30th Sep2010

Book Review: The Gifts of Imperfection by Dr. Brene Brown

by Daenel

The Gifts of ImperfectionBOOK DESCRIPTION

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be.  We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate.  So most of us perform, please and attempt to be perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can’t keep all these balls in the ar?  Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations?  What will people think if I fail or give up?  When can I stop proving myself?

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown, Ph.D, L.M.S.W., a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, shares what she’s learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted living ~ a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.

In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.

MY OPINION

This isn’t one of those embrace~the~universe~and~it~will~send~you~warm~fuzzies kind of self~help books, this is one of those self~help books that demands that you relax and embrace yourself, warts and all, because you’re worth it.  And I think that’s a message we all need to hear.  Too often, books of this sort tell us how to make our lives better by adding more “stuff” to it to make it more fulfilling or to get more accomplished but sometimes we need to learn to sit back and say “What I’ve done is all I can do and that is enough.”

I’ve seen so many women wear exhaustion like it was the latest fashion trend. In fact, I used to be one of those women who proudly proclaimed that I was carrying on with my maternal and wifely duties with barely 4 hours worth of sleep.  I thought this added value to my day and, ultimately, to my worth as a woman.  Who was I kidding?  Seriously, the only thing I was proving was that I really didn’t care enough about myself or my family to take proper care of my needs and one of the most fundamental needs of all humans is rest.

Of the ten guideposts that Dr. Brown writes about, the one that resonated most with me was “Guidepost #7:  Cultivating Play and rest:  Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self Worth”.  She offers three tips for leading a Wholehearted life that embraces rest and relaxation, they are:

  1. Get Deliberate ~ make a list of conditions that are in place when your life is going well
  2. Get Inspired ~ do something you enjoy
  3. Get Going ~ take something off your to~do list and make room for a nap

The Gifts of Imperfection will be available for purchase on 1 October 2010 can be purchased at your local bookstore or through an online retailer.

For more information about Dr. Brene Brown, check out the following:

Blog:  No Ordinary Courage

Website:  Brene Brown

Twitter:  @BreneBrown

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me courtesy of TLC Book Tours free of charge in exchange for a review. This does not in any way influence my review. The book may be purchased by clicking on the picture.  I do not benefit from your purchase.

29th Sep2010

1 October is Follow a Library Day on Twitter

by Daenel

Tips for Library Patrons

  1. Don’t just follow your library, talk to them
  2. If a librarian does something well, tweet about it
  3. Offer suggestions for material
  4. Tweet about activities that you and your family enjoy

Following your library shows that you support your library.  Talk to your librarians on Twitter, engage other library patrons, use Twitter to set up book group meetings or to share movie suggestions.  Treat Twitter as an extension of your library’s services, because that is exactly what it is ~ reference help in 140 characters or less.

Tips for Libraries

  1. Follow your patrons back
  2. Respond to their concerns
  3. Update your status often
  4. Promote your events

These may seem like no~brainer tips but I’ve seen plenty of libraries that simply follow other libraries and don’t actively engage anyone.  Twitter is a quick and easy way for libraries to keep their patrons up~to~date on what’s happening in the library.  So don’t just ask them to follow you for one day, keep them engaged forever.

For more information go to Follow a Library and follow them on Twitter.

28th Sep2010

The UN Considers Appointing an Alien Ambassador

by Daenel

Welcome MatI had to create a whole new category called “WTH? Files” for this post.  I tried to squeeze it in to one of the other categories, but this story is so flippin’  bizarre that I couldn’t even fake it.  Seriously, this deserves a “WTbleep” but this is a family blog….

The UN (as in the United Nations that occupies square footage in New York) is thinking about appointing an ambassador to the alien world.  *blink*  According to Malaysian astrophysicist, Mazlan Othman, will be named UN ambassador to extraterrestrials (pending approval from the UN scientific advisory committees and the General Assembly because, you know, that would legitimize the appointment).

