Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Losing a Loved One



Hey neighbors!

Losing a loved one can be difficult.  I lost my grandparents on my mother's side quite a few years ago.  My grandmother died of a brain embolism and my grandfather died not too long after that with a heart condition.  My grandmother's death was very unexpected.  No matter how or when family members or friends pass on, it is always difficult.  We received notice not too long ago that a friend of ours was killed in an accident at the shop where he worked.  No one wants to receive news that someone they loved has died. Below are a few suggestions and steps to take after the loss of a loved one.


I think something that would be even harder is to find out that someone was in some way responsible for the death.  Whether it was a gunman, an auto accident, or medical malpractice you want that person to pay for their actions.  Sometimes it is lack of action that causes a death, such as someone not taking enough precautions with safety issues, or not following through with proper procedure.  When these situations come to your attention, you need to find someone who can help you and who knows the ins and outs of the law.  You will be looking for a wrongful death attorney.  Be sure and find out what type of cases they have been involved with, so you get the representation you need.

You also might need to consider finding a grief counselor whether they are from a medical practice or at a local church.  Oftentimes we need help to work through our grief or we become withdrawn and bitter.  This may be an option if you have teens or children who have been affected by the death.  We had friends who lost a young son to cancer after quite a battle.  Their entire family was affected by this especially after the long medical battle.  It is not wrong to need someone outside the family to talk to and share your feelings with. I suggest the entire family get together and share memories and talk about the family member/friend and be open about how you are feeling at the time.



Set up some type of memorial.  Yes, I know most people will visit the gravesite on a regular basis, but there may be some who can not.  You could have family and friends share some of their memories, videos, and pictures and have them put together on a memorial disc.  Although most will not want to watch it right away, over the years it will become a precious memory.  You could create a special, private memorial page online where friends and family can share memories and connect.  I am sure there are many more ideas out there of special ways to create a memorial.

Whatever you do, be sure that every family member has what they need to get through this time of loss.  Not everyone grieves in the same manner, so be sure to look for signs as to how they are dealing with their emotions.  Many families have been torn apart by the death of a family member when it could have been avoided.

If you have recently lost a family member or friend you have my sincere condolences.  I know it is hard, but I also know that you can make it through this. If anyone has thoughts they would like to share, please leave a comment below.


Why Does Your Home Take So Long To Heat Up?





Image Source

Now that winter is fast approaching, many of us are using our central heating more regularly. It’s usually about this time of the year when many of us discover issues with our heating. Super-slow heating could be one of those issues – if you’re having to wait hours for the temperature to rise, there could be a problem that needs addressing. Here are just a few of the reasons why your home may be taking so long to heat up.

Your Home Isn’t Insulated
A lack of insulation or poor insulation will result in heat escaping your home more quickly. The attic is a common place where heat is lost in the home – in fact, you could be losing 25% of your home’s heat through an uninsulated attic. There are lots of ways to insulate your attic from spray-on insulation to DIY thermal wool.

Windows
Windows can be another place where heat is lost. Consider upgrading to fiberglass windows or opting for double glazing in order to prevent heat getting lost through the glass. Cheaper alternatives could include hanging up some thick winter curtains or using insulating window film.

Wall Insulation
You could also be losing heat through your home’s walls. Cavity wall insulation is a common way of insulating walls – it can be tricky to install but could have major effects when it comes to preventing heat loss. Make sure to also seal up any cracks including under doors.

Your Radiators Need Bleeding
It’s possible your radiators could be full of trapped air, preventing them from heating up properly. Bleeding your radiators could help to let out this trapped air and return your radiators back to their full function. A clear sign that radiators need bleeding is if they’re cold at the bottom and only warm at the top.

If this doesn’t help and your radiators still aren’t heating up properly, it could be time to upgrade your radiators to newer ones. Old radiators can start to rust up on the inside and get full of sediment which affects the heating quality and results in them getting hotter more slowly.


Your Boiler Needs Servicing
You may also be experiencing a problem with your boiler. It’s possible that your boiler may have too much sediment in it causing it to heat slowly. Alternatively, there could be a problem with the thermostat causing it to heat to the wrong temperature. It could even be due to a badly insulated boiler, resulting in lots of heat loss as you turn on the heating.

