27th Feb2010

Book Review: The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay

by Daenel

To say that Lost is a phenomenon would be an understatement. Over the last 6 seasons, I’ve watched and listened as viewers have followed the trials of their favorite island castaways and with the final season just beginning, it seemed appropriate for me to review The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay.

As many viewers are aware, Lost is more than a story about a group of people who get stranded on an island, it’s a multi~layered story that explores fate, reason, faith, guilt, salvation and a host of other philosophical and religious tenents. And it’s within this framework that Seay seeks to explore the relationship between the television series and the Judeo~Christian beliefs in redemption and salvation. Although he acknowledges the show’s exploration of other religious beliefs, his analysis is grounded in the teachings of Jesus Christ with reference to the Holy Bible.

One of the strongest points in Seay’s analysis relate to the power of words and the belief that they can shape a person’s future. As an example, Seay talks about the names of the characters and how their names influence their personalities. The writers, he believes, put a lot of thought into the naming of the characters much like Jewish parents put serious thought into the names of their children because they knew there was power (or failure) in a name.

Seay also examines the story of Hurley, who believes he is cursed. This curse, Seay writes, can be traced back to the casual utterance of Hurley’s father: “Having hope is never stupid. You gotta believe good things will happen; then they will. In this world, son, you’ve gotta make your own luck.” With those words, Hurley’s father abandoned him, leaving a young boy (and, ultimately, a grown man) feeling “lost” and worthless. Therefore, the question arises, did Hurley allow his father’s abandoment and fruitless words to bury him in hopelessness or could he have escaped the “curse” and made his own luck?

Whether you are a Christian or not, this book offers and interesting analysis of a television series that has offered so much to so many people.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me courtesy of Thomas Nelson (which is now BookSneeze) free of charge in exchange for a review. To purchase the book, you may click on the picture or the link which will take you to bookschristian.com. I am an affiliate of the company. This does not in any way influence my review.

26th Feb2010

Hitting the Rewind Button

by Daenel

Have you ever woken up and just knew it was gonna be a bad day? You know, you got your hair stuck in the flat iron, forgot to put the filter in the coffee pot, arrived at class and realized you didn’t have your flashdrive with your lecture notes on it, etc. Yes, all of that has happened to me in one day. It really was one of those days where I wanted to hit the rewind button and just start all over…

Tell me about a time you wish you had a rewind button? Was life using you for target practice? Did you forget to zip your pants and not notice until the end of that important meeting? Come on, share. We’re all girlfriends here.

Well, Martina McBride is living out every mother’s fantasy in her new video for her song “Wrong Baby Wrong.” She’s hitting the rewind button to make her life better. Check it out:

Don’t you just love her? She has to have one of the most powerful voices of all time, bar none! Anyway, Martina McBride is offering all of my readers a $5 discount on each ticket to her SunnyD Shine All Night Tour. Just go here to find the show nearest you and use the code MOMS when you check out.

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this post. The discount code was supplied courtesy of Martina McBride and Mom Select.
26th Feb2010

The View Blab Fest

by Daenel

At 11 AM EST it’s coffee and chat time at my house ’cause that’s when I flip the channel to The View and get ready to start laughing and yelling. Thanks to the “snurricane”, the first 5 minutes of the show were preempted by a weather update (um, thank you, Mother Nature, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t cause problems during The View again). Fortunately, the show came in just in time for me to catch the tail end of the following conversation…

Hot Topics

Sherri Broke the Dress Code
Ok, so Sherri admitted to reaching into a dressing room and foisting someone’s dress for an awards banquet because the zipper or something on her dress wasn’t working. Sherri, girl, I love you and I love a fab dress just as much as the next girl (and that was a sweet dress) but you were dead wrong to reach into the dressing room and take that lady’s dress! Like Whoopi said that kinda warrants a throat punch. You broke the code, woman, you broke the code.
Guests
Regis and Joy Philbin
Can you believe they are celebrating 40 years of marriage? That is a crazy long time for your average marriage, much less a celebrity marriage. Regis said the key to a lasting marriage is patience because he spends a lot of time waiting for Joy to get dressed for event. Oldest stereotype in the world but, hey, after 40 years he can say it.
I also want to say how beautiful Joy looked ~ girlfriend, whatever you’re doing, you need to let people know (even if it’s surgical, let a girl in on your secrets).
Tanya Zuckerbrot
The latest celeb diet is something called the F~Factor diet which is basically a high fiber diet that focuses on adding foods rather than subtracting foods (whoot!). As my readers know, I’m currently trying to lose weight and move towards a healthier a lifestyle so I’ll definitely be checking this diet out a little more in~depth. Go here for more information on the F~Factor Diet.
Dr. Gadget
I’m an admitted gadget geek, so I was all over this segment. I have to admit to being slightly intrigued by the Palm Pixie (that screen was amazing) but I seriously heart my BlackBerry Storm so there will be no changing. However, I am interested in the Nook by Barnes and Noble. I have not tried any of the e~Readers (I know, bad geek girl) but I just can’t wrap my mind around not being able to feel the roughness of the paper or smell that woodsy inky smell that books carry. Still, I would be willing to give the Nook a look~see. Hint.
To see what others have to say, stop by and visit my girls at It’s Kerry’s World and Parenting by Dummies (they’re the ones who started The View Blab Fest ~ love them!). They’re funny, insightful ladies who’ll have you thinking and laughing.