Currently the director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Othman is responsible for dealing with space~related issues, “ranging from international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space to managing the growing problem of space debris.”  Hmmm, so I guess she ought to be the one to greet the aliens, then she can  explain to them why we’ve turned the universe into an inter~galatic garbage bin.  Othman offers as an explanation for her appointment a need to have in place “a mechanism for dealing with aliens should they ever make contact.”

Ummmm, why are we so gosh darned eager to contact aliens when we can barely be cordial to each other?  But forget about that, hasn’t anyone from the UN ever watched “Independence Day” or “V”?  Don’t they listen to Steven Hawking?  Hawking says that we should not make contact with aliens because they may not be the cute little peace~loving~leader~seeking aliens we’ve come to expect, instead he suggests they may be something a little more sinister.  Think Christopher Columbus and the decimation of the Native Americans due to disease and war.  Or the “Twilight Zone” episode called “To Serve Man.”

Hey, UN, E.T. was a trojan horse!

Of course, conspiracy theorists are having a field day with this news story.  Many believe that this is the UN’s way of admitting that governments from all over the world have already been in contact with the little green men, and this is some way of prepping us for their pending revelation.  Um, yeah

You know what, call me a “global isolationist” but I have enough to deal with just trying to grin and bear it with you humans on a regular basis, I think I’m gonna side with the smart guy and say “No” to putting out the global welcome mat.  But, hey, it’s good to know that the UN isn’t just interested in hosting short, weird looking humans (President Ahmadinejad, I’m looking at you).

27th Sep2010

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

by Daenel

ALA Banned Books Week Poster 2010Two days ago marked the beginning of Banned Books Week which is, according to the American Library Association, “an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.”  BBW is held during the last week of September and highlights the importance of free and open access to information while spotlighting attempts to ban or censor material across the United States.

It’s so appropriate that BBW would be celebrated at this time in my life ~ I’m teaching a course called American National Government and we just finished discussing the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution with a specific focus on the First Amendment.  For those of you who don’t know, the First Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights and it protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference.  Many people don’t realize that each year people challenge books in libraries for a variety of reasons and it is due to the commitment and vigilant efforts of librarians, teachers, parents and other concerned citizens that many books are kept on library shelves.

So what does it mean for a book to get “challenged”?  It means that someone in the community (a parent, a school board member, etc) considers something within the book to be objectionable and they want it removed from the school’s curriculum or from the library collection.  The motivation behind a challenge is often good, the individual simply wants to protect the community (specifically children) from difficult ideas, “inappropriate” sexual  material or “offensive” content.

While on the surface, this may seem like a great idea ~ no one wants to see children reading material that may be too sexually advanced for them, nor do we all agree with the ideas of promoters of racist ideology, but no one group has the right to demand that material be removed from public consumption.  One of the greatest advantages (and challenges) of living in this country is our right to freely express opinions, thoughts and ideas that may not appeal to everyone.

The American Library Association encourages people to celebrate Banned Books Week by reading a challenged book.  For a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2009, click here.

Do you agree with censorship?  How do you handle material that you find objectionable?  Did you read the list of challenged books?  Do you agree or disagree with the reasons they were challenged?

25th Sep2010

Inner Mean Girl Cleanse: Ditch Your Inner Perfectionist and Achievement Junkies

by Daenel

Inner Mean Girl BadgeWeekly Wrap~Up:  Permission to Live Obligation Free

Last week’s IMG Cleanse assignment was to give ourselves permission to live obligation free and not take on more responsibility than we can handle.  I didn’t do so well with this challenge but it’s not because I didn’t want to, it’s because I had a windfall of good things happen.

As some of you know, I have been looking for full~time employment for a year now and was starting to accept the possibility that it really wasn’t going to happen for me.  Then I had an interview for a full~time position as an Technical/Public Services Librarian at Keystone College.  Have you ever walked into a place and instantly felt comfortable with the people?  Well, that’s how my interview was ~ I just knew that I belonged there.  The interview was on Friday, 10 September and on Monday I received a job offer. I started my job on Tuesday of this week and it’s been a wild ride, trying to adjust to a new schedule.

