Saturday, October 18, 2014

She's Growing Up Too Fast!

My almost 13 year old daughter went to the first dance of the year last night... it is amazing how quickly she is growing up. Fashionista that she is, she wore black skinny jeans from JCP, a Braiden top from prAna in terracotta and ankle boots she found online last year from Barefoot Tess (she wears size 9 or 10 shoes already, a far cry from the size 5 I wore when I graduated!) Sigh... time is flying by way too fast, soon she will be a TEENAGER. I can't wait to see what that brings! (I remember my teenage years, and shudder to think I'm now the mom, lol!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review: Pong Rugged iPhone Case

I absolutely love my iPhone 5s... I've had smartphones before, but this is the first time I've had an iPhone and while I am still getting used to it, I'm really having fun downloading apps for shopping sites and fast food restaurants, and all that other stuff that helps me save money! I've had my iPhone since May, and while everyone is going crazy for the iPhone 6 and I've checked it out at my local Verizon Wireless store (hubby wants one and is waiting NOT so patiently lol) I am pretty happy with the size and width of my iPhone 5S.

Speaking of my phone, when I purchased it I got a rather cheap plastic case (in addition to getting the Applecare insurance of course!) and while the case was cute and all, it just didn't give my phone the protection it needed. Since I am always on my cell phone, I have to say that I worry a bit about radiation and have seen studies stating that cell phones emit a lot of radiation which can be dangerous.

I recently received a really cool case from Pong Research which was designed to withstand a 4' fall AND to also deflect radiation away from me while not interfering with my phone signal. I got a really cool orchid color, which looks great with my phone-and it also comes with a screen protector (which I haven't used yet, since my existing one is still good I'm going to save this one as an extra!)

The neat thing about these Pong cases is that they deflect the radiation the phone emits away from your head and body while still giving you a strong mobile connection. I've been trying mine out for a couple weeks now, and can tell you that my connection has been constant and hasn't changed a bit since I started using the Pong case.

On the back of the Pong case, there is a thin gold antenna, which works with the phone to re-direct the radiation away from you while keeping your signal strong. I also really liked the fact that this case has that rubbery feel, my last case was smooth and I have to say a bit slippery-I almost dropped it a couple of times due to that, but with this case I have had a good grip on my phone at all times. The cheaper plastic case I had cost me $15, and there was virtually NO protection at all. While the Pong case does cost a bit more, it offered me peace of mind that my iPhone would be protected should I drop it, and it would keep harmful radiation away from me. We all know the price a new phone costs if we have to replace it, even with insurance there is usually some sort of a co-pay!

My daughter doesn't have a cell phone yet, but she is hoping to get her dad's cell phone once he upgrades to a new one. Because she is young, and I worry about the effects that radiation from the phone may have on her, I'm thinking of getting her a Pong case just like mine.

The neat thing is they have cases for quite a few popular phones today, in addition to iPads-her school recently assigned her an iPad for use in class and at home as part of a program our Dept. of Education has here in Maine for junior high school students. The cases they give them unfortunately are flimsy and don't do any justice in protecting the iPad from damages if dropped nor the student from radiation. I'd love to see the students have Pong cases on their iPads!

My daughter really likes my case, but also loves designer cases too-so her wish is to see Pong come out with some cases with cool designs too. Who knows? Maybe they will.. ;) But in the meantime, I know I'm doing what I can to keep radiation away from me when using my iPhone and that suits me just fine!

Disclosure: I received a Pong iPhone case for free as winner in a blog giveaway, but it did not affect my opinion of the product. The above thoughts are mine alone and I was not required to write in my blog or do a review for receiving this iPhone case.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

First Girl's Night Out!