You can follow along, chat with and connect with other The View Brand Ambassadors every weekday morning at 11 AM EST on Twitter by using the hashtag #theviewmoms. Also, you can fan The View on Facebook, follow The View on Twitter and enter the sweepstakes at Mom Central for a chance to win a trip to New York City to watch a taping of the show. The sweepstakes is open until 28 February.

Disclosure: I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for ABC Daytime and will receive a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review.
26th Feb2010

Follow Friday Blog Hop: Join Us

by Daenel

This morning while checking Twitter from bed (come on, I know I’m not the only one who wakes up and checks in on my friends), I saw a tweet from @bakenate about a Blog Hop which piqued my interest. I’ve never heard of a Blog Hop so I had to check it out….

Basically, it’s way to find new and interesting blogs to read as well as increase your blog readership. The Blog Hop is hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades. If you’d like to join in simply do the following:

~Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below. Only need to add on one blog to be seen on all the blog hops.

~Follow the Friday Follow hostesses listed in the first 3 slots.

~Follow as many blogs as you’d like.

~Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you’re from Friday Follow.

~Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow.

A Little About Me…

For my new readers, let me tell you a little bit about myself and my blog. I’m a married mother of 5 and grandmother of 2. In a previous life, I was a librarian and an archivist at a local university, now I teach American History at Misericordia University on a part~time basis. I enjoy photography and can’t wait for it to get warm so I can start taking pictures while I walk. I need to pick up a new camera, right now I use my BlackBerry (I know, right?) and a little digital camera. There’s nothing wrong with them, they take fab pictures, I just think I’m ready to start branching out.
Most of the time I write about the craziness that is my life with a few product or book reviews thrown in and, of course, some giveaways.
I do love to talk, so if you leave a comment I will get back to you. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and lets chat…

25th Feb2010

The View Blab Fest

by Daenel

Today’s episode of The View was dedicated to the topic of infertility. Now I have to admit, I have never had any issues with infertility. I’m the mother of 5 beautiful children, so I cannot imagine the heartbreak that comes with trying to have a baby. I have had a miscarriage and I imagine that feeling of loss is duplicated monthly for those who are trying to conceive. So my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to all of you who are dealing with this problem. I pray that you find peace, strength and love in whatever decisions you have to make about your situation.

Listening to Sherri and the other guests discuss the things that they have gone through in order to conceive just blew my mind. I didn’t realize the expense (monetary and emotional) that comes with infertility. For example, the average cost for Invitro Fertilization (IVF) is $12,400. And that’s not counting all the steps that you have to take before you get to that point. Most of these treatments are not covered by insurance, so this is out~of~pocket money. Wow!
Most people tend to think of infertility as a woman’s issue (or at least I did) because you almost never hear about the male side of infertility. So it was interesting to listen to Greg and Julie Wolfe discuss their struggles with infertility and how they felt when they realized that Greg was the problem. Julie even admitted to having “sperm envy” when she would encounter pregnant women. I love that they were able to take a relaxed almost humorous approach to such a stressful situation. I think the guests most people will be discussing will be Bill and Giuliana Rancic. I don’t want to beat this couple up, really, because I think her pronouncement was incredibly sad…
She and her husband discussed their problems with infertility and the steps that they’ve taken in order to conceive a child. Casually, Giuliana mentioned that the doctor told her that she needed to gain between 5 and 10 lbs in order to ovulate regularly and when asked if she had done so, she hesitantly admitted to gaining only 5 lbs. Her arguments against gaining more was her career, her assistant who brings her sample size clothing and the fact that her sister was skinny and got pregnant. Oy! I think this brings up deeper issues about body image, celebrity, unreal expectations of motherhood. Perhaps, Giuliana’s admission that she is willing to do everything except gain weight is an admission that she really is not ready for the sacrifices that motherhood demands.
What do you think? Am I being too hard on her? Or do you think Giuliana and, ultimately, Bill have other issues they need to work on before bringing a child into this world?