So I said all of that to say that my schedule has changed significantly and, for now, it’s a lot heavier than I’d like.  I work evenings at Keystone and then I teach two 4~hour classes at Misericordia University every Wednesday and every other Sunday.  And I still have to figure out how to spend time with my family and take time for myself.  Yep, a lot of juggling will be happening but I couldn’t be happier or more excited.

This Week’s Challenge:  Ditch Your Inner Perfectionist and Achievement Junkies

This challenge made me snort a little because I am a perfectionist, to the point where I may be just a tad bit OCD.  When I write notes (even to myself), I rewrite them until each letter is uniform and slanted in the same direction.  It drives me insane when I fill out forms and I notice there’s a difference in the way that I’ve written something.  I always have to resist the urge to ask for a new form (do you know how hard that is?).

My cabinets are hyper~organized.  All of my veggies are together and alphabetized (yes, I said alphabetized).  Boxed foods are organized by height and alphabetized.  I don’t ask my kids to organize the cabinets the way that I do but I do go behind them and fix it after they’ve put up the food from grocery shopping.

My clothes and shoes are also organized by color, purpose and heel height/sleeve length.  It really is a sickness, but on the good side, I can get dressed in the dark and come out matching.

The guidelines for this week’s challenge are to:

  1. Underpromise and Overdeliver ~ become aware of my need to over promise things to family, friends, co~workers and myself and how that adds stress to my life.  For this week, I have to step back and deliver only what I can within the confines of my abilities ~ as much as I like to think so, I’m not Super Woman.
  2. Go for the “C” ~ instead of always trying to give 100% of myself to everything, accept that there are times when I can only give 80% and that’s ok.  Being average doesn’t make me less than, it makes me human.

Want to know more about the Inner Mean Girl Cleanse?  Visit them on Facebook or follow the conversation on Twitter.

Are you a perfectionist?  Do you have a hard time accepting that being average is ok?  Tell me about it.

Disclosure:  I am participating in the Inner Mean Girl 40~Day Cleanse as a Self~Love Ambassador.  To thank me for my participation, I will receive a self~love gift from the founders of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School.

24th Sep2010

Coffee Talk: New Gig Means Less Time But Not Less Love

by Daenel

I’ll be seeing you all around the interwebs, please don’t forget about me!

24th Sep2010

Have a Smart Phone? Use the Barcode Scanner App to Take Living Outside the Stacks with You on the Go!

by Daenel
Living Outside the Stacks Barcode

Just scan the image with your smartphone's barcode scanner!

Do you have a smart phone?  Have you noticed that little barcode reader app in the App Store?  Well, I did and, honestly, I had no idea what I’d use it for but I downloaded it anyway.  Hey, I figured it’s free so give it a try and if I hate it ~ no harm, no foul.  I heart it!  It’s probably one of my most played with apps.

I use it when I’m shopping and I can’t find the price on something, scan it with the barcode reader and voilá there’s the price.  Or if I run across a book and I want to find out information about it, I scan the barcode and I find out where the book is sold, who published it, how much it costs, etc.  It’s the best thing ever.  I’m like a one woman scanning machine.

Lately I’ve noticed that magazines have been sporting nifty little 2D barcodes that allow you to use your smart phone’s barcode reader to shop instantly. Yessss!  All you have to do is scan the 2D image and your phone’s browser is directed to the online store.  Suh~weet.  No more trying to find the store’s information in the “where to buy” section of the magazine.

Well, now that same technology has been adapted for blogs.  I have my own 2D barcode also known as a QR Code for Living Outside the Stacks.  That means, you can scan my barcode with your smartphone and take my blog anywhere!  You can also share my blog with your friends via email or SMS.  Cool, right?

