Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Moving on up

My main site, Midwestern Mommy has moved. I'm now at http://www.midwesternmommy.com/

Or just click: here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Note to companies that want me to review your product

Not to get all cranky and snotty here but...

These days I get alot of e-mails asking me to review products. I put alot of thought and energy into my reviews.

When sending out product samples don't skimp. Give me at least 5-7 servings/portions/usages. If not, I can't review your product properly. (And I will mention in the review that you were chinzy and I was unable to arrive at a firm conclusion.)

Same goes for sending me old product or damaged products. It will be mentioned.

If you are generous with samples, I can "share the wealth" and get other people's reactions as well.

Also, if you send me an e-mail about how you'd like me to write about your product but aren't willing to send me any samples? Dream on. I'm not going to buy a product I wouldn't normally buy and give you free publicity. Even if you give me a .50 cent coupon.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Thirst for Wateroos?

Summer is here. You've got some thirsty, active kids enjoying the sunshine. But you'd rather not give them juice or soda. What to do?

Que the Wateroos. Wateroos is purified water infused with some natural fruit flavors. (There's no sugar or artificial sweeteners.) Kids can choose from apple, berry, grape. And for kids who like their water straight, they have that "flavor" too.

My son was very excited to receive the package. He LOVES juice boxes. He clamored for me to open the product. But at first he was a bit underwhelmed. (He was expecting sugary juice.) A few days later I offered it to him and his two playdates. All three had luke warm reactions. (I thought they tasted really good. The flavors are subtle. So I've been drinking them.)

I think this is a great product for children under four who like to drink water. (My son and his friends are older. And all three are used to drinking juice, soda, water or Gatorade.) It is definitely a wonderful product to take with you on those hot trips to the zoo, t-ball games and water parks.

If you are interested in buying the product, here's a list of places that sell Wateroos.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bloggers giving back

Albin was the father of 10. As a man who had spent his entire life farming the land, he also had a penchant for pranks, smokes, and playing his steel guitar. When I was nine, I saw my dad cry for the first time. His father, this tall, strong farmer, had lung cancer. I watched my grandpa fight. He admirably did so for a long time. But in the end, cancer won. Since then I've come to know more people who tangled with "the big C". Some have beat the beast, some are in the process of administering a beating and some fought until they could no longer.

A. is a mother to an active preschooler. She has a quick wit and -- whether through written or spoken word -- has an extraordinary gift for telling a story. Like an experienced gold miner, she can spot a piece of comic gold a mile away. And she can glean the bits of funny (that most people would miss) from the most ordinary situations. Two years ago, A. (a woman I've known since we were babies) was diagnosed with ALS.

It is so gut-wrenching to know the people you love are grappling with stubborn diseases like this. But thankfully there are organizations in the United States on a quest to cure these diseases. That's why Cancer Research Institute and The ALS Association, St. Louis Regional Chapter are charities almost as dear to my heart as these Albin and A.

Now there's a way for you to help charities or groups you admire. Ibakesale is a supercool way to shop hundreds of great merchants and earn cash back (a percentage of the purchase in most cases) which can be donated to the charities or groups of your choice.

How it works:

1.) Go to ibakesale.com and sign up (this is free.) This is where you also can choose from the expanding list of charities in which to donate a percentage of your purchase or add a new charity. This is also where you can decide what amount of that percentage you'd like to donate. (You can do 100% or 20% or whatever.)

2.) You shop a number of merchants like Lucky Brand Jeans, Sports Authority, even Macy's.3.) iBakeSale sends your group a check at the end of every month. (Once the funds have accumulated to $100.)

More info:

After you sign up, you can shop as well as choose from the list of charities of which to donate. (For example -- I chose to donate 50% of my proceeds to The ALS Association of St. Louis and 50% to Cancer Research Institute.) Or you can create a listing for an organization dear to your heart. Want to include several? You can do that and split the proceeds from your purchases. And if you change your mind? You can add or drop organizations too.

In order for your charity to get the profits, you must go through ibakesale and click on the desired merchant. After your purchase is made, you will be contacted through ibakesale. And once you accrue $100 you can decide how much of that money goes to charities or how much goes back into your wallet.

I'm not be in a research lab working on a cure. But donating to a worthy cause does help me feel I've helped in some small way. Like Mother Theresa once said, "In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."

(If you are interested in joining but you don't have a favorite charity? You might be interested in a list of top rated charities.)
For any questions about ibakesale you might want to
check here. If this doesn't answer your question drop them a line at info@ibakesale.com.
This post was written for a
Parent Bloggers Network blog blast. If you'd like to contribute a post about your favorite charity, feel free to do so. Then contact PBN for your post to be linked.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Body, Soul and Baby (a PBN Review)

Years ago, a few days shy of my son’s due date, I found a strand of fine, reddish hair in my panties. For a moment I had a wild thought. Is it my baby’s? I should have called my doctor but I didn’t. I asked so many questions during my pregnancy only to be met with a “you’ve GOT to be the biggest moron I’ve EVER come into contact with” look from my doctor. After scouring my pregnancy volumes, I failed to find an answer.

Later the mystery was solved when a different doctor, who was supposed to break my water, informed me there already was a small tear. My suspicion had been correct.

Like most moms-to-be, I had read a lot of literature on pregnancy. I found that most books focus heavily on the bodily changes and not much else. I wondered if these writers viewed a pregnant woman as a real, live person or as a walking, baby-growing container. Body, Soul and Baby, written by Tracy W Gaudet and Paula Spencer, is quite different.