You can follow along, chat with and connect with other The View Brand Ambassadors every weekday morning at 11 AM EST on Twitter by using the hashtag #theviewmoms. Also, you can fan The View on Facebook, follow The View on Twitter and enter the sweepstakes at Mom Central for a chance to win a trip to New York City to watch a taping of the show. The sweepstakes is open until 28 February.

Disclosure: I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for ABC Daytime and will receive a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review.
25th Feb2010

Getting My Stepford Wife On with Flirty Aprons

by Daenel

Call me crazy but sometimes I am influenced by what I see on TV, especially when it comes to fashion. And for whatever reason I was totally captivated by the apron I saw Monica wearing on Friends (yes, I realize the show is a bizillion years old). She just looked so cute and, well, domestic.

So yesterday I spent some time scouring the interwebs for a cute little apron of my own. You know, to get my Stepford wife on. I didn’t have a specific apron company in mind, I just knew that I wanted an apron that compliments my kitchen decor (not matches, but compliments ~ I’m not a matchy~matchy kinda lady). My kitchen has golden yellow walls with olive and black upper cabinets and black lower cabinets with stainless steel appliances. All of the accessories are red. I know it sounds a little kooky, but it works, trust me.

Anyway, during my random searching, I stumbled across a site called Flirty Aprons and immediately fell in love with the selection. The aprons are cute and sassy with just a hint of va~va~voom (sorta like me). The problem ~ I didn’t want to spend a lot on my apron. So I decided I’d hold off on purchasing one online until I could hit some brick and mortar stores and check out the selections. That is until this morning when I stumbled across a 30% off coupon at Welcome to the Motherhood. The coupon (30coupon) expires 28 February, so check ‘em out quickly.

Yay! ‘Cause I really wanted that cute little Cocoa Lime one…
Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this post. I just genuinely liked the selection of aprons.
25th Feb2010

I’ll Be Rocking the Red Pumps, Will You?

by Daenel

In two weeks I will be rocking my red pumps for a very special cause ~ The Red Pump Project. The Red Pump Project is an advocacy organization that seeks to raise awareness about women and girls who have been affected by HIV/AIDs. In honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDs Awareness Day, they are asking bloggers to “Rock the Red Pump” on their sidebar and then write a post for HIV/AIDs awareness on 10 March.

As a woman of color, I was surprised and saddened to find out that AIDs is now the leading cause of death for Black women ages 25 to 34. Most of these women contracted the virus through intravenous drug use or heterosexual contact with someone who was infected. That is sad and scary. For more information, check out the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, it’s eye opening!
There are many steps that you can take to keep yourself and your partners safe:
~ Know your status
~ Practice safe sex
~ Stop engaging in risky behaviors
~ Talk about HIV prevention with friends and family
~ Rock The Red Pump on your blog to show support for those who are living with HIV/AIDs
Please, be safe out there, you only have one life to live.
24th Feb2010

Weigh~In Wednesday

by Daenel

I weighed in this afternoon and was disappointed to see that the scale is still pretty much stuck where it was last week. I’m not going to get too frustrated or give up because I do feel better and, ultimately, that is what my journey is all about ~ getting healthy.

Before I started working out I always had this kinda queasy feeling in my stomach. I felt bloated, heavy and sluggish, not a good feeling. Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed that I have more energy and I’m not as “full” feeling as I used to be. I also feel stronger both physically and emotionally (who knew working out could change so much about a person?). I’ve also noticed ~ finally ~ that my jeans are starting to feel loser in the waist and the butt (in fact, when I teach class I try not to turn my back to the class anymore). So that’s it, I will continue to weigh myself but I wont hitch my happiness train on the number 140 anymore (that is was my goal weight).

Measurements
Bust ~ 38 1/2 in
Arm ~ 12 3/4 in
Waist ~ 31 1/2 in
Abdomen ~ 37 in
Hips ~ 41 in
Thigh ~ 24 in

Weight ~ 156.8 lbs

I’ve gained 1 1/2 in in the bust (don’t know what that’s all about but I guess hubs is happy) and gone down an inch in my waist and hips (yay!) since last Wednesday. For the record, I’ve lost 0.6 lbs since last week.