Would you like to get your own?  It’s easy peasy.  If you’re using WordPress, simply go to the “Appearance” section of your dashboard, select “Widgets” then scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see the “Mobile Barcode” widget.  All you have to do is size it for your blog and change the name.  Easy, right?

22nd Sep2010

I’ve Been Busy Performing My Civic Duty

by Daenel

Guess who had jury duty?!  I did!  I did!  Ok, now let me explain something to you.  I have wanted jury duty since forever.  Ok, maybe not since forever but at least since I became hooked on the Law and Order franchise.  So when I received my summons a few weeks back, I actually squealed with delight.

Reality is nothing like television.

On Monday morning I reported to the Luzerne County Courthouse at 8:30, filled out a basic questionnaire and then waited.  And waited.  And waited. I’m so glad that someone told me to take along some reading material otherwise I would have been bored to tears.  On a side note, there were a lot of Nooks and Kindles in that room!

Around 10ish I was selected along with 31 other people to head into the courtroom for the jury selection.  I was soooo excited.  Finally, I was going to get a case.  Seriously, you don’t understand how badly I wanted this.  After a round of questioning, I was rejected.  I took it kinda personally ~ what’s wrong with me?  Don’t I look like I can handle this?  I’m a librarian, for goodness sake!  So back to the big waiting room I went.

Later that afternoon I was selected for another round of jury selection.  Yay! The plaintiff’s lawyer kept looking at me quizzically and writing stuff down, getting me seriously paranoid.  Finally, he says “Juror 10, we have you listed as Mr. Daenel Vaughn~Tucker and you are obviously not a man.”  Ummmmm…  I thought I was out of the running.  But I was picked!  Yay me!

We were sworn in by the most patient judge ever.  He took the time to explain every detail to us ~ the rules of the courtroom, the legalese, everything.

We were told to report for court the next day at 9 AM.  By 10:30 the case was settled and we were dismissed (after the judge explained what happened and why it happened to us ~ seriously, the judge was amazing).

While I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to actually sit on the jury, I’m excited that I got to be a part of the process.  I know that many people hate jury duty and try everything to get out of it, but I believe that this is one of our most basic rights ~ the right to be tried by a jury of our peers.  Whether an individual is guilty or innocent, they have the right to be heard and to have the evidence weighed by people who take their civic responsibilities seriously.

How do you feel about having jury duty?  Do you try to get out of it?

22nd Sep2010

Wordless Wednesday: Harveys Lake

by Daenel

Harveys Lake

For more Wordless Wednesday, check out 5 Minutes for Mom

20th Sep2010

Monday Mingle: Pictures, Family and Other Memories

by Daenel

Monday MingleMonday Mingle is hosted by Eighty MPH Mom. If you’d like to participate, simply create a short vlog in which you answer the questions and then hit up the linky. Don’t forget to grab the badge and leave some comment love for your fellow participants. Afterall, isn’t that what mingling is all about?

Today’s questions are:

1. Describe (or show) your favorite picture of someone in your family. Why does this one mean so much to you?
2. If you could live in any home on a television series, which would it be?
3. Where were you on September 11, 2001?

Shontel, Dad, Jacquie, Daenel

Shontel, Dad, Jacquie, Daenel

Next week’s questions are:

1.  Name an activity you do with your significant other (or kids), just because it makes them happy
2. What is something you (or your spouse) used to do that you really miss now?
3. What qualities/features do you have from each of your parents?

20th Sep2010

15 Years Ago Today…

by Daenel

Jazmine and BrandonI gave birth to Twin A and Twin B, also known as Jazmine and Brandon.  But, really, their story begins nine days earlier…..

On 11 September 1995, my husband and I showed up at the hospital for a routine OB visit.  The baby was due in nine days and, almost overnight it seemed, I had put on about 15 or 20 lbs and my pregnancy gait had shifted into full on waddle.  Furthermore, the baby was bouncing all over the place. Don’t babies normally slow down the closer you get to the due date?