By hiring a professional to take a look at your boiler, you can find out what may be wrong with it and whether you need to get it fixed or replaced. Boilers should ideally be replaced every 15 years, but many people have boilers in their home that are older than 20 years.

Maybe one of these tips will help you. If you have a tip to share, please do so in the comments.  Thank you!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Blurb Special For New Customers



Hey neighbors!
You all might remember the new photo book I received not too long ago from Blurb.  I loved it!  I have been wanting to do something with my photos I have taken, and I don't know about you, but printing them all off is both time consuming and expensive.  By putting many of them in a book, I can now easily share them with family and friends.  Of course they are great for family photos, events and gifts.  Blurb is offering 40% off for new customers.  Click through my link below and then use the code.  I was very happy with the service I received and the quality of the book.  I am an affiliate with Blurb, so I would appreciate you using the link below.

New Customer Exclusive: 40% Off with code BIG4T at Blurb!

Thanks and have a GREAT day!!


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sign Up For Swagbucks!



All throughout October you can earn large bonuses when sign up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching the web, watching videos, shopping, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, or PayPal cash.  

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus! Here's how:  

1. Sign up using this link. 

2. Earn 300 SB total before November 1st, 2018. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it!  

3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned so many Swagbucks that I have then turned into Amazon Gift Cards.  I am presently saving up for the holidays!

A New Shop Swago!

Swagbucks is hosting another round of Shop Swago! What is SWAGO you ask? It's a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you've never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site and an easy way to earn a good amount of points quickly.    

Click here to get started!  

Here’s what you need to know to get your 150 SB Bonus (and don’t worry, you don’t have to make a purchase to complete a pattern):
  • Go to the Swag page and make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value - up to 150 SB.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Friday, October 12th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Delayed Justice by Cara Putnam

Hey neighbors!

I am a sucker for legal/crime based christian fiction.  Cara Putnam is a new author to me, although she has written previous books.  Delayed Justice is actually the third book in this series, but can be read on it's own.  There are recurring characters from the previous books, but this does not affect the ability to read this book as a stand alone.  Delayed Justice will show how one woman uses her own dark past to help others and how she has gained the strength to face her past. As the story unfolds you will see Jaime grow and change as others in her life assist her on moving forward.  This book covers a sensitive subject and handles it without being too specific.



About the Book

  

Book Title: Delayed Justice  
Author: Cara Putman  
Genre: Legal Romantic Suspense  
Release date: October 15, 2018  

She had long given up the desire to be loved. Now she only needed to be heard. Jaime Nichols went to law school to find the voice she never had as a child, and her determination to protect girls and women in the path of harm drives her in ways both spoken and unspoken. As Jamie, now a criminal defense attorney, prepares to press charges against someone who wronged her long ago, she must face not only her demons but also the unimaginable forces that protect the powerful man who tore her childhood apart. Chandler Bolton, a retired veteran, is tasked with helping a young victim who must testify in court—and along with his therapy dog, Aslan, he’s up for the task. When he first meets Jaime, all brains, beauty, and brashness, he can’t help but be intrigued. As Chandler works to break through the wall Jaime has built around herself, the two of them discover that they may have more to offer one another than they ever could have guessed—and that together, they may be able to help this endangered child. This thrilling installment of the Hidden Justice series explores the healing power of resolution and the weight of words given voice. And as Jaime pursues delayed justice of her own, she unearths eternal truths that will change the course of her life.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently working on book 30 and 31. Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW, and currently serves on its Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana. Cara is also an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, and Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at www.caraputman.com

