog transferred over…with the help of genius programmer hubby. *fingers crossed for this week!*

I ‘stole’ the following from Crazy Adventures in Parenting…the fearless leader of To-Do Tuesday. =)

Would you like to join us this week for To-Do Tuesday? Start with just a few things. Don’t over-do it your first couple of times. You’ll grow to become a list-a-holic later, start small now, though, k?
Just so you know, you can join us at anytime, it doesn’t have to be on Tuesdays – the list will go up every Tuesday for you to link to, but you can make your list and link to us at any point in the week!

Remember, with “To-Do Tuesday”, we’re attacking our to-do lists each week, blogging about our lists and what we’ve got going on, and sharing it with each other to help keep each other accountable. Everyone should come back here to link up in the MckLinky as the central “To-Do Tuesday Hub” so we can visit who’s participating and offer encouragement to each other throughout the week. Don’t forget to add the “To-Do Tuesday” button to your post, linking back to this post!

Let’s continue to cross items off our list as we go and help support each other in completing our lists! Don’t forget my useful HTML tutorial on how to effectively “cross-out” or √ “check off” your items on your to-do list!

Joining us? We’re using a new linky alternative called MckLinky! Please add your link below (to your To Do Tuesday post, and not the main page of your blog).

Diagnosis…Swine Flu

As most of you know, I have been taking care of sick kids for 3 weeks now. First week was nothing really…Grayson ran a low grade fever and was a bit crabby…coupled with me attempting to help my Dad through a bit of a rough time…made it a bit harder. Last week was torture. Kara came home from school with a fever on Friday, and ran fever on and off until Monday (she also had a little cough). She was pretty bummed out about missing the Fall Festival at a local church on Saturday, but I couldn’t risk her contaminating other kids…plus she really wasn’t up to it. Kylie & Trinity both went, and when they got home, Kylie had a nasty cough. I kept Kara home from school on Monday, and received a call from Trinity’s school at about 10 saying she was running a fever…so I picked her up. Greg’s Mom picked Kylie up from school at the end of the day so I wouldn’t have to go back into town with 2/3 sick kids. When Greg brought Kylie home that evening, she was running a fever and still had the nasty cough. She opted to go to bed early…which is totally strange, but who am I to argue with early sleep? Kara was the only one to go to school on Tuesday, but came home with a, you guessed it, fever. So, Dr. appts. were made on Wednesday morning…Greg took all the girls to the Dr. where they were diagnosed with Allergies, Sinus Infection, Bronchitis, and Borderline Pneumonia…each kid had at least 2 of these. They all stayed home on Thursday, and Kylie & Kara were able to go back on Friday. We ended up keeping Trinity with us through the weekend just so she didn’t have to get out since she was the most ill. Thoroughly healed, she went back to school on Monday. Through all of this madness, Grayson and I managed to dodge the barrage of germ infested bullets raining down on my household.

Well, it finally caught up with us. I have had a sinus infection or some kind of respiratory thing for the past few days…not too worried about it, it’s just annoying. Grayson, on the other hand, scared the crap out of me last night. His fever got up to around 104 and he was just blah. Those of you who know us or who read my blog regularly know that Grayson is NEVER ‘just blah’. He’s been running a low fever on and off since Tuesday, and I didn’t start fever reducer until I could see it was making him feel miserable. I feel low grade fevers are not worthy of meds unless he’s miserable…the body’s gotta fight, and that’s how it works. High fevers are a totally different story. I had the kid drinking Pedialyte last night like crazy, and I kept torturing him with a cool wash cloth. I know he was ticked at me, but he was so stinking hot. When his temp got up to 104 I was ready to head to the ER. It was getting close to time for the clinic to open, so I figured I’d see if I could wait it out and try to get him in. They couldn’t see him until 11, but we were in and out. When we got there his temp was 102.4, he was in a good mood, but was very clingy. The doctor came in, did his thing, and spoke the words that have been all over the media striking fear into the hearts of parents everywhere…Swine Flu. He is contagious for 48 hours after his last fever…which should be in a few days. We have a few rough days ahead of us, but we will be okay. The doctor said his lungs sounded very good, and that he needed lots of fluids and rest. My addition to that is lots of prayer and love. So, that’s where we are…Me praying for and loving on my son, Grayson occasionally uninterestedly watching cartoons, drinking Pedialyte and juice, cherry Jell-o firming up in the fridge, and the rest of the time Grayson is in and out of sleep on the couch.