Anyway, Tony and two~year~old Symone waited in the waiting room while the doctor pulled out the measuring tape and measured my belly.  “Hmmm,” he flipped through my chart, “where’s your ultrasound?”  I noted the apprehension in his voice and replied, “I only have the confirmation ultrasound but they haven’t done one since then.  Why?”  He looked at me over his paperwork, “Well, you’re measuring a little large.  How about if we get you in for an ultrasound?”

I rolled off the table (at that point, that’s all I could do), got dressed and told my husband that we were headed downstairs to get an ultrasound.

I looked at the ultrasound and started to panic.  My baby was going to be a freak!  There on the screen were two baby heads, one pointed up and one pointed down.  I asked the tech what I was looking at and she replied that I’d have to wait for the doctor, in the mean time, she was going to get my husband.  This did not sound good.

The doctor and my husband both walked into the room at about the same time, my husband looked at the screen and started backing away as the doctor announced “TWINS!”  What?  You have got to be friggin kidding me?  Nine days before they’re due and now you’re telling us that we’re having twins? Wait, it gets better.

The doctor went on to explain that the hospital at Fort Polk, Louisiana didn’t deliver twins (especially high risk twins ~ who knew what condition my little monkey babies were going to be in when they arrived?) so we’d have to drive to Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas to have them.

The next day, we drove our two~year~old to Mississippi to my parents’ house and then drove down to Texas.  With me having contractions the whole way.  If you think pot holes are a pain in the butt on a regular day, try hitting them when you’re in labor.

We arrived at BAMC, just in time for them to decide that it would be too much to have the babies right then, so they stopped my labor.  Yes.  They stopped it.  I could have cried.  Then they started doing ultrasounds and stress tests to see how they were doing.  The entire time, we could only hear one heartbeat.  Finally, the doctors decided that I needed an amniocentesis but they didn’t really want to do it because they didn’t want to put the babies in any harm with a double stick (anesthesia and the hollow needle).  I told them to do it without the anesthesia. What was I thinking and why didn’t my husband slap me straight?  PAIN!!!!!

The amnio showed that the babies were developed enough to survive outside of the womb.  So on my original due date ~ 20 September 1995 ~ the doctors induced labor.  At this time, I would like to stop and thank my anesthesiologist because I felt absolutely nothing!

Jazmine Danielle was born at 11:40 AM and she was followed ten minutes later by Brandon Anthony.  Their birth was witnessed by my husband, seven doctors and nurses  who worked on me, six doctors and nurses for the babies, as well as fifteen to seventeen residents who watched from the observation platform.  I know this because we met one of the residents in the elevator when I was being discharged.  He proudly stated in the elevator before a group of onlookers, “Hey, I saw you have your twins!”  Yuck!

Fifteen years ago today, I was surprised and doubly blessed with two beautiful babies who have grown up to provide me with love, laughter and a healthy dose of humility.  I love you guys and it has been an honor and a privilege to be your mother.

19th Sep2010

RIP: Elvis the Hamster

by Daenel
Elvis and Koda

Elvis and Koda

This has been a tough week for my children.  This morning, Elvis the Hamster passed away, eight days after we lost his friend, Koda the Hamster. Miss 13 and Miss 14 were concerned that Elvis not be alone when he took his final breath, so I sat with him when they couldn’t be there and Squeekerz, our Jack Russell Terrier and Chihuahua mix, sat with him the rest of the time.

Elvis was definitely the friendlier of the two hamsters, he loved to be held and talked to.  In fact, if you walked past his cage, he would immediately stop whatever he was doing and run over to the door, look at you with his big black eyes and do everything possible to get your attention ~ including hanging from the top rungs of his cage.

The girls took his passing as well as can be expected.  We knew he was leaving us to join his friend Koda and we are happy to have had him for the brief time that he lived with us.

