Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Is Here! Lawn Care with Husqvarna #Giveaway

Yes! I am so excited-the temperature actually reached 49 degrees today! I am hyped! Spring is right around the corner (hopefully) for us because although according to the calendar it actually started a few days ago-we had several inches of snow come down this past weekend. Anyways, now that most of it has melted and it's actually starting to feel comfortable in short sleeves outside I can start planning all kinds of outdoor activities. Not just fun and games (although I am looking forward to those as well) but also to spring cleaning, get-your-house-and-yard-looking-good, kind of activity. Husqvarna, the world's largest producer of outdoor power tools and products, is here to help you get started with some lawn care and spring cleaning tips! Keep reading, because they're also offering a really fun giveaway too!

  1. Tune-Up Time. Your equipment needs to be ready when you are, and spring is a perfect time to make sure everything checks out. Visit a qualified servicing dealer to tune-up your mower, trimmer or leaf blower and spot potential problems.
  2. Get Equipped. It’s important to have the right tools for the task at hand. Husqvarna’s HU800AWD, a new walk-behind mower with unique All-Wheel Drive technology, is engineered for uneven terrain and even the toughest mowing conditions.
  3. Easy on the Gas. Only buy enough to last 30 days, and keep it in an airtight container.  Otherwise, exposure to air – and moisture – can damage or limit the effectiveness of the engine.
     4.       Get Movin! Did you know walking behind your push mower can burn up to 360 calories per hour? Getting out in your yard is one of the easiest ways to feel good and get fit.

They're also promoting a brand new addition to their already-superb line of lawn mowers. The HU800AWD is an all-wheel drive lawn mower that will mow down your overgrown weeds and grass no matter what the terrain!

Husqvarna HU800AWD
The new Husqvarna HU800AWD features unique All-Wheel Drive technology. Designed for uneven terrain and the toughest mowing conditions, the sleek yet rugged HU800AWD features a heavy-duty steel deck and a powerful Honda® GCV 190 engine. Complementing its All-Wheel Drive feature, the HU800AWD has wheels with an aggressive tread pattern, which provides additional traction and maneuverability.
Like the complete line of Husqvarna walk mowers, the All-Wheel Drive mower features:
  • 3-year warranty
  • Side guard and grass comb, to improve edging performance
  • Large, dust-blocking bag
  • Premium, comfort-grip control bail to reduce operator fatigue
  • Variable drive speed
  • Water hose connector for easy deck cleaning

One of my readers will receive a Husqvarna Toy Chain Saw!!

Resorts vs. Hotels

For most of my life, we only stayed at hotels (or campgrounds) when traveling. I saw advertisements for resorts and lodges, and thought that surely they couldn't be worth the extra cost. We have traveled a lot of miles, and I have stayed at Hotels York PA, hotels in probably every state up and down the east coast, and many in the southwest. Oh, and quite a few in the midwest too! However, my opinion of hotels and resorts dramatically changed after an experience on our recent trip to Florida last month. I had no idea that resorts offered so much for their guests! Not that I will only be frequenting resorts in my travels from now on, but I am certainly going to be open to staying at a resort instead of my normal hotel of choice.

One of the big differences I noticed between a hotel and a resort is that at a resort, the employees seem sincerely interested in making your stay as nice as possible. Don't get me wrong; I have been to hotels with employees like this too, but it was nice to check in to the resort and have such friendly, helpful staff. Throughout our stay at the resort, everything we needed was just a phone call away. Needed to find the closest pizza delivery? Simply call the help desk. Need to schedule a shuttle? Just call! Each employee we spoke with was courteous and helpful.

Next, and here's a big one, are the amenities offered at a resort. The resort we stayed at last month had a ton of fun things for the kids (and adults) to participate in. Tennis courts and equipment, paddle boats, kayaks and canoes, the biggest pool I have ever seen, a splash fountain to play in, bike rentals and trails, horseshoes, tetherball, rock climbing wall...the list goes on and on! And that's in addition to the normal offerings such as a fitness center. We certainly had no need to find somewhere to go for fun-all the fun we wanted was right there!

How about you? Ever stayed at a resort? Do you think the extras provided at a resort are worth the difference in price? Share your thoughts!

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What On Earth Are Short Sales?