To-Do Tuesday

Okay, the last 3 weeks have been rough. I have totally not accomplished squat. I was sick for a couple days…some kind of stomach bug, nothing major, then the whole deal with my Dad, then all the girls and Greg being sick last week, and now it has caught up with me. My sinuses are torturing me, I have a cough, I am now running a fever, and I am achy all over. No yuckies coming from either end, so I am grateful. I’m just praying it ends soon and that Grayson doesn’t get sick. It is near impossible to keep my loving 2 year old away from me during the day, so I’m just counting on his immune system doing it’s job. Okay…even though I feel like death, I do have a list, so here it is…
1. Now that Greg + girls are all well, get myself that way, and prevent Grayson from getting sick.

2. Read – daily quiet time & finish library book.
3. Pick up library book on hold & return books.
4. Make menu, shopping list, & shop.
5. Wrap Grayson’s Christmas presents if he takes a nap this week.
6. Finish taping off at the church so we can start painting a totally sweet design in the kids area.
7. Catch up on reviews…especially Sensa, Softsoap Body Wash, and Bounce Bar!
8. Get back on flylady routine…fell off the wagon a few weeks ago.
9. Finish crochet project.
10. Work on getting blog transferred over…with the help of genius programmer hubby. *fingers crossed for this week!*

I ‘stole’ the following from Crazy Adventures in Parenting…the fearless leader of To-Do Tuesday. =)

Would you like to join us this week for To-Do Tuesday? Start with just a few things. Don’t over-do it your first couple of times. You’ll grow to become a list-a-holic later, start small now, though, k?
Just so you know, you can join us at anytime, it doesn’t have to be on Tuesdays – the list will go up every Tuesday for you to link to, but you can make your list and link to us at any point in the week!

Remember, with “To-Do Tuesday”, we’re attacking our to-do lists each week, blogging about our lists and what we’ve got going on, and sharing it with each other to help keep each other accountable. Everyone should come back here to link up in the MckLinky as the central “To-Do Tuesday Hub” so we can visit who’s participating and offer encouragement to each other throughout the week. Don’t forget to add the “To-Do Tuesday” button to your post, linking back to this post!

Let’s continue to cross items off our list as we go and help support each other in completing our lists! Don’t forget my useful HTML tutorial on how to effectively “cross-out” or √ “check off” your items on your to-do list!

Joining us? We’re using a new linky alternative called MckLinky! Please add your link below (to your To Do Tuesday post, and not the main page of your blog).

Michael Buble CD *REVIEW*

I was pretty excited to be chosen by One2One Network to receive an advanced copy of Michael Buble’s *NEW* CD “Crazy Love”. I made the mistake of not checking the mail until I came home from picking my girls up from school. When they saw I received a CD in the mail, it was immediately confiscated. They listened to it the entire evening until bedtime. The older 2 (ages 7 & 9) really liked it…my youngest daughter (age 6) was indifferent. She said she liked it, but didn’t seem overly enthused. After listening to it myself, I think she’s crazy. Maybe it’s because she’s 6, but I agree with my older girls…it is fantastic. Michael Buble’s voice is soothing and charming. His songs have that ‘feel good’ factor. You just can’t help but tap your foot or groove along.