Sigh... I often wonder what I get myself into at times. But it's all good, I assure you. I'd won a blog giveaway over at Rita Reviews for a Dolphin Tales 2 prize pack a few weeks ago. This past week, the package showed up and I was pleased to see all the swag they'd included, buttons, dogtag necklaces, a small swim shirt for my grandson, a tee which was a bit small for my daughter but ended up fitting one of her BFF's, sunglasses which were claimed by my daughter, an awesome beach towel (also claimed by the tween queen as I call her), mini posters, a bigger poster, and of course 4 Hollywood Movie money vouchers to go see the show at the local theater. Lucky for us, the package arrived in time as the tickets expired Oct. 9th, and lucky for ME that the local Flagship Cinemas accepted the free passes AND was still having a couple of showings of the movie this past weekend. My daughter quickly got in touch with 3 of her BFF's and decided it would be a Girl's Night Out. After hitting Daddy up for $20 for the concessions, off to the movies they went. (I was of course the chauffeur!) Being Mom, I was not allowed to enter the theater and see if all was well with redeeming the free passes. After all, there were BOYS and other people they knew from school there. So I waited right in front of the theater and watched from the window... lol. After getting a thumbs up from my daughter that all was cool, she quickly came out to tell me to pick them up at 8:45 when the show ended. I have to admit, I was a little nervous about leaving all 4 of them there alone but my daughter is quite mature for her age and had asked the usher if that would be a problem since it was a PG movie, and he'd said no, it was just fine. Plus, this was to be their night out, I'm sure the first of many to come. When I got to the theater they were waiting outside, and lucky for me had just gotten there. Immediately when they got in the car, I know they'd had a great time. Sugar soda pop and candy overload...combined with massive amounts of buttered popcorn= 4 very hyper tweens. My daughter is a chatterbox to begin with, but once she got into the car she was a full blown motormouth. The other 3 girls in the backseat were pretty much the same, lol. I drove cautiously since it was raining but I couldn't help but laugh as they started taking selfies with my iPhone. I'm still recovering from the drive home last night, and still smiling when I look at the selfies on my phone. But I'm also glad the girls got to enjoy a fun Saturday night together, time flies by way too fast, and it's great when they can enjoy the little things and still act like kids. So, I leave you all with a photo of the girls, taken with my iPhone... after their first Girl's Night Out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

McDonald's Winner!

True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 4 Powered by RANDOM.ORG Out of 5 valid comments, the winner is #4 which is Rhonda Martin, or @exotic1 as she is known on Twitter! Thanks for playing along, and congratulations :) Please send me an email with your address to micaela6955 at msn dot com so that I can forward it to the McDonald's PR Reps and they can send you your prize. I certainly love their new #baconclubhouse and I know you will too! We've tried the crispy chicken, which was good, the grilled chicken which is also good, and the burger which we LOVE! Once you get your prize pack, let me know and try them out for yourself and let @McD_Maine know your favorite!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hungry? Check out McDonald's NEW Bacon Clubhouse Sandwich! (and local giveaway for ME/Eastern NH residents!)

As most of my friends and family know, I enjoy eating out alot. One of my favorite places to visit is my local McDonald's restaurant. I love the great value, and great tasting items on the menu. And they are always coming out with something new as well, this time around it's the New Bacon Clubhouse sandwich, which looks as great as it tastes!

They started off with a new, Artisan roll, added applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, caramelized onions, white cheddar cheese and a special sauce and added it to a quarter pound of 100% beef, grilled chicken, or crispy chicken to make it a simply delicious meal choice. If watching calories, the grilled chicken sandwich would be the best bet-with the beef burger and crispy chicken burger following. I was very surprised to find out that the special sauce on this sandwich is the same as they have on the Big Mac-how cool is that?

Lucky for me, I had the chance to try this courtesy of the Maine McD's team-be sure to check them out on twitter at @McD_Maine and follow them for local contests and giveaways too! Oh, and if you decide to try one of these yummy new #BaconClubhouse sandwiches, be sure to tweet them your opinion! Make sure you use the hashtag #BaconClubhouse too! Disclosure: I was provided with an Arch card and other promotional materials to give my honest opinion on the product. Please note that all opinions are mine based on the product I have tried.

The first two sandwiches hubby and I decided to try were the grilled chicken Bacon ClubHouse sandwich, and the beef quarter pounder Bacon ClubHouse sandwich. Both were delicious, but if we had to pick a favorite, we'd go with the 100% beef Bacon ClubHouse-my husband says that is actually his new favorite sandwich at McDonald's now because it tasted that good! We've yet to try the crispy chicken Bacon ClubHouse sandwich, but that is next on our list for lunch tomorrow or the next day. The sandwiches are pretty filling themselves, and when combined into a Value Meal it is a satisfying (and filling!)combo, so be sure to bring your appetite along when you try them out.