Exercise
EA Sports Active
Custom Workout ~ 173 Cal

Pedometer
Steps ~ 2689
Miles ~ 1.740
KCal ~ 119.7

Today was supposed to be a gym day but I didn’t quite make it. I drove down to the gym but didn’t go inside. I sat in the car for a few minutes and then turned around and went home. Now, let me tell you, normally I’d say that was crazy but there is a reason for everything. On my way home, the road where I live is very twisty and can be dangerous under normal conditions and even moreso when it’s icy. Today it was crazy icy. Anyway, as I was rounding the turn, I saw the tail end of a car sticking out of the ravine ~ a car had crashed through the trees and was head first in a little creek. I saw the driver on the side of the road banging on his phone like he was trying to get a signal or something so I called the police and let them know about the accident. Like I said, everything happens for a reason…

Food
Breakfast
Serving of Honey Nut Cheerios
Cup of coffee with 1 sugar and 3 creams

Snack
Glass of V8 Pomegranate Blueberry Juice

Lunch
Hamburger
Small fries

Snack
Glass of V8 Pomegranate Blueberry Juice

Dinner
Salad, carrots, macaroni and cheese and chicken in orange and raisin sauce

Water
50.7 oz

24th Feb2010

The View Blab Fest

by Daenel

I grabbed my coffee, sat back and watched The View. As usual, the ladies had me feeling a little manic with the yelling and laughing but, omg, it’s so nice to be able to share my enthusiasm with you and my fellow fans on twitter. Otherwise, I’d be sitting here going crazy.

Hot Topics
The Backup Plan
The ladies talked about the cast of the Jersey Shore and how they need to have a backup plan for when their 15 minutes of fame are up. I think this goes without saying and if they have good people in their corner they are setting aside some of their earnings for the future. Enough celebrities have been bankrupted because of their own negligence and their inability to see past their immediate gratification that I hope these kids have learned something. However, I have the feeling that they haven’t (evidenced by the blank faces when the cast was asked about a 5 year plan).

I think one of the biggest problems is that these reality stars think they are the next Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton and can parlay their 15 minutes into a “career” what they don’t realize is that these girls have something to fall back on ~ family money!

Germy Hands
Whoopi decided to share her cure for ending nail biting ~ think about what you touch and what other people touch. Think about how often you see people picking their noses while driving or how often people use the bathroom. Now think about how often those people may or may not wash their hands. Yeah, that’s going into your mouth. Please, just put me in a bubble!

The Guests
Nadya “Octomom” Suleman
This lady infuriates me. I don’t even understand why she keeps getting attention. Being able to breed does not make one a celebrity… What she did, having all of those babies, was an incredibly selfish act. She could have lost her life ~ leaving behind 14 orphans. She also risked the mental and physical well-being of her children. And now she’s pimping herself and her children so that she can support them.

I had kind of hoped that her interview would show a woman who has matured with the responsibility that has come to her, instead, I saw a woman who is in desperate need of help. She said that she is delusional about being able to lead a “normal” life, I’d say she’s delusional on a lot more issues than that.

Ok, let’s get real on a few points:

1. She did not get that incredible body through exercising 3 hrs a day. I don’t have any young children at home still I find it hard to squeeze in a 45 minute workout, so how she can do it with 14, puh~leeze…. I’m just hoping the nannies who are watching them are nurturing.

2. To say that she is not interested in celebrity is insane. She’s exploiting herself and her children for a buck. I hope she has a backup plan…

3. She talks like she is on something. The best description of this woman, “nuts with a touch of creepy” (thank you @multitaskingme and @ThriftyMamaB).

Danielle Steel
The grand dame of the romance novel….Omg, I grew up reading her books. I learned about love, heartbreak, redemption and hope from her. I cannot believe she has written 111 books. Wow! That is crazy.

Danielle Steel is such a contrast to the craziness that is Nadya Suleman. I think the one positive that I drew from her interview is that parents have to love their children and tell them that they are smart and beautiful ~ instill in them a sense of self confidence so they know they can accomplish anything.

I know a lot of people dismiss Danielle Steele novels as formulaic but that’s what I like about them. Her books provide an escape from the craziness that is real life therefore I am looking forward to hitting the bookstore so I can pick up her latest book, Big Girl. Prepare for a review.

Now, you blab back. Tell me what you thought of today’s show. Should teenaged reality stars be forced to set aside a percentage of their earnings? Do you think people are too hard on Nadya Suleman? Is Danielle Steel’s new book on your reading list? Please, share….

I’d like to thank It’s Kerry’s World for the cute little button that I used for this post.

You can follow along, chat with and connect with other Brand Ambassadors every weekday morning at 11 AM EST on Twitter by using the hashtag #theviewmoms. Also, you can fan The View on Facebook, follow The View on Twitter and enter the sweepstakes at Mom Central for a chance to win a trip to New York City to watch a taping of the show. The sweepstakes is open until 28 February.

Disclosure: I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for ABC Daytime and will receive a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review.
22nd Feb2010

Book Review: Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer

by Daenel

Broken Angel is set in the future where the United States has been divided in 2: the United States, a secular nation, and Appalachia, a land run by religious fundamentalists. In Appalachia, reading is a crime, citizens are drugged and those who break the laws are sent to slave labor camps.