Wow, Tae Kwon Do last night was a real kicker (no pun intended)! We have a 1 1/2 hour class on Wednesday evenings, and last night we worked the bo staff for a good half hour or more. This is only my third time working with it, and by the time we got home last night I had 2 blisters on my left hand, and a very sore heel, complete with another blister. This is due to spinning the bo in the figure 8 pattern, and also spinning on my right heel during a fighting technique we practiced. However, blisters and soreness aside, I am loving Tae Kwon Do and all I have learned so far!

Are you familiar with short sales? Have you ever used a short sale, or know someone who has? Have you ever even heard the term before? I admit, until recently I was completely unsure of what exactly a short sale was! I had heard terms such as "short sale las vegas", but really had no clue about the nature of a short sale. 

Basically, a short sale is just the selling of real estate, such as your home, but the proceeds are not enough to cover the full balance of debts owed. The money received from the sale falls "short" of the money owed, which is, I assume, where the term short sale came from. Anyways, in the case of a short sale, the lien-holder agrees to release the lien they hold on the piece of real estate, and accept a lower amount than what is owed on the owner's debt. 
The unpaid balance is known as a deficiency, and a short sale does not necessarily mean the borrower is released from his obligation to pay the rest of what he owes. This is something that would be discussed and settled between the individuals involved; there is not really a set standard for this detail of short sales.

Apparently a short sale is an alternative to foreclosure, and is often chosen because it lessens extra fees to both the borrower and creditor. However, it does still usually result in a negative credit report on the owner/borrower.

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

AC Repair in A Hurry!

Hey, have any of you ever had your air conditioning suddenly stop working? In the summer heat? In Florida? Yep, we have! Quite a few years ago when I was probably about 10 or 11, and it is something I remember to this day! It certainly instilled a thankfulness for repair companies such as air conditioning contractor bonaire.

It started like a typical weekday morning in central Florida; being summer, school was out so we had our morning chores and then some free time. This was usually spent riding bikes or playing in our small pool outside, then rushing inside for a breath of cold air and a cup of sweet iced tea. However, sometime during the mid morning our air conditioner just up and quit, with no warning. There may be some states you can live without an air conditioning system during the summer, but Florida is definitely not one of those places! The only weather situation I remember being in that was more serious than this, was when we lived in northern Maine-5 miles from the Canadian border. The temperature was below zero, and our heater ran out of gas. That was definitely an emergency! Anyways, back to the a/c repair story-we tried holding out and just opening windows, turning on any and all fans we could find...but to no avail. It was just too hot! It did not take very long for us to decide that we could not survive without our precious a/c. We called around to various repair services, and found one that was able to come out right away and give us an estimate on the repair costs.  Because it was so long ago, and I was pretty young, I don't recall exactly what the problem was-something with a belt maybe? We were glad to discover that the cost wouldn't be too high, and that it was able to be fixed very soon. None of us wanted to live in the heat any longer than we had to! 

So how about you? Ever had an air conditioning (or heating) repair emergency?  Tell us about it!

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Moving To Kansas City?

Hey, are any of my readers from the Kansas City area? Anyone looking to move to Kansas City? If so, did you know that you can check out Kansas City Real Estate online to find you perfect dream home?!

What exactly do you look for when going house shopping? Do you concentrate more on the location, the bedroom and bath count, or is there something else? I consider all aspects, but there are a few things that I consider very important, beyond the obvious "Is the house in good condition" "Does it need any repairs" etc. One of my biggies is the size and the set-up of the kitchen area. Maybe it is because I spend so much time in the kitchen, but I am very particular as to how I would want my dream kitchen to be set up. First of all, there needs to be plenty of counter space for mixing up tasty desserts and cooking those delicious dinners. Lots of storage space too, for dishes, pans, and all my kitchen tools! A good sized pantry would be nice as well, preferably a walk-in so I could have everything arranged neatly. (You can definitely tell this is a woman's dream home, since the first item on the list is the kitchen, huh? I guess a guy's would probably be the garage set-up :)

I also look at location when I think about moving. I would want a house on some property where we could have a dog (I'd love enough room for a horse, but who knows if that will ever happen) and plenty of room for the children to run and play. Not a whole lot of acreage; even just 1 or 2 acres would be great.