Guest Post from Cara


Delayed Justice was a hard story to write. I’d known from Beyond Justice that Jaime had a hard story, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. She tried to hide from her past. She tried hard, but in the end it slowly spilled out. A young girl wounded deeply by someone who should protect her. And now as a professional young woman, Jaime is still fighting the shadows. She believes she’s okay, or as okay as she’ll ever be. Instead, she has to learn that there’s so much more waiting for her. Freedom from the chains of a past she didn’t choose. A love that will never end. And a God who has always loved her even when she questions His existence because of her past. I think we’ve all lived that. There’s a place in our hearts that seems beyond His reach. For some of us, it’s a barrier to knowing Him. To others of us, it makes us question what we thought we knew about God. And for others of us, it presses us deeply into Him. Jaime’s book, Delayed Justice, explores this space. The space where some days we scream at the heavens Where are you, God? And the days we just curl into ourselves because life is too hard. And in that space of shadow and light, God ultimately shines brightest. This is a truth that is slowly revealed through friends and The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, September 29
The Avid Reader, September 29
The Power of Words, September 29
The Lit Addict, September 30
BBHfiction, September 30
Painting with Words, September 30
Real World Bible Study, September 30
Janices book reviews, September 30
cherylbbookblog, October 1
Back Porch ReadsOctober 1
Cafinated Reads, October 1
Faithfully Bookish, October 1
Lighthouse Academy, October 2
Livin Lit, October 2
Bigreadersite, October 2
All-of-a-kind Mom, October 3
The Becca Files, October 3
Blogging With CarolOctober 3
Genesis 5020, October 4
Cathe Swanson, October 4
100 Pages per Hour, October 5
Multifarious, October 5
Book by Book, October 5
Mary Hake, October 6
Godly Book Reviews, October 6
C Jane Read, October 7
Buy, Borrow, Skip, October 7
The Mimosa Blossom, October 8
Simple Harvest Reads, October 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Remebrancy, October 9
Carpe Diem, October 9
Quiet Quilter, October 10
At the Fence, October 10
By The Book, October 10
God is Love, October 11
Texas Book-aholic, October 11
Henry Happens, October 12
Have A Wonderful DayOctober 12

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize package that includes a Courage Dear Heart bracelet, a The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe print, a copy of Delayed Justice, and a box of Turkish Delight!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d5c4/delayed-justice-celebration-tour-giveaway


Alternatives To Nursing Homes



Whether you are the child of an aging parent or you are in your golden years and notice you have a more difficult time getting around, there are many alternatives to being placed in a nursing home. There are a lot of negative connotations associated with nursing homes; they are often looked at as being the final placement before hospice care. Many elderly patients do not actually require placement in a nursing home and can thrive with other care options.

In-home care is a great alternative for seniors suffering from an ailment, disability, injury or mobility issues. Skilled and qualified nurses can provide a variety of in-home care services for your family member. Some in-home care specialists provide overnight services. Others provide around-the-clock care based on individual needs. They can help clean and treat wounds, administer medications, help with household chores and cleaning, assist with bathing and self-care needs, and assist with blood draws and toileting. Healthcare staffing services are a personable and affordable alternative to long-term nursing care.

Many family members step in to provide caregiving for an aging parent or grandparent. Caring for an aging parent may require a lot of time and money. You may need to chauffeur your family member to and from appointments, administer medications, provide bathing and toileting help and assist with rehabilitation or wound cleaning. It can be a daunting task for some people, but many others are equipped to handle these duties and can balance caring for a parent with their own duties and work responsibilities. Aging parents and grandparents do not want to be a burden, but they would also prefer to be in the hands of a family member than a stranger when it comes to care, injury recovery or disability.

Nursing home placement may be the only option if an in-home nurse or family member is unable to provide consistent care or the level of care that the patient may require. Determining the best option for an aging parent is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make in your lifetime; you want the best care and treatment for your loved one.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Finding The Right Dance School For Your Child



Finding the right dance school for your child in Miami can seem like a neverending cycle, especially since new dance schools come on the scene every single week. However, there are some things you can do to find the best dance school in the quickest amount of time.

Talk To People With Young Children

The first thing you can do is speak with people who have young children, especially young girls. Not all of these parents will have their children in a dance school, but many of them might because dance is now considered an actual sport. Once you find parents who currently have their child in a dance school, find out where the school is located, how much it costs, and what their child has learned up to this point. Being that this is a matter of preference, you should speak with as many parents as possible.

Search For Schools Online

Another thing you can do is search for dance schools online. However, the dance schools you consider should have won some significant awards in the past, and these schools should also offer knowledge in many different types of dance styles. This is especially true if there is a high cost involved. A great example of this type of dance school is ABC Dance, which has been labeled as being one of the best dance schools in Miami. This school offers knowledge in at least 20 different dance styles, which include jazz, hip-hop, house, ballet, and so much more. This dance school is also known for working with parents who are on a low-income and providing comfortable payment plans for them.

It is important that you do not stop in your search for the perfect dance school in Miami. This is why it is best not to make a decision on a specific school until you have visited as many schools as possible. This will also help your child make new friends along the way.