On the Today show, he stated that he was influenced by and always admired Harry Connick, Jr. I thought that was pretty cool since I had recently reviewed Harry Connick, Jr’s new CD as well. Their styles are quite similar, but Michael Buble has a little something extra…I’m not quite sure what that is, but I like it. While doing a little research on this fabulous artist, I discovered he has a Christmas CD. I love Christmas music, and am sure I will be adding his CD to my iTunes library. His website (you can get there by using the widget below) has too many features to mention. One that out of curiosity I just had to click on was ‘The Daily Buble’. It shows articles written about Michael Buble, youtube.com clips of some TV appearances, upcoming appearances, etc.

Speaking of TV appearances, he will be on Rachel Ray October 28th! Get your DVR’s ready! Bottom line, Michael Buble’s newest CD ‘Crazy Love’ appeals to all ages, and in my opinion is a wonderful CD. Huge thanks to One2One Network for hooking me up!

Album Tracklisting:
1. Cry Me A River
2. All Of Me
3. Georgia On My Mind
4. Crazy Love
5. Haven’t Met You Yet
6. All I Do Is Dream Of You
7. Hold On
8. Heartache Tonight
9. You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You
10. Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes)
11. At This Moment
12. Stardust
13. Whatever It Takes (bonus track)

Joshua Bell ‘At Home With Friends’ CD *REVIEW*

This CD was sent to me by One2One Network to review. ‘At Home With Friends’ is Joshua Bell’s 21st CD.

Honestly, I tried very hard to give this CD a fair listen. I think when I signed up for this product review, I thought the artist was someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all types of music, but since I was expecting something else, it was a little harder for me to review this one. When I first popped the CD in I was skeptical, but I did enjoy it. The music on ‘At Home With Friends’ reminds me of something you would enjoy while dining in a fancy restaurant. Joshua Bell is amazingly talented, and the musical arrangements are beautiful. He was on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien a few weeks ago…in case you missed it, check out the video below. (You’ll need to skip to the last marker to see Joshua Bell’s performance…I believe the video is of the entire show.)

This CD jacket says “At Home With Friends is inspired by Joshua Bell’s fondness for hosting informal musicales in his Manhattan home. Join Joshua as he celebrates the many musical friendships he has made over the years – a diverse group of artists sharing their love of music in an intimate setting.” That statement is 100% spot on. The variety of artists is quite remarkable…Sting, Josh Groban, and Regina Spektor are the names that I recognized. The fact that he doesn’t fit into a specific genre was quite interesting to me. As of today, ‘At Home With Friends’ has been on the Billboard Classical Charts for 2 weeks, and has been #1 for both weeks. Bottom line, I like this CD, and quite enjoyed the variety of artists featured. I would recommend it for anyone who likes classical music. Check out the Joshua Bell widget below to visit his website and check out all the features.

Album Tracklisting (Originally performed by):
I Loves You Porgy featuring Chris Botti, trumpet
Come Again featuring Sting, vocals
Oblivion featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon
Cinema Paradiso featuring Josh Groban, vocals
Para Tí featuring Tiempo Libre, various
My Funny Valentine featuring Kristin Chenoweth, vocals
Maybe So featuring Edgar Meyer Sam Bush and Mike Marshall, strings
Grieg: Sonata No. 3 featuring Sergei Rachmaninoff (Zenph re-performance)
Eleanor Rigby featuring Frankie Moreno, piano & vocals
O, Cease Thy Maiden Fair featuring Nathan Gunn, baritone
Il Postino featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon
Left Hand Song featuring Regina Spektor, piano & vocals
Chovendo Na Roseira
featuring Dave Grusin, piano
Look Away featuring Edgar Meyer, bass and Chris Thile, mandolin
Variant Moods: Duet for Sitar & Violin featuring Anoushka Shankar, sitar
I’ll Take Manhattan featuring Marvin Hamlisch, piano
Left Hand featuring Regina Spektor, vocals

PureVia All Natural Zero Calorie Sweetener *REVIEW*

I received a box of PureVia All Natural Zero Calorie Sweetener packets a few weeks ago from Viewpoints.