18th Sep2010

Coffee Talk: Racism, Lies and Other Crimes

by Daenel

When I first heard the story of Bethany Storro, I was shocked and saddened that someone would do something so awful to this woman. In fact, I even discussed my outrage on my Facebook page. I mean, seriously, why would one woman throw acid at another woman and destroy her face? Storro said that a strange woman ~ “African American with black hair pulled into a pig tail” ~ threw acid into her face after asking if she wanted a drink. For a random attack, it seemed so personal.

Then came the reports that the whole story may be a hoax and that the African American perpetrator may not even exist. The reporters that covered the story asked the requisite questions:

  • “Why did Bethany Storro do this?”
  • “Will she face charges?”
  • “Should she go to jail?”

But no one asked the real question, why did she blame an African American woman?  What is it with these crazy women who make up crimes against themselves and then blame African Americans, Hispanics (“Runaway Bride” Jennifer Wilbanks claimed to have been sexually assaulted by a Hispanic male when, in fact, she simply didn’t want to get married), etc?  And when are the laws going to start punishing these women and charging them with hate crimes?  Yes, a hate crime.

These women aren’t just innocently picking a random descriptor out of the sky, they are going for what they assume to be a believable target.  And their beliefs are based on deep seated racism and hatred.  They are specifically targeting minorities, wasting police time and creating stress for the people in their communities.  I think more than a simple fine is in order.

What do you think?  Do you think women who make false charges like these should be charged with a crime?  Should they be charged with a hate crime if their accusations are found to be false?

17th Sep2010

Shopping in NEPA: KB’s Coffee House

by Daenel

KB's Coffee HouseI’ve lived in the Back Mountain for 13 years now and in that time I’ve started taking the beauty of this place for granted.  This is a small community where everyone pretty much knows everyone and small town values are still upheld. I love that small town feel, especially when I’m looking for a place to just hang out and relax.

I’m a coffee drinker.  Big time.  In fact, I used to drive a little over 10 miles just to get a cup of joe from one of those big name places but I wanted to find a place close to home, you know a place where everybody knows my name.  I wanted my own personal Cheers but for coffee…

And I found it at KB’s Coffee House in Shavertown, Pennsylvania.  KB’s is a small locally owned coffee house where you can grab coffee to go or sit down and enjoy a meal while talking to other patrons about anything from the weather to current events.  Honest to goodness, the meals are delicious (and reasonably priced).  In fact, the hubs and I eat breakfast there almost every Saturday and we try to meet there for lunch about once or twice a month.

KB’s serves breakfast all day and lunch starts between 11:30 and 12 with standard sandwiches (roast beef, turkey and ham) as well as specials such as soups, salads and the most amazing muffins I’ve ever tasted.  The coffee is made from fresh roasted beans, there is usually a flavored coffee (infused into the beans) as well as regular and decaf coffees.

KB’s is owned by KB Dymond and hosted by her sister, Bonny Ray.  If you’re ever in the area, stop in and say “Hi” and don’t forget to order the roast beef with horseradish sauce. To.  Die.  For.

Contact Information:
KB’s Coffee House
245 N Memorial Hwy
Shavertown, PA 18708
Phone:  (570) 674-7770
Facebook: KB’s Coffee House
Hours: 7 AM to 3 PM, Monday ~ Friday

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this post. I just really like the coffee, food and conversation.

15th Sep2010

Blog for a Cause: National Children’s Cancer Society

by Daenel

National Children's Cancer SocietyEven though I know cancer can’t determine age, when I think of cancer, I think about adults.  Or maybe it’s just too heartbreaking to think about a child being diagnosed with such an awful disease.

September has been designated as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  Every year, more than 12,000 children are diagnosed with cancer in the United States.  That’s an incredible number.

So how do parents and children cope with such a diagnosis?  They are helped by agencies such as the National Children’s Cancer Society, whose mission is “to improve the quality of life for children with cancer and their families worldwide.”  NCCS offers the following services:

  • Financial assistance for families of children who have been diagnosed with cancer
  • Information for dealing with life after cancer
  • Scholarships for survivors of childhood cancer

All of these programs are supported by donations.  You can assist the NCCS by volunteering with the organization at a special event or by donating money.