Of course, there's more to a house than just the kitchen and yard, right? I'd like a home with several bedrooms, and preferably, at least 1 1/2 bath. A decent sized dining room so we could invite friends over for a meal and games, maybe a library/study room? Yep, I could really get into this whole designing a dream home thing! Tell me what you think is most important when shopping for a new home!

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Solutions for Curly Hair! #Giveaway

How many of you would like to get the "Frizz Off!"? Yeah, I am right there with you! Frizz is a constant struggle for me, and it seems like sometimes, I don't have a bad hair day-I have a bad hair week!

Curly Hair Solutions sent me one of their kits for review, the Loose Curl Starter Kit. Don't let the name fool you; even if you just have hair that waves, you can benefit from these products. They are not designed just for girls with Shirley Temple curls! That's why they have 3 different kits for 3 different types of curls-you can choose which will work best for your hair, and enjoy great hair immediately.

The Loose Curl Starter Kit comes with 5 styling and care products in a zippered travel pouch. My favorite is, without a doubt, the Slip Detangler. This is an amazing spray that conditions and detangles at the same time. I usually apply this right after my morning shower, and just a few spritzes into my wet hair works wonders. I love that it is silicone free, so it is just what my hair needs. A couple sprays and a comb literally slip-s through my hair. 

Of course, the Curl Keeper was a close second in my list of favorites. This is not really a gel, not really a lotion or cream. I use this while my hair is still pretty wet, bend over and rake it through. A comb will distribute the solution more evenly so each hair gets the benefit. This is perfect for fighting frizz, and adding a nice definition to your curls. Not crunchy or wet, it just gives a nice style that looks natural. 

Coming in 3rd place, is the Gel. Simply because this is probably the only gel I have ever used that didn't end up making my hair worse once it dried! Seriously, I had totally stopped even trying gels, because no matter how nice they seemed while my hair was damp, once dry it was a huge frizzy, crunchy mess. Not with Curly Hair Solutions Gel though! And it only takes a small amount to get great results; hold, definition, and no frizz!

This is just using the Treatment Shampoo and Slip Detangler-no frizz!!
The Treatment Shampoo and ReMane Straight also work great. Personally I don't ever use a straightening product, so I gave this to C and she really liked it. The shampoo has a wonderful mint fragrance, and really rejuvenates your scalp! 

One of my readers will receive a Starter Kit in their choice of Curl Type!!

Online Marketing For Local Businesses

Do any of my readers run their own business? Whether it's something as simple as babysitting or a pet walking service to something a little more complicated like a hair salon or maybe homemade soaps and lotions they sell online, marketing and advertising is a very important part of any business. One great way to advertise your products or services would be to use orange soda local marketing. There are so many benefits to using local marketing services, and really, online marketing can bring you customers like no other form of advertising.

While you may think online marketing is only for those big companies with locations across the country, or for companies that transact business over the internet, you would be wrong in your assumption. I will often search the internet to find something I want, or a service I need, and I prefer to find a local business that can supply what I want. For example, say you're looking for a salon near where you live. Rather than just going to the generic salon located in your nearest department store, you can find a local place by searching online. These kind of salons usually offer you better, more personalized service, and searching online will allow you to find out what's nearby, see it on a map, and even read reviews from other customers.

Speaking of maps...this is probably my single most used way to find a business or service. Whether it's for something where we live, or I'm looking for a particular place while traveling, I use maps programs all the time to find what I need! If you use a local online marketing service, they will often get your business put onto the maps programs for easy discovery by potential customers.

Getting the right keyword links for your business or service is also key to getting new customers. Rather than just using your business name as a keyword to show up in search engines, a service will help you find the best keywords so your business pulls up at the top of the page when people are searching for what you have to offer.

As you can see, local online marketing is a great idea for businesses, so check it out if you have your own business!

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

More Bang For Your Run!

More Bang For Your Run: Tips to Maximize Exercise
Whether you’re already consistently working out with a dynamic fitness plan or just getting started, there are important ways to maximize your physical potential and workout benefits. When we think of fitness, we mostly think of dieting and exercise, but there are a few things you can do that will fundamentally impact how your body responds to exercise. Since you’re investing the time and effort into working out, why not increase the efficiency of your workout and help fight joint pain, so you can exercise longer? You’re putting in the effort to go to the gym, change into workout clothes, and give your best effort toward your health. Let each of those bits of effort go farther.