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies #TravelTuesday

If you've followed our blog for any length of time, you might be aware of our love for the Smoky Mountains and the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area in particular. Our family visits every year for the National Quartet Convention and we always schedule a few extra days for sightseeing and vacationing. One of our favorite places to visit in the area is the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. I believe in the five years we've visited the area, we've been to the aquarium all but one year. No matter how many times you visit, you will still be awed and amazed by the beautiful fish, sharks, rays, penguins, and many other sea creatures. Plus, every year there are new exhibits, so it truly never gets old!

This year, my sisters and I were able to visit the aquarium again. We went on a Sunday after Church (first time visiting on a Sunday) and I was amazed at how many people were there! We usually go on a weekday afternoon which usually aren't very busy. It was neat to see all the families and kids so excited about the aquarium on this trip, though! There are two levels to the aquarium, and it's laid out in sections. Upon entry, there is a huge "entry tank", an archelon turtle hanging from the ceiling, and a view of just how large the aquarium is. The tour starts by entering the tropical rainforest section which is home to the red bellied piranha, four eyed fish, and many more. The four eyed fish are fascinating to me!




As you continue your journey, you will visit the ocean realm, coral reef, shark lagoon, and stingray bay, among other sections. I always have to stop and visit the seahorses-they're one of my favorites! They're some of the most unique creatures, in my opinion.





Shark Lagoon is one of our favorite sections in the aquarium. Here, you get to actually walk under the enormous tank filled with sharks and fish of all shapes, sizes, and colors! This is an amazing experience that you will not forget! We enjoy stopping and just watching the creatures swim by and over us.





The aquarium features a changing exhibit area that this year was devoted to shipwrecks. It was so neat to wander through and look at some of the shipwrecks that have occurred in the past. There was also a section on Civil War naval battles that I really enjoyed. I have been a Civil War buff since my teenage years, and the naval battles are not often mentioned in many movies and books.











Of course, a visit to the aquarium would not be complete with stopping in the penguin playhouse. This is an area you can easily spend a half hour just watching the penguins!





The Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies is a must-visit for anyone in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area. It's even worth the trip itself if you're not from the area! You can literally spend hours, enjoying the beautiful sea life inside. For directions, tickets, and aquarium hours, visit the Ripley's Aquarium website today-you'll certainly enjoy your visit!

Monday, October 8, 2018

MakeATeeOnline Custom Shirts Review & #Giveaway

Finding somewhere to create a custom shirt online can be quite the hassle! Whether it's for a family reunion, family vacation, local kids' softball team, or just some design you'd like printed on a t-shirt, you will have a long search before finding the right company. One issue is often finding a no-minimum printing company. Obviously the quality and variety available is important, and the design process needs to be simple yet give you enough control that you can create exactly the look you want.


A couple months back, I tried one site that had no-minimum shirts and the process was easy enough, yet I wasn't satisfied with the finished product. The actual design looked good but to get no-minimum shirts, I had to go with a very basic tee that, quite honestly, doesn't fit all that well and is slightly uncomfortable for me. All that being said, I was recently able to try a different custom shirt site, and I have found where I will be going from now on whenever I need to design a shirt!


MakeaTeeOnline is a custom apparel company that does much more than just t-shirts. You can custom design hats, hoodies, aprons, tote bags, beach towels, and many styles of shirts. My personal favorite style of casual shirt is the baseball tee (or raglan tee) but most custom shirt sites require a minimum of at least 10 on this style of shirt. MakeaTeeOnline, however, has no minimum even on their raglan tees! The pricing is also much better than many other sites I looked at.


The next step was designing the shirt. The system is very easy to work with, and allows you maximum control over the entire process. You can choose to do a front and/or back design, add your own artwork or picture, text, or use their library of graphics. I played around with the text options until I found just the right font, and designed a shirt with my sister's favorite music group on it. I had so much fun working to get the look just right! You can even add a shape to the text, which I did to help make the text stand out. I also scrolled through the clip art library but there really isn't a graphic that is needed for this shirt. I did notice they have a large selection though, so whether you're designing a sports theme, music, hobby, job, or just about any kind of shirt, you will be able to find graphics to match.