Blog for a Cause is hosted by Nirvana Mamma as a way to influence others through writing.  If you’d like to participate, write a post about one of the featured causes, grab the badge and then link up to Nirvana Mamma’s blog.

15th Sep2010

Review and Giveaway: Febreze Set & Refresh (Closed)

by Daenel

Febreze Set & RefreshReview

Have you ever walked into your house and thought Ewwwww, what’s that smell?  Well, I have and that’s not a good feeling (especially when you start mentally reviewing all the people who have visited your home and then thought about what they must think about your housekeeping skills).  Fortunately, Febreze came to my rescue.  Right by my garage door was a big ol’ box from My Blog Spark and inside was the Febreze Set & Refresh Kit (cue the cheering crowds).

My kit came with two scents:  Linen & Sky and Thai Dragon Fruit.  I put the Linen & Sky in my kitchen because the fragrance is soft and light and I figured it wouldn’t overpower the food.  The Thai Dragon Fruit is in the main bathroom because, well, I have four teenagers living here (need I say more?).

The best part (other than the fact that Febreze Set & Refresh eliminates odors and not just covers them up) is that those ugly little shrunken apple core cone air freshners are gone!  Febreze Set & Refresh are slow release oils encased in a little plastic package that is just perfect for small to medium size rooms.

Febreze Set & Refresh comes in six refreshing scents and can be purchased at Walmart for about $7.97.

You can also check out Febreze on Twitter and Facebook!

Giveaway

Walmart and My Blog Spark have provided me with three Walmart Gift Cards worth $5 each to give away to three lucky readers!

Official Entry

1.  Leave a comment telling me which fragrance from the Febreze Set & Refresh you’d like to try

2.  Like my page on Facebook

Extra Entries

1.  Subscribe to my blog

2.  Follow me on Twitter @DaenelT

3.  Tweet about my giveaway:  Enter to win a $5 Walmart Gift Card from @DaenelT http://tiny.cc/aom0e #Febreze #MyBlogSpark

Please make sure you leave some way for me to contact you.

Contest is open to U.S. residents only.  Contest ends on Wednesday, 22 September 2010 at 2 PM.  Three winners will be randomly selected using Random.org.

Disclosure:  This product review was based on using complimentary Febreze product provided by P&G. Bloggers also received a Walmart gift card to share with their readers. P&G does not represent or warrant the accuracy of any statements or product claims made here, nor does it endorse any opinions expressed within this blogsite.  My husband is an employee of P&G, this does not in any way influence my review.

13th Sep2010

Monday Mingle: Birth, Bananas and Other Weird Stories

by Daenel

Monday MingleMonday Mingle is hosted by Eighty MPH Mom. If you’d like to participate, simply create a short vlog in which you answer the questions and then hit up the linky. Don’t forget to grab the badge and leave some comment love for your fellow participants. Afterall, isn’t that what mingling is all about?

Today’s questions are:

1. What is the weirdest thing you did as a child?
2. What are your top 3 guilty pleasures?
3. What song never fails to make you think of your significant other and smile (or a family member if you do not have a significant other)?

Found the song, it’s called “Love is All Around” by Wet Wet Wet

Next week’s questions are:

1. Describe (or show) your favorite picture of someone in your family. Why does this one mean so much to you?
2. If you could live in any home on a television series, which would it be?
3. Where were you on September 11, 2001?

12th Sep2010

My Favorite Droid Apps

by Daenel

Android MarketA couple of months ago I traded my BlackBerry Storm in for a Motorola Droid which I immediately regretted.  In fact, the only reason I kept it longer than a few days was because my husband told me I needed to take some time to customize the phone play with it to see if I really didn’t like the phone.  I’m so happy that I listened to him.  He was right.  Please don’t ever tell him that I said that.  I absolutely positively heart my Droid.