At the center of the novel is Caitlyn, a deformed young woman, who is being pursued by bounty hunters, who want her dead or alive. The reason for the pursuit is left unknown to both Caitlyn and the reader until the end of the novel, which adds to the suspense. Along the way, Caitlyn meets two traveling companions who are also trying to escape to the Outside (the United States, where choice and other freedoms exist). They are assisted along a modern underground railroad by people who travel in mystery and offer the one thing that everyone in Appalachia has long been denied ~ choice.
This novel offers so many opportunities for discussion, especially in a book club type setting. There are the issues of religious fundamentalism and when does religion become political? Should genetic manipulation be allowed? As a librarian, I was also captured by the concept of illiteracy as a method of controling the masses.
Overall, Broken Angel is an interesting read that raises a lot of questions. Although the ending could have been handled differently, I think the thought-provoking themes override that minor flaw.
The song by Cindy Morgan called Beautiful Bird, and is a companion piece to the novel. It completes Caitlyn’s story.

Disclosure: This book was provided to me free of charge through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program in exchange for a review. To purchase the book, you may click on the picture or the link which will take you to bookschristian.com. I am an affiliate of the company. This does not in any way influence my review.

21st Feb2010

Mamavation Monday

by Daenel

*Groan* I feel like I am at the point where I am beating a dead horse. Seriously. My weight seems to be fluctuating between 156.8 and 157.4. I don’t know what the problem is…last week I attributed it to my trips to the gym. You know, fat turning to muscle because I had started lifting weights and working out on the treadmill and elliptical machine. I also bought the Cardio Dance Express workout DVD by The Firm which I only did once last week ~ totally proved to me how uncoordinated I am.

This week, my goal is to integrate my previous workout routine, EA Sports Active (Tuesdays and Thursdays), with the gym (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) and then add the Cardio Dance Express routine on the weekends. I don’t know if this is going to be too much or not but I’ll see how I’m feeling at the end of the week.
I did fairly well on my water this week, if you don’t count today. I woke up incredibly tired with a scratchy throat so I ended up sleeping most of the day away. I’m feeling good now, so I will start chugging.
I’m still going full steam with The Healthy Challenge sponsored by Fit Cheerleader. Mostly I’ve been getting my veggies in by drinking green smoothies. Can I tell you how much I love them? I seriously thought it’d be gross but even my kids loved them and asked me if I could have them ready when they got home from school.
As far as other successes go, I think I did well with my participation on twitter this week. I really do enjoy interacting with the ladies. It’s not always about weight loss, sometimes it’s just the silly things that happen in life and that’s what helps to build connections, ya know?

21st Feb2010

Guess Who’s a Brand Ambassador for The View?

by Daenel

If you guessed Daenel, you would be correct! I received my notification in my email this evening. And I’ve been shouting all kinds of yays ever since. I’ve been a fan of The View since their beginnings in 1997. Now I haven’t always agreed with the ladies, especially during the Hot Topics session but that’s what made it fun ~ yelling at the TV (like they could hear me) or laughing with them (sometimes they can make me laugh so hard I snort).

So what does a Brand Ambassador do? Basically, I find out inside information about the show, provide feedback to the ABC Daytime marketing team, get the chance to win fabulous prizes, alert my readers to upcoming guests on the show and contests sponsored by the show and, finally, I get to connect with other fans of The View. In exchange for my participation, I will receive a tote bag and a mug (imagine me drinking my coffee from my mug as I watch the ladies) emblazoned with The View logo.

If you’re a fan of The View, you can join the The View Moms Group here. You have to be a member of Mom Central to join the group but don’t worry ~ it’s free! As a member you will have a chance to win an all~expenses paid trip to New York City and the set of The View. You can also join fellow fans in the forums for exciting discussions.

I would like to thank Mom Central and The View for the opportunity to participate in this 4 week long campaign. I look forward to being a part of this exciting program! So be prepared to read my blog posts and tweets as I share my thoughts on The View!

Disclosure: I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for ABC Daytime and will receive a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review.

19th Feb2010

Small Talk Six: Just Let Me Do It

by Daenel

Today’s Small Talk Six topic is “6 things you’d rather do yourself even if you could pay someone else to do it.”