Still need help deciding what to have for lunch or dinner tonight? Check out the photos below and see if they help you make up your mind:

Like I said, DELICIOUS! I liked that the new rolls weren't soggy and that the toppings were plentiful, especially on the beef burger. My hubby loves tomatoes and lettuce on his burger, and it did not disappoint. The special sauce was a great added touch, and it went well with the sandwiches too. Have any of you tried one yet? And if so, do you have a favorite? I'd love to hear about your experience with the new Bacon ClubHouse sandwich at McDonald's. In the meantime, my local McDonald's team has offered a giveaway to ME/Eastern NH residents. Please note, in order to participate in the giveaway you will need to have an address in the area, since you will receive coupons for use at your local McD's restaurant. I will make entry simple, just a comment or two (a mandatory entry and an optional one) and choose the winner using on April 15th. The prize ($15 McDonald's Arch card, Bacon ClubHouse sandwich coupons for use in the local area, and other goodies/brand items) will be fulfilled by the promotional agency once winner has been chosen.

Ok, for the first MANDATORY entry- Please follow @McD_Maine on twitter and leave me your twitter name and email (you can leave your email in this format micaela6955 at msn dot com to avoid spammers getting it if you'd like. So, be sure to connect with them on Twitter for the first mandatory entry, this will be checked! Your second optional entry is to let me know in a comment below your favorite McDonald's item. Or, when was the last time you had something to eat at McDonald's? that's it! Be sure to leave an email address in your comment so I can contact you-I'll be choosing 1 winner on 4/15. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

When Your Pet Is Sick

This is my cat Stubby-he's about 6 years old now and a very important member of the family. Of course, HE knows this, but asked me to let you all know as well :)

Sometimes pets get sick. And when your pet is sick, it's just like any other member of the family-it needs to be taken care of and this usually means a visit to your local vet. But vet bills are no fun, and usually you have to pay what you owe at the end of your visit. And sometimes, it is quite a bit of money. I've been seriously thinking about pet insurance for things like that-there are several plans out there I've been wondering about, and wondering if it would be worth it to get the insurance and have piece of mind should my cat get sick again.

In my case, my four legged friend came down with a raspy cough. After lab work, x-rays, pet hospital admission for the morning, and medicines it was close to $350.00. Ouch! Not to mention the 2 week follow up, another $31.00 just to check him out and make sure his breathing was better. We still don't know what caused it and while he has gotten better he's still had a few episodes since he got his follow-up. Asthma could be an issue, but it usually only happens when he is deep asleep and then wakes up suddenly gasping for air. Granted, he snores, but it's almost like sleep apnea or something. Crazy or what?! It was also mentioned that sprays, candles, or forced hot air heating (which we have) could be the culprit. Considering there are mold spores in my basement from a previously leaky basement which made me super sick for 3-4 years and considering he likes to sleep in front of the registers for the warmth... it could be that. It's been a horrible winter from HELL and the furnace has been working nonstop so with the house being so closed up I think he is just as sensitive as I am when it comes to mold.

So of course, this incident has me thinking about what I would have paid if I had a pet insurance plan. What is covered and what isn't. Do any of you have pet insurance and if so, how do you like it? Right now, I am crossing my fingers that my cat stays healthy for many more years with no surprises other than routine checks and shots yearly. But of course, I like to be prepared too...just in case. So I will continue to research different plans/providers and see what they have to offer. If any of you have any ideas, know a good plan or just have some helpful advice feel free to leave me a comment below!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Touching Base...and Living with a Tween.

Sigh... what have I created? My 12 year old is addicted to Fashion, Facebook and currently, Minecraft as well. I suppose I could have it worse, so these are actually the least of my worries. Junior High is a challenging time, with puberty, boys and wanting to fit in. My daughter has inherited my gift of gab AKA "Motormouth" so that she chatters non stop from morning to night. I now realize what my own mother had to put up with, lol. I'm proud to say that she's in band and has made high honors each quarter so far this year, which is wonderful news. I've asked her to do some posts on my blog, since I am still working full time right now and trying to not use my right arm all that much except for work. My house at times looks like an episode of Hoarders as I sift through things I need to toss, donate or keep...and find a place for. I've made some progress, but it seems my Spring cleaning has evolved into an all year cleaning since my arm was injured last March. The Winter here has been brutal, cold, icy and snowy, then repeat the cycle all over again. It hasn't let up since the end of December, when I was without power for 3 days and celebrated Christmas away from home due to no heat. (ice storm damage, my whole street had no power!) But it looks like the whole country has been pretty crazy with weather this Winter, and I can only imagine what the summer will be like. So, as I write this, I'm hoping to have my daughter post a few things-if I can convince (aka as BRIBE) her to do it. Wishing you all the best for the weekend... I leave you all with a photo of my daughter hard at work on her tablet, with her buddy (Stubby the cat) enjoying a nap on her. :)