Here are a few apps that have made my Droid so much more fun to use:

Health and Fitness

My Fitness ~ Easily track water intake, calories and exercise

Productivity

Evernote ~ Capture information, share ideas, quickly

Reference

Google Sky Map ~ Point your phone at the sky and Google Sky Map will show you the stars, planets, constellations, etc

Kindle for Android

US Traffic ~ Simple app that shows traffic report for your neighborhood

Shopping

Barcode Scanner ~ Scan barcodes on products and then look up the price, review, nearest store, etc.

Google Goggles ~ Take pictures of art work, landmarks, books, etc and the phone will search Google for information about the item

Grocery IQ ~ Create shopping lists either by typing in items or speaking into your phone; can also get coupons (haven’t used this feature yet but plan to on the next shopping trip)

Social Networking

Facebook for Droid

Foursquare for Droid

Seesmic ~ Allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts on an easy~to~use interface

Do you have a Droid?  What are some of your favorite apps?

11th Sep2010

We Will Always Remember

by Daenel

American Eagle with FlagI, like most Americans, remember exactly what I was doing the day our lives changed forever…

I was getting my twins ready for school and listening to Katie Couric and Matt Lauer do their usual morning banter, then came the breaking news that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.  There was no hysteria, no sense of urgency, other than that normally granted to a breaking news story…then came, “Oh, my God, there’s another one…”  For almost two hours I sat glued to the television, my children’s school day long forgotten.

I called my husband and told him what had happened, we both knew this was big, different from anything this country had ever experienced before.  When it was announced that these were terrorist attacks, I gathered up my three youngest children and drove to my middle daughter’s school to pick her up.  I wanted my family close to me.

The rest of the day was spent in a haze… seeing people jump to their deaths from the towers, watching the buildings sway and then collapse, finding out the Pentagon had been attacked and knowing that there were still unaccounted for flights in the air, seeing the scorched earth in Pennsylvania…  All day and night, I sat transfixed.

Nine years later, those emotions that I felt then are just as raw as they were that day.  Watching the videos of the towers falling, the hole in the Pentagon, the crash site in Pennsylvania…  It makes my heart ache.

Today I heard a news anchor say the emotional connection to the story has lessened because we are nine years removed from the event.  I was stunned by her allegation.  Yes, people have continued living and loving, that’s what we do.  The tears don’t fall every day but the hurt is still there.  The knowledge that we are no longer impenetrable now exists.

We had to go on living, we had to rebuild our lives and find that sense of purpose/hope/faith/security that we had pre~9/11.  In this way, we honor those who died and those who continue to live with the scars of that fateful day.

We will always remember.  No matter how much time has passed.  To share your memories, link up to Mommy Moment.

11th Sep2010

Koda’s Vigil

by Daenel

Koda playing on his wheel

Today Miss 14 came into the living room, her eyes brimming with tears, “Mom, something’s wrong with Koda!  He isn’t moving.”  I jumped up from the sofa and ran into her room, followed by my husband and, sure enough, there was Koda, lying on the floor of his cage.  Not moving.

My husband and I peered into the cage, breaths held, praying the hamster was still alive.  After a few minutes, I called it.  Koda hadn’t moved in the 5 minutes we stood staring at him.  Then we saw him inhale and exhale deeply.  That was all.  He didn’t move, he didn’t open his eyes, he just inhaled and exhaled very deeply…  We’ve called it twice in the last two hours and each time we see him take a deep breath.  We’ve decided to stop calling it.   So now we wait.

Poor Miss 14 is beside herself with grief.  She’s picked Koda up and talked to him.  She’s stroked his fur and begged him to stay with her.  There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching your child watch her pet die.  Each of the kids has paraded into Miss 14’s room to peer at Koda and offer words of support and comfort.  Right now, I’m so very proud of them.

My hope is that he’s not suffering and that he will go gently.

Pages:12»

Living Outside the Stacks is using WP-Gravatar