Ha! This is right up my alley. I am such a control freak ~ I can tell when something has been moved a fraction of an inch on my coffee table. Yes, I know, I’m just a tad bit *insert Psycho music here*… Sometimes it’s just easier to do things myself because I know how I want it done and, well, no one else can do it the way I can.
So here are six things that I really have to take care of myself:
1. Raise my children (nannies) ~ I carried them for 9 months, they are mine until they turn 21 or I put them out of my house (even then, well, you know, they’ll always be my babies).
2. Decorate my house ~ I waited a very long time to get my own house, no one has any say. In fact, I had the paint and accessories picked out before we even bought the house.
3. Wash my laundry ~ I am weird about people touching my skivvies, so, yeah, I’ll handle that myself.
4. Make meatloaf ~ Meatloaf is one of those things that you either have to make yourself or you have to know whoever’s making it really, really well. I mean, there are hands and nails and *eek* going in there.
5. Cut my hair ~ If I ruin it, that’s one thing; if someone else ruins it, that’s quite another.
6. Do my nails ~ I’ve had too many manicures that have left me bleeding. Yes, seriously.
So tell me something that you’d rather take care of yourself than have someone else mess up, do. If you want to play along with the meme, go here and leave a link to your blog. Don’t forget to grab the badge and check out the other topics. And be kind and spread some comment love.

19th Feb2010

Giveaway: Rethink What Matters with Bare Escentuals (Closed)

by Daenel

It’s Friday! It’s Friday! Imagine me doing the happy dance. And, honestly, there is so much to be happy about… It’s the weekend, we get to kick back and relax with the family. Or maybe have a girls’ night out with some fruity drinks and cool grooves. Whatever your plans, Bare Escentuals is asking you to take some time to Rethink What Matters to you.

Their new campaign asks women to rethink topics that range from the fun ~ rethink going bare in public (no makeup, that is) to the thought provoking ~ rethink what freedom looks like. The idea came from Bare Escentuals employees rethinking makeup and what real beauty looks like ~ it’s not about covering your skin with a lot of gunk but using products that enhance your natural beauty.
Every week at Rethink What Matters, a new topic will be featured with 5 questions for you to answer and share with your friends by email, Facebook and Twitter. And what do you get for participating? The chance to win free bareMinerals products (500 winners each week) or a trip of a lifetime to Asia, Caicos, Costa Rica, Italy, Paris or Turks (contest ends 26 March 2010).
This week’s topic is “Rethink the Need to Find Yourself.” I consider myself a rebel ~ ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always gone against the grain. Not in a bad way, but just because I liked the attention (yes, I suffered from middle child syndrome). As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to rethink how I define myself ~ I’m still a rebel but instead of fighting “the system” I’m rebelling against obesity, heart disease, cancer and other health issues that plague my family by exercising daily and eating a healthy diet.

Giveaway: Bare Escentuals has offered me a complimentary bareMinerals 100% Natural Lipgloss to try and 2 to give away to one of my lucky readers. For a chance to win 2 bareMinerals 100% Natural Lipglosses of your own just:

1. leave comment telling me how you “Rethink the Need to Find Yourself”
2. for an extra entry, subscribe to my feed and leave a separate comment letting you know that you have done so.
Contest ends Friday, 26 March 2010. A winner will be randomly selected using Random.org.


Disclosure: I will receive the bareMinerals 100% Natural Lipglosses for my personal use and for the giveaway courtesy of Bare Escentuals.

17th Feb2010

Weigh~In Wednesday

by Daenel

I weighed in this morning and I am not going to get upset… I’m not going to sweat those 0.4 lbs that I gained. I’m pretty certain that it’s muscle rather than fat that I’ve gained. I’ve running and working out at the gym 3 times a week so I know that my exercise levels haven’t fallen off.

On the other hand I haven’t been as careful about what I’m eating though. Not that I’m going overboard. In fact, it’s the opposite. I haven’t been hungry for the past 2 days so I’ve had to force myself to eat something. I don’t know what that’s all about but I just feel incredibly full. I am continuing with the Fitness Cheerleader’s Healthy Challenge as well as the unofficial water challenge that sprung up on twitter a few weeks ago. Between the veggies and the water I think I’m just O.D.ing on food.

Bust ~ 37 in
Arm ~ 11 1/2 in
Waist ~32 1/2 in
Abdomen ~ 37 in
Hips ~ 42 in
Thigh ~ 23 3/4 in

Weight ~ 157.4

Exercise
1. Warm~up (5 minutes)
2. Weight machines
~ Chest press
~ Wide grip pulldown
~ Row
~ Shoulder press
~ Seated leg press
~ Calf extension
3. Cardio (10~20 minutes)
4. Cool down (2~3 minutes)

Pedometer
Steps ~ 10,158 (first time ever!)
Miles ~ 6.573
KCal ~ 452.3

Food
Breakfast
Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds
Cup of orange juice

Lunch
2 Slices of raisin bread with apple butter spread
Cup of orange juice

Snack
Green smoothie (my first one ever!)

Dinner
Italian Wedding Soup
2 c of V8 pomegranate juice
Cup of cranberry juice

Water
16.9 oz

16th Feb2010

Product Review and Giveaway: Progresso Soup Prize Pack (Closed)

by Daenel

Ugh! We are right smack dab in the middle of winter and most of us have already been snowed in at least once or twice so far. Seriously, I am starting to get the worst case of cabin fever ever known to mankind. The only things that are making this winter bearable are the stack of books that need to be read and the cans of Progresso Soup that are sitting in the cupboard.