Pay Attention to Joint and Back Pain
If you’re experiencing joint and back pain, some fitness instructors might tell you to just push through it. Your body, however, is a smart creation and knows when it needs some extra attention in different places. Pain is usually an indicator that a foundational element of your health is out of place. Some supplements like glucosamine can help with joint pain when taken proactively and consistently. Glucosamine is a compound found naturally in the body, made from glucose and glutamine. Glucosamine is needed to produce a molecule that is used in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues.

Glucosamine has been shown again and again to help with joint pain. Visit Seven Seas for a good quality glucosamine supplement and also learn more about this excellent supplement on their website. This site explains some great highlights about how it affects your body and explains the importance of purchasing high-quality supplements made to pharmaceutical standards. When your joints are functioning properly, it’s easier to exercise for a longer duration. Invest in building up good, long-workouts to also help with cardiovascular health.

If you’re experiencing back pain, along with taking glucosamine, you should also consult a doctor to find if there’s a treatable solution to your back pain. It may be that a normal structure is a bit out of place, and visits to a chiropractor, massage therapist, or physical therapist might help improve your back health. Contrary to what many people think, a chiropractor’s job is improving the communication from the brain to the nerves along your spinal chord. While adjusting your bones is part of the process of improving that function, the main point is to improve nerve function through adjustments. Improved nerve function can help your exercise be more effective.

Paige One looks forward to writing and being honest about a variety of subjects, from fashion to health.

A Portable Chiller?

I am so excited-within the next couple weeks, I will be testing for my first belt stripe in Tae Kwon Do! I have wanted to take martial arts training for years, and have done some work through dvds, but after being in a class with an instructor there to show you what you need to improve, and just how that technique should be done, I am so glad I finally joined! E and both younger girls are also about ready for their first test, so we are all working diligently. However, that's not what I started this post to write about, so let's move in to the real topic of conversation here-portable chillers.

Are any of my readers familiar with portable chillers? As in a large ton portable chiller? I have to admit, this is something that while I knew they existed, and had heard of them before, I really was not completely sure what it was! Yeah, I know... I'm hanging my head in shame now. Anyways, as I usually do when I hear of something I am not familiar with, I did some research. During my research one company came up that offered a rental chiller baton rouge.  So, if you are interested (or even if you're not) I am going to share a little bit of what I discovered about large tonnage portable chillers! If you'd like to learn too, then read on! 

First, I learned that you can purchase (or rent, as I mentioned above) large tonnage portable chillers in a couple different styles. There are water-cooled portable chillers, and air chillers. 

Next, I learned the reason for being able to rent a large tonnage portable chiller. Designed for use in places of business, from factories to the Post Office, rental portable chillers can come in handy on many occasions. Maybe your equipment stopped working, and you need an immediate (although maybe temporary) replacement. Maybe you're just starting up a business and don't have the funds needed to purchase a large ton portable chiller just yet. No worries, you can rent one for just about any period of time, from a week to a yearly basis.

If you have experience with a portable chiller, please feel free to share with us!

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Septic Tank Troubles

Okay, I have a really funny story to share with you all today-although a little bit on the gross side! Back when I was about 13, our family was visiting a friend in Florida. We were staying at his house for a few days, and everything was going great. Lots of fun and games, and one of our favorite activities-singing together while he played the guitar.  A couple days after we arrived, he was at work and we were just hanging out at the house. Enjoying our vacation, and having some free time. One of us went outside for something, and noticed a really nasty odor. We brushed it off, assuming it was a factory, or some odd happening. Maybe one of the neighbors had some plumbing problems at their house, but surely it wasn't coming from where we were staying! A couple hours later somebody else ran outside again, and we noticed the smell, still present, and even stronger. Finally we decided it was time to find out where the oh-so-lovely fragrance (yes, that is sarcasm) was originating from. Everybody piled outside to help track down the source. After a few minutes of following our nose, we discovered that something was seeping up through the front lawn-something incredibly smelly.