I was to try them in several ways, substituting sugar with PureVia. I don’t sweeten many ‘raw’ foods, so the best way for me to do this was to test it using a guinea pig…my husband, Greg. I wasn’t overly impressed with PureVia. I conducted a taste test with Greg, and at first I was quite excited about the results. I don’t use sugar in my coffee and tea, so he was the perfect person to test PureVia on. I first had him taste the plain product in comparison with regular sugar. He said the PureVia was sweeter than the sugar, but tasted good. After tasting it again, he said there was an aftertaste. I noticed the aftertaste immediately…possibly because I NEVER use sugar substitutes. We then made some tea. He typically uses 4 teaspoons in 1 large cup of tea (I’m guessing somewhere around 12oz)…it took 3 packets which supposedly is equal to 6 teaspoons of sugar.
We thought this would be a good alternative for him since he uses so much sugar in his coffee and tea. Recently he was advised by our doctor to cut back on caffeine and sugar. PureVia seemed like a perfect answer…until he tried it. He said this is something he would not be interested in using in place of sugar. Really the only plus he could see was that he liked the packaging.
He felt it would be nice to keep a few packs in his car or at work, just in case. He has cut back on caffeine, but not his sugar intake. I even tried to sneak it in when sweetening his cereal one morning…not happening. I may try to use it in baking soon, so as not to waste the remaining packets. If I have an exceptionally positive result, I will update this post. Otherwise, PureVia just isn’t for us. Since we typically don’t purchase sugar substitutes, I doubt we will be buying PureVia in the future.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition *REVIEW*

I received an advance copy of Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition from One2One Network to review. The Diamond Edition includes both DVD & Blu-ray discs. The suggested retail price is $39.99, but I have seen it advertised for around $25. I don’t have a Blu-ray player yet, so I couldn’t check out all the extra features including: games, newly discovered storyboards, DisneyView, bonus features, and much more. I am looking forward to getting a Blu-ray player just to experience all the extras…maybe Santa will bring me one.

I was pretty surprised that my kids had not seen this wonderful Disney Classic yet, so I was very excited for them to watch one of my favorite childhood movies. When watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for the first time in many, many years, it was as though I was transported back in time. I always loved the Dwarfs and their cute little quirks, and surprise, surprise, I still love them. They are so stinking cute! I could not get over how funny certain aspects of the Dwarfs were…things I didn’t really remember or catch as a kid, like Doc getting tongue-tied constantly, Grumpy’s views on women, the creative ways they came up with to keep Sneezy from sneezing, and Dopey’s, well, dopey-ness. Who could not love the sweet group of mini-men consisting of Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Bashful, and Doc? Grayson thoroughly enjoyed the scene when they were all sleeping, and Doc snored up a droplet of water and gurgled. When asked which dwarf was his favorite, Grayson made his ‘let me think’ face, scratched his head and excitedly blurted out ‘the princess!’ Kylie’s favorite dwarf was Doc, and her favorite part of the movie was when Snow White and the Prince lived ‘happily ever after’.
Trinity’s favorite dwarf was Dopey and her favorite part of the movie was when he went up the stairs to take a peek at the ‘monster’ in their bedroom and totally freaked out. Another thing I love about Disney movies is how the woodland creatures are so cute, lovable, and helpful…I’d love it if the crazy squirrels in my yard would help me with my housework!
The image quality was quite good considering this movie was originally released in 1937.
The picture was soft, classic, but clear and clean…it’s amazing what technology can do. Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs was actually based on Brothers Grimm fairy tale Snow White, and was the first full-length cel-animated feature in motion picture history. A few other ‘firsts’ this feature can boast about is the first animated feature film produced in America, the first produced in full color, the first to be produced by Walt Disney, and the first to be considered a Walt Disney Animated Classic. To read more about this Disney gem, here is the Wiki link.