In fact, I can smell the Beef Pot Roast soup cooking right now… Oh, wait, that’s my kids cooking a can of soup for an afterschool “snack” before basketball and color guard practices. But don’t think these soups are just for snacks, oh no, they’re packed full of enough hearty vegetables, potatoes and chunks of meat to form a complete meal (just add some crusty bread and a salad). Yum!

And with soups starting at 100 calories or less, no need to worry about messing up your diet (I know that’s important to all of us who are still trying to fulfill those New Year’s resolutions to get fit). In fact, the Progresso Light varieties have 80 calories or less and are the only soups endorsed by Weight Watchers.

One of my favorite flavors is the Chicken and Wild Rice. Omg, so full of carrots, chunks of chicken, fluffy wild rice… And the broth was so hearty and delicious that I barely wanted to share it with my daughter (but I did because that’s the kind of mom I am). I’d love to give you the opportunity to try Progresso Soup and let it become a part of your healthy weight management program.
Giveaway: To win a Progresso Soup prize pack all you have to do is:

1. leave a comment letting me know what variety of Progresso Soup you’d like to enjoy while snowed in this winter

The prize pack includes 2 cans of Progresso Soup, a digital jump rope and a Progresso Soup mug. One lucky winner will be selected on Tuesday, 24 February 2010 using Random.org.

And if my giveaway isn’t tempting enough, you can enter the Progresso Souper You Contest for a chance to win a makeover trip to New York City! The winner will receive a airfare for 2 to New York City, a 3 day and 2 night stay for 2 at a luxury hotel in Manhattan, a head-to-toe makeover with a stylist and a $1000 shopping spree. For full contest rules and information on how to apply, go here. While you’re there, don’t forget to download a coupon for a $1 off 3 cans of soup.

Disclosure: I received the Progresso Soup gift pack that I reviewed as well as the giveaway gift pack courtesy of Progresso through MyBlogSpark. Contest open to U.S. residents only.

15th Feb2010

Monday Wrap~Up

by Daenel

I have been so incredibly sore all weekend, to the point where I’ve been walking around looking like something Dr. Frankenstein created. My legs won’t bend, my arms don’t want to hold anything heavier than a cup of coffee and my breasts have totally given up trying to fight gravity…. So how did I celebrate my body’s temper tantrum? I went to the gym and worked it even harder.

Last week, I met with Ben (the personal trainer guy) and he gave me a rough outline of what my workout sessions would look like. Boy am I naive. I thought I could handle it, no problem. That is until today when Ben and I did a quick walk through on all the equipment I’d be using. Oh. My. Gosh. This is the first time in forever that my abs felt like they earned their keep. And by keep I mean the temporary lodging that they’ve set up on my belly. Can 13 years be considered temporary?

I’ve also stepped up my fruit and vegetable intake game and joined Fitness Cheerleader’s Healthy Challenge which encourages women to eat 7~8 servings of fruits and veggies. I really needed this because I have a hard time getting in the correct amount of fruits and veggies.

Exercise
So this it the workout that I’ll be following on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays:

1. Warm~up (5 minutes)
2. Weight machines
~ Chest press
~ Wide grip pulldown
~ Row
~ Shoulder press
~ Seated leg press
~ Calf extension
3. Cardio (10~20 minutes)
4. Cool down (2~3 minutes)

Pedometer
Steps ~ 5946
Miles ~ 3.847
KCal ~ 264.7

Jump Rope
Minutes ~ 3
Repetitions ~ 193
Cal ~ 7.2
Miles ~0.19

So that’s what I did today and it kicked my butt. Initially, I was kind of a wuss with the weights. I only let Ben put 10 lbs on the leg press but he pushed me harder and I found out that I could actually lift 45 lbs. I can also lift 50 lbs on the chest press machine. I am soooo friggin strong! I did the jump roping as part of the 2010 Shrinking Jeans Olympics. Let me tell ya, 3 minutes of jumping rope ain’t no joke.

Food
Breakfast
Nothing

Lunch
Progresso chicken and wild rice soup

Snack
2 c orange juice

Dinner
Spinach, carrots, chicken parmesan with baked ziti

Water
50.7 oz

15th Feb2010

P&G Supports Moms at the Olympics

by Daenel

Like many of you, I spent last Friday night watching the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Olympics on television and was amazed by the show of unity and purpose. It continues to amaze me that every 4 years people from all over can put aside all of the craziness of life and come together in such an amazing show of sportsmanship. I’m not an athlete but I do have an appreciation for the hard work and dedication that goes into training and becoming a world class athlete. Afterall, I’m a mother of a Color Guard participant and a basketball player (I spend a lot of time in my car driving kids to and from practices).