It didn't take long to realize that our friend's septic tank was leaking, and not only causing the horrific smell, but also actually puddling in his yard! We quickly called a service to come out and take a look at the problem. We were too far away to call the Alexandria septic tank service, but found one closer that was able to come out right away.  Apparently the septic tank had filled up, and due to the age or something, had started leaking all over. They had to bring a huge truck out and drain the tank, then repair the area that had been leaking. It took several hours, but finally the tank was fixed, and by the next day, the smell had pretty much disappeared. We did make sure everyone had shoes on before going out the front door for the rest of our visit though!

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Traffic Ticket? No Thanks!!

I can honestly say that our family has been blessed when it comes to our driving record-both individually and collectively. We have a total of 6 drivers in the family now, although a couple only have their learner's permit, and most have only had a license for the past couple years. However, I am proud to say that with all the beginner's we have driving now, and all the years of driving (over 30, easily) that some have been driving, none of use have ever received a traffic ticket. We have never had to Fight Traffic Ticket or pay a speeding fine. It is something I am proud of, and a record I hope we can keep for a long time to come!

One way we have this record is by impressing upon all the children, before they even start driving, how important obeying all the traffic rules is. We don't joke about speeding at all. Instead, we remind the children that the speed limit is just that-a limit-and that is is there for a very good reason. When in a school zone, you should go slow because there is every possibility a child could run across the road without warning. If the speed limit is 35 in a residential area, then be sure to follow that directive. Even on the interstate, where many people seem to think it's okay to go over the limit, the safety factor alone should be enough to discourage any speeding.

Of course, speed limits are not the only traffic laws that people often disregard. Stopping at red lights and stop signs are another thing I have seen disobeyed very often. Just last week as we were headed to Tae Kwon Do class, we came up to a red traffic light, and the truck in front of us stopped as they should. However, after stopping and sitting for a few seconds, the truck continued on it's way-through the red light! No, it wasn't a stop-and-go, this was a solid red light, on the main street through town. I don't think I've ever seen such blatant disregard for a red traffic light. I used it as a teaching lesson though, to show the children what you should NOT do at a traffic light!

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Tips To Avoid Back Pain

Back pain seems to be a fairly common occurrence for many people. Some live with it on a daily basis, others may suffer from it on occasion. After seeing a relative deal with a back injury, it is something I don't ever want to have to go through. There are many ways to prevent back injury and back pain, so let's discuss a few this evening. In addition to methods to prevent or relieve back pain though, there are also products you can purchase, such as a tempurpedic mattress cover, that will help your back.

One important step in keeping a healthy back is to avoid bending over to pick things up. This is something my Dad stressed to me ever since I was young, and now that I realize why, I am so thankful he did! Instead of bending down to reach something on the floor, or a low shelf, squatting down will prevent any extra stress on your back.

Another biggie, at least for me, is proper posture when seated. Because I do a lot of work at a computer, sitting up properly is something I have to work on frequently. When you're at a desk for a few hours at a time, you naturally tend to start slouching. I have to catch this and remind myself to sit upright very often!

Speaking of sitting at a computer desk, the type of chair you utilize is very important as well. Finding a chair that gives you good support, and helps with proper posture is a necessity if you will be spending any length of time at a desk. 

One last top for preventing back pain that I'll mention may not sound relevant, but I assure you it is. Be sure to drink plenty of water-at least 6 8-ounce glasses is recommended daily. This keeps your body (including your back) from getting stiff, and is not only good for your back, but also for overall good health! Water will keep your intervertebral disks healthy and able to absorb shock, as they are meant to do. So next time you reach for that soda, remind yourself that water is better for your back!

This is a sponsored post, however, all the points and views are my own.

Smooth Out Your Travel!

Smooth Out Your Travel: How to Pack Light

One of the hardest things about traveling can be all the items you are required to keep with you and keep track of through your excursion to another city, state or even country. While it may be easy to think that the familiar things you bring from home can be a comfort to you while you're far away, in reality it's probably easier to pack light. 
When you're on vacation or traveling for business, the last thing you want to do is keep track of a million things or have to drag, lift and heave a gigantic bag everywhere — especially if you're traveling with children. Take a few of these helpful hints to smooth out your travel.