First off, Tracy and Paula? If you are reading this, I want to kiss you for creating Body, Soul and Baby. It is refreshing to read a book that addresses not only the physical changes but the journey our souls undertake through this transition into motherhood. And I really like that the kind doctor (who’s also a mom) shows readers how to tune into our bodies and how to nurture the changing needs of our spirits without sounding like some flakey, nutjob who's been slipping happy herbs into her granola.

Dr. Gaudet is an advocate of introspection, introducing readers to an exercise she calls “reflective inventory” in the second chapter. Soon after, she also presents tools like “body monitoring” and “feedback loop” to gain awareness in regards to your body, soul and baby.

Body, Soul and Baby starts at preconception and works forward. In the trimester chapters she not only discusses the basics like what to expect medically during these phases but also common fears/facts for this time. Throughout these chapters, she also delves into issues like how to choose the right doctor, how to make the best decision regarding careers/family, when/how to choose the pediatrician. One of my favorite sections was the “The Psychology of the Mind-Body Connection” (If I’m lucky enough to get pregnant again, I’ll probably memorize this part.)

The postpartum section was particularly valuable. The gentle doctor is correct – “Between the demands of a newborn and a system that does not offer the new mother the time and space she needs to feel whole again, the read from mom-to-be to mom can be bumpy.” (Page 440)

The more I read, the more I found myself wishing this book would have been written years ago. For women who are newly pregnant or are planning to become pregnant in the next year or two? Save yourself some time. The thickness of this tome might be intimidating, but don’t worry. The book is so dense with knowledge and sage advice, you won’t need to read any others. Plus? Unlike those other books? You’ll know to focus on your baby, body and spirit as well as HOW to do so.

This review was written for The Parent Bloggers Network. If you have a product you'd like PBN to review, click on this link for more info.

Monday, July 9, 2007

A pharmacist at your beck and call.. (PBN Review)

Hey you! Yeah, you there with the ibuprofen (or aspirin). Did you know that while the drug in your hot little hands may relieve your headache, its also robbing your body of folic acid? (And you know how much you need folic acid!)

The 24-hour Pharmacist, by Suzy Cohen is chocked full tips, tricks and human body know-how. And for those of you who like to steer clear of the pharmaceuticals in favor of a more natural approach? Don't discount Cohen's book just yet -- there's a plethora of pertinent information on vitamins, herbs and supplements.

Cohen wisely starts off The 24-Hour Pharmacist with a chapter in Overcoming Fatigue. (Stupor woman? That would be me.) In that first paragraph she tells us what we all know but don't like to hear -- the caffeinated drinks may give us a lift temporarily but the further exhaust us in the long run. But the last sentence in that paragraph has really stuck with me over the past few weeks. She said, "If you're tired, your body is telling you something -- so let's figure out what its saying."

Cohen spends a great deal of time discussing the types of foods to eat and those to avoid as well as WHY. She talks about "drug muggers" -- drugs that deplete our systems. She also gives us a the skinny on what herbs and supplements can bring our bodies back in sync.

Got a honey that snores? Or what about "surge protection" for hot flashes? And what's going on with your (or your honey's) sex drive? Cohen addresses these issue too. And she does so with a friendly, gentle writing voice and at times, dose of humor.

Although we tried some of the tricks regarding my husband's chainsaw-sounding snoring, we didn't have much luck. One of the herbal medicines worked for a few days. But it was a catalyst -- it made my husband realize that indeed his case is extreme. Since we've exhausted every other anti-snore idea, he's feeling more comfortable with prospect of surgery.

As for me, I didn't have much luck with the fatigue-fighting ideas. In fact, an herb known to support the thyroid gave me migraines. So while the ideas in this book may help the masses, if something isn't working for you? Admit this to yourself. At least you can eliminate a few of the ideas so when you do seek medical help, you and your doctor aren't starting from scratch.

But overall, The 24-Hour Pharmacist is an interesting read. Oh and FYI, Suzy has a blog! And if you leave a comment on the campaign launch post at Parent Bloggers Network? You could win a $50 CVS gift card! Woot!

This review was written for The Parent Bloggers Network. If you have a product you'd like PBN to review, click on this link for more info.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Nozin knows noses...

Colds and flu bring chaos to households. Whether its the kids, spouse or you? Getting sick (or having to take care of someone who is) just plain sucks.

Being that I'm a serious germophobe, this Nozin Nasal Sanitizer? Looked pretty interesting. According to the Nozin website, (in lab tests) NOZIN killed 99.99% of germs that cause the flu (Influenza A), colds (rhino virus type 14) and staph infection (staph aureus). I'm all about trying to prevent colds. And I'd pay large, LARGE amounts of money (as well as walk through hot coals) to prevent any thing vomit-related.

Our little pack of Nozin arrived just in time for our trip to Orlando. I swabbed my son's and my nose just before going to the airport. Did it work? Um... I don't know. Neither one of us got sick non our vacation. So maybe it did? Who knows.

The directions were easy to understand. And I admit I was a bit nervous to stick the swab up my nose. I expected the experience to be uncomfortable -- to feel like my nostrils were on fire. But that wasn't the case at all. And the smell the product emits is like the scent of an orange peel. Its smells citrus-y and light.

My son thought it was funny -- mom sticking something up his nose. And it didn't burn the insides of his tender, little nostrils either. Although he'd much prefer the lingering smell to be one of "bubble gum", "Nerds" or "Laffy Taffy", he didn't complain about the smell.

I like the packaging. The case is small enough to fit into a purse or computer bag. Honestly, the most difficult part of the process was trying to open the itty bitty box with short nails.

I'm saving the rest of my Nozin swabs for cold and flu season. With a little boy who's slated to start kindergarten next month. (Gah! NEXT MONTH?!?) I have a feeling this little product will come in handy. Very, very handy.

This review was written for The Parent Bloggers Network. If you have a product you'd like PBN to review, click on this link for more info.