Mothers are an athlete’s first cheerleaders. We’re the ones who are sitting on the sidelines screaming out our kids’ names and encouraging them to push harder, go faster and win. We’re also the ones who wipe away their tears when they lose. And it’s with this realization in mind that Proctor and Gamble (P&G) announced their sponsorship of Team USA, Families and Moms at the 2010 Winter Games.

P&G will be touching athletes’ lives in many ways:

~ As the sponsor of Team USA, P&G will be supporting the athletes as they compete on the world stage. Eighteen P&G brands are sponsoring Team USA with more than 80% of the sponsorship going directly to athlete training and support. Sixteen Team USA athletes are being featured in brand marketing plans.

~ P&G is the sponsor of Team USA Families. The P&G Family Home in Vancouver will provide athletes, moms and families with a home away from home during the Olympic Winter Games. Families will have access to a secure and comfortable environment including meals, viewing lounges, internet access and other amenities.

~ Last, as the sponsor of Moms, P&G is launching a corporate campaign celebrating all that moms do for their children. For the first time ever, P& G is supporting all Team USA Olympic moms with a “Thanks Mom Gift” to help defray travel costs and ensure they can watch their children compete at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Wow! Additionally, P&G will be celebrating all Moms through a multi-faceted corporate campaign that includes the opportunity for consumers to thank their own moms.

Go to Thank you, Mom to read mom blogs, receive Olympic updates or get coupons for a variety of products. There are also photos showing the athletes and their families relaxing at the P&G Family Home. You can also get up-to-the-minute updates by following Thank you, Mom on Twitter. And don’t forget to send a “thank you” to a special mom in your life ~ the message will be posted in the P&G Family House as well as get forwarded to Mom.

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this post, however, my husband is a P&G employee.
14th Feb2010

Mamavation Monday

by Daenel

I have to admit, I haven’t been as active with the Mamavation Sistas as I was when this process first began. It’s not because I don’t care about you all or that I’m not thinking about you. I am. I have just been swamped with, well, life. As some of you know, I am teaching a history course at the local university and even though it’s only a 7 week course, it’s kicking my butt. Part of the problem is that I’m still adjusting my syllabus because I’m trying to make sure that I cover all of the important information while making the class interesting (these are non-history majors so I do my best to make the class informative, entertaining and educational).

Anyway, I have been trying to make sure that I read your posts and leave a comment. I’ve also been checking in on you on twitter, even though I don’t always offer any helpful tweets. One of my goals for this week is to be there for you all a little bit more and to offer support when needed and share in successes when they occur.
On Monday night we’re going to focus on our successes and thank the ladies who have been most inspirational/supportive. Such a fab idea!
The ladies I’d like to thank are:

@IamSucceeding
@madreoso
They are so positive and inspirational. Even when they’re having off days, they have the ability to turn it around and focus on the positive. I also appreciate the love and support that they offer to each of the ladies in the group.
I think that’s why this week’s Mamavation Monday is particularly important to me. It gives me a chance to say “thank you” and I appreciate you.

Because I’ve been so swamped, it’s been easy for me to just grab stuff and eat without really thinking about what I’m doing. Yikes! However, I have still been exercising so that makes me pretty happy. I’m finally started to see a difference in my body. Yay! In fact, I’ve posted some pictures on flickr so I can keep track of the before and after.
So I guess you could say my challenges for last week have become my goals for this week:
~ reconnect with my sistas
~ continue to drink my water
~ eat more fruits and vegetables
~ stay away from the fast food

14th Feb2010

Happy Valentine’s Day!

by Daenel

My husband and I aren’t mushy people. In fact, we’re the people who make fun of mushy people. So we almost didn’t bother to celebrate Valentine’s Day but then I found out my friend, KB, was hosting a Valentine’s Day Dinner at her coffee shop. Once I saw the menu, I knew I had to buck tradition and make reservations. In fact, I was so excited about the meal that I told my sister~in~law and she and her husband joined us.
So what was on the menu?

Appetizer ~ Shrimp Cocktail with Jumbo Lump Crab
Salad ~ A wonderful blend of greens, mushrooms, tomatoes, apples, celery and balsamic dressing Main Course ~ Filet Mignon with Mushroom Sauce and Green Beans
Desert ~ Vanilla Cake with Strawberries (Trust me, this picture doesn’t do the cake justice. We were so full that we had to take our desert home with us.)

Doesn’t that sound delish?

Needless to say, I did not workout today and I don’t feel in the least bit guilty. My husband and I shared a wonderful evening of laughter and conversation, so if I miss out on a few lunges, I’m cool with that.

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