Ask Yourself What You Really Need
It can be difficult to pare down your packing, especially if you are traveling to a place where you're unsure if the weather will have mighty mood swings. But for the most part in spring and summer, you can bet that you'll need one jacket. The farther north you go, the heavier the jacket should be. If you can get by with a lighter jacket and layering with a sweatshirt, by all means, go for that. Ultimately, you can wear jeans — which take up a lot of luggage space — more than one time, and if you pack just a few basic shirts that go well with different accessories, you can swap out accessories to create new outfits rather than having to pack several different ensembles. Pack one nice pair of shoes, one set of tennis shoes, and, if you're going to a warmer climate, one pair of sandals. You really only need one or two sweaters or sweatshirts to wear during your stay and you can re-wear these items as well. Consider choosing sweaters that match more than one button-up shirt, and you can create different outfits by mixing up the button-ups.

Lose the Packaging
Now that TSA regulates the size of liquids on planes, it's a no-brainer that you should consolidate your toiletries. Those travel bottles were nice even before they were required. Small, snack-sized ziplock baggies are great for this. You can also transfer vitamins and other medications. Just remember to write on the outside of the bag what kind of medicine it is, and, if necessary, the proper dosage. It may not seem like much, but with clever packing any little bit of space saved will add up.

About the Author: While traveling and developing tips for smooth travel, Sage stayed at the Stay and Park Heathrow. She enjoyed spending her trip in style and relaxed knowing that her terminal was just minutes away from her hotel. 

Plumbers and Plumbing Tips

Well, the snow we received over the weekend is starting to melt already-thankfully! It looked beautiful, but I am so ready for spring, and was so disappointed to have such cold weather-and snow-at this time of year. We enjoyed one last afternoon of sledding, snowball fights and even building a snowman, but now, hopefully, we can get on with spring! This morning I thought I would share some plumbing tips, so that in the middle of all the busy-ness of spring break, we won't have to deal with finding a plumbing service, or calling plumbers out to the house.

One thing we have found very helpful in preventing plumbing problems is to use a drain strainer in our bathtub/shower. Especially with 5 girls who use this shower, each one of which has long hair. We actually had a blockage in the pipes last year, and when we had it repaired, we were told that most of it was probably caused by hair going down the drain. That's when we started using the drain strainer regularly, and we haven't had any other problems since. 

Another tip, that seems like plain old common sense, is to never flush anything except toilet paper down your toilet! Sometimes the kids will use a paper towel for wiping down the counter or some such task, and then flush it down the toilet. This is a big no-no! These can cause blockage very quickly.

You should also pay attention to keeping your drains clean. A great natural way to do this is by pouring vinegar or apple cider vinegar down the drains on a regular basis. Whether you choose to do it once a month or a little more frequently, this can be a huge help in keeping your plumbing repair bills down.

Lastly, another great way to avoid those fussy stopped-up kitchen sinks? Start by pouring any grease or fatty liquids into a tin can, rather than down the drain! While the grease may be hot when you pour it down, they will quickly cool and start to solidify, causing a clog. It's much easier to avoid the problem than to fix it!

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Children and Lawn Mowers

How many of you have a lawn that needs mowed on a regular basis? During the summer, the boys are out there every couple of weeks mowing the back yard, and almost that frequently in the front. I have to laugh when they ask about getting a riding mower, because honestly, while our yard is a little larger than we had when I was growing up, it isn't really big enough to require a riding mower! Back when I was a child though, we really had no call for riding mowers or commercial lawn mowers, because not only did we have a very small yard, we also lived in Florida-the land of white sand and sand spurs! 

Our entire side and back yard was composed mainly of sand, with small patches of grass sprouting up here and there. These quickly got demolished, due to all the little feet running around, and of course the paws as well. However, our front yard, small though it was, did actually have some green grass-quite a rarity for Florida! Because my sister and I were the oldest children, it became our responsibility to take care of this; although we have brothers, they were still too young at this point to try running a mower. So, it fell to us 2 girls to mow the front lawn, and it was a responsibility that we took very seriously. We started out with one of those old push reel lawn mowers. Not exactly the easiest piece of equipment for girls to handle, but we did it proudly! Eventually we ended up getting a regular push mower, which we thought was the greatest thing. It made mowing the lawn so easy! I can only imagine how we would have felt if we had bought a riding mower-that would have turned our chore (albeit a fun chore most of the time) into a real pleasure excursion! 

Now, even though we've moved and have a bigger yard, we still use a push mower-thankfully not a push reel mower though! A couple of the children insist that a riding mower is close to a necessity, but they haven't quite convinced us yet!

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Getting Your Passport?

If there's one horror story I have heard over and over from various friends who travel outside the United States, it is the trouble they had obtaining their passport! Of course there are places that can help you get Los Angeles passports (or passports from any other city, for that matter) in an easy and fast manner. But if you go the normal route, from what I have heard-be prepared to wait...and wait...and wait some more! I've been considering applying for mine, because even though I do not have any immediate plans for traveling out of the country, it might be handy to have it on hand for if the occasion ever does arise. 

Several years ago we had a friend who was planning on visiting a missionary in Africa, and he applied for his passport well in advance of his planned date of departure. Everything was going smoothly, and he was simply waiting for his passport to arrive in the mail. There was plenty of time left, so when the passport didn't arrive, he was not real worried. After what seemed like an unreasonable amount of wait time, he tried finding out what was going on. Of course as often happens in a situation like this, he ended up with no answers. Again back to the endless waiting! It took (what seemed like) forever, but his passport finally did arrive-I believe only the week before he was supposed to leave the country! 

This (among other stories I've heard or read) is why I decided that if I do get my passport, I will be using a service that offers rush or same-day passports! From a company who will actually answer your questions if you have any, and who actually cares about making sure you have what you need when you need it. That is the kind of company I will be getting my passport through if and when the time comes that I need one!

How about you-any passport horror stories in your family? What about any happy passport stories? Please feel free to share them in the comment section below!

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Easy Scanning with the HoverCam T3!

I believe it was last year that I shared with you all an amazing company/product called HoverCam. Recently I had the opportunity to try another HoverCam; the HoverCam T3 model. It is absolutely amazing!

The HoverCam T3 is called a high resolution document camera, but in reality it is so much more. Set-up is extremely easy. I'm rearranging my "office cubicle" (it's really just a small corner with my desk set up) so I actually tried this out on my bedroom floor first. 

The T3 is a compact little piece that would easily fit into a suitcase, briefcase, or travel bag. This is a big plus for me; with all the traveling I do, finding a scanner can be difficult. Now I don't have to worry about that; I can just pack the T3 along, and do anything I need to with my own equipment.

Another plus is that the T3 works with both PC and Mac. The program is easy to install, and gives you access to all the T3's great features. You can scan a document, take pictures of a 3D object, zoom in or out, and even record video with the T3! You can rotate the picture a full 360 degrees, crop pictures, and annotate if necessary. 

The camera has some nifty features, including a goose-neck design. This means that you don't need to reposition your document if you lower the camera head. This is designed so that as the actual camera piece is lowered, it moves further away from the base-requiring absolutely no fussing with whatever you're trying to get a picture/scan of! It also has a built-in light that you can switch on and off. If you're in a low light area, simply flip the switch and a light shines directly onto your document. 

I really had some fun trying out different options with the T3. I scanned a document that I needed to send in to a company I have been working with. (The quality was superb and all the handwriting was legible). I snapped some photos of a product I was posting a review of. I played with the zoom and crop options. Honestly, the possibilities are endless, and spending 35-40 minutes trying it out only serves to let you see how much more you can do with a HoverCam! I'm still exploring all I can do, but in the meantime I am most excited about being able to bring a scanner with me on trips-without needing a whole other suitcase! Seriously, this even fits in my overnight/weekender bag and leaves plenty of room for my clothing.

If you travel a lot, have a home business, are a teacher, or even homeschool, a HoverCam is exactly what you need. Go check them out, and you'll see that I'm right!

Monday, March 25, 2013

FIF-Dining at The Earl of Sandwich!

No, we didn't dine with royalty on our recent trip to Florida. But we sure did feel like royalty when we stepped into Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney!

We were greeted by David, the manager, who helped us out with a few recommendations and selections. 

Each of us tried a different sandwich, and a couple had a salad. These are not just your average subs; these are gourmet sandwiches! I ordered the Hawaiian BBQ; some of the family looked at me funny, but I love pineapple, Hawaiian pizza, and BBQ, so why not put it together? 

I believe altogether in our order we also had a Full Montagu, Italian, and both girls tried the Pizza Sandwich kid's meals. 

We also had an Earl's Cobb Salad. 

There are a variety of sides available as well; again not just the chips that seem to be a sandwich's loyal sidekick, but coleslaw, potato salads, fruit cups, soups, pasta salads, and if you must have them-chips. I personally chose a fruit cup; I think a couple of the kids also tried the pasta salad. 

They had reserved a table for us!

David made sure everyone had a drink and everything they wanted, and even offered some dessert for our party. This delighted the children especially, who were quick to select cupcakes and chocolate puddings. I was tempted to have one of their strawberry shortcakes, but was afraid I wouldn't be able to eat much after the sandwich and fruit. 

It only took a few minutes for our meal to be prepared; the sandwiches are made fresh, and you are buzzed to come get your order. When the food arrived everyone was anxious to dig in, so we got started right away. 

With the first bite of my Hawaiian BBQ Sandwich, I knew I had made the right choice. This delectable sub comes grilled chicken, ham, Swiss cheese, pineapple, and a Hawaiian BBQ sauce. It's definitely not a neat eat, but ohhh so good, and worth the mess! It is also very filling; I ended up bringing almost half of mine back to the hotel for a late night snack. I asked the rest of the family what they thought, and how they liked their meal. All I got in response were some "Mmmm's" and "It's delicious!". After we finished eating, they all expressed how good the food was, and again, how filling. We ended up with a bag of leftovers that tasted great as a cold snack that night. 

The desserts were also a big hit; D especially liked the chocolate pudding cup, topped by a generous helping of whipped cream. The girls shared one of the huge cupcakes, and thought it was delicious. Of course, M loves anything with sprinkles, so she would have been happy no matter what!

After our visit to Earl of Sandwich, I have to say this is a restaurant I will be on the lookout for as we travel. The prices are extremely reasonable, especially considering the amount of food you get. The atmosphere is family friendly, and it's not just a place to stop for a meal-it's a wonderful dining experience!

"In 1762, John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, had his hands full, literally. As First Sea Lord, he commanded the mighty British Navy, was a noted explorer, and also a dedicated gambler with a love of day long card games.
This led to little time for food, so he came up with the ingenious idea (some say at the card table) of putting meat between two slices of bread. From then on it did not matter if you were fighting a great sea battle or laying down a Royal Flush, you could eat great food without too much fuss.
Thus in 1762, the sandwich was named after its inventor, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. Now 250 years later, the current 11th Earl and the Sandwich family remain passionate about the world's most popular quick food that carries their name and have developed the sandwich everyone has been waiting for…


Disclaimer: I was not monetarily compensated in any way for this review. I did receive complimentary dining in exchange for a review. I was not required to post favorably about the company or restaurant; all thoughts and opinions are mine. All quotes (in italics) taken from the Earl of Sandwich website.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lugz Shoes for Men

A little over a year ago I told you all about a new pair of boots I received; some Drifter Boots from Lugz. These are still in use, and have stood up through a lot of wear, tear and mileage, and still look great! When offered the opportunity to review another pair of Lugz shoes, this time I went with a pair of men's sneakers, the Tempest Evolution.

When the sneakers arrived I was so impressed with the appearance. They look nice online, but in person, these are some of the sharpest looking sneakers I've seen in a long time. I love the lace "hardware", a stylish silver that adds so much to the appearance. They're available in several colors, but I chose the black/white. 

These are shoes that any guy would enjoy wearing on their next trip to the gym, out on the basketball court, or just running to the hardware store. J is the shoe aficionado in our family, so I knew these would be perfect for his upcoming birthday. (Although when I showed them to E, he said I should have ordered them in his size, because he liked how they looked!). I did slip my feet into the shoes (shhh-don't tell J I wore his shoes before he did :) and even though they're too big for me, I was able to tell that they are going to be very comfortable for him. 

Nice and thick sole, with a cushioned insole, and padded tongue and collar. These aren't the type of sneakers that will leave your feet aching after a vigorous basketball game! I can not wait for J's birthday, because I know he'll love this pair of sneakers.

One of my readers will receive a pair of Tempest Evolution Sneakers!!