After placing the order, I was pretty anxious to see how the finished product turned out. The creation and shipping was pretty fast, even though I had just done standard processing/shipping time. It was less than two weeks after placing my order that I received the shirt in the mail. Not bad for a custom design! Upon opening, I realized that the shirt was exactly what I had been hoping for. The material is a super soft and comfy 100% cotton that is very lightweight yet durable. After many wears and washings, the design is still just as bright and stands out, and the shirt hasn't shrunk at all! MakeaTeeOnline did an excellent job both in the base products they offer, and the design and shipping process!



The generous folks at MakeaTeeOnline are giving a $25 gift code to one of our readers!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 28, 2018

Little Women Releases 9/28

Hey neighbors!!

I was given the opportunity to view of screener of the new movie, Little Women that is being released in theaters on 9/28.  I honestly came away with mixed emotions.  I grew up on Little Women and other books of like manner.  I made sure to have those books in my home library for my children as they grew up.  Yes, I am giving away my age.  My daughters all loved the books and liked to re-enact the scenes from the book.  So, what did I think of the new movie?

First off, if you are expecting anything like the book, realize that this is a modern view.  The movie does loosely follow some of the book, and you will see modern day versions of some of your favorite scenes.  I would not take younger children to see it unless you have previewed it and deemed it acceptable, because of some of the dance scenes, drinking, and one scene where a young man forcefully kisses Meg and starts to go a little further.

The movie is slightly disjointed as you go back and forth between present day and memories of growing up.  Also, although you see the book Pilgrim's Progress sporadically in the movie, I believe some of the references to Pilgrim's Progress will get completely overlooked due to the vague allusions to the book.

Now, as I said I have mixed emotions because other than those areas, I did enjoy the movie.  I was impressed by the young man, Lucas Grabeel, who portrayed Laurie.  He clearly understood how to depict the caring young man that Laurie was in the book and as a dear friend of the sisters.

By the end of the movie, you are definitely caught up in the struggles and cares of the March family.  Yes, I even shed a tear or two at the more emotional scenes, so you might want to bring tissues.  So, my final thoughts on the new Little Women is to see it expecting something different.  If you are as caught up with the book as I am, you will probably come away with mixed feelings regarding the movie itself.  Overall it was an enjoyable movie.  It is rated PG-13.  You can view the trailer below.



Thank you for stopping by today!! See you again soon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Parting Gifts for People Traveling


Increasing numbers of people are heading overseas to travel for extended periods of time. If a friend or family member happens to be doing this, you are bound to be excited for them, but you are also going to miss them while they are away on their adventure. It’s not all too surprising that you may want to offer them a parting gift to show that you care for them! Now, seeing as travelers tend to travel light, you’re going to want to make sure that your gift is small, as well as functional and useful for them. So, here are a few ideas to make sure your gift is both thoughtful and practical.

A Travel First Aid Kit

Let’s start with safety first. You’re probably going to have concerns about your loved one’s safety and wellbeing while they are away. This is only natural. As long as they have had their recommended vaccinations and act responsibly while they are away, they should be equally safe as if they were back home. However, you can always help them to tackle minor problems along the way by gifting them a travel first aid kit. You can get these kits ready packed, or you can create one yourself. Try to make sure that it contains bandages, plasters, medical tape, a small pair of scissors, an eye bath, and antiseptic wipes. If you are particularly thoughtful, you could also add over-the-counter medication such as Imodium or Pepto Bismol, plasters especially designed to prevent and protect blisters, and treatments for bug bites.

A Toiletry Bag

A toiletry bag is an absolute essential when it comes to traveling. Many people find this out the hard way - a toiletry product that has been left open, burst, or leaked in your bag can destroy tech or paper-based items you may be carrying and will generally mean having to wash the entire contents of your bag in order to have clean dry clothes. This is extremely inconvenient when you are away from home. A John Henric toiletry bag for men can contain any spills or leaks, preventing this problem from occurring in the first place!

A Battery Pack

People tend to use their phone less for socializing while they are traveling, however, a smartphone can prove to be an essential tool for travelers all the same. It can give them the means to call for help if needed, as well as serving as a map, and a means of translating what they want to say into a local language. So, they’re going to want to make sure that their device is fully charged at all times. This can be relatively difficult if they are away from sources of power for extended periods of time. This is where a rechargeable external battery pack can come in extremely useful. These can be charged up and will store power until it is required, allowing the traveler to top up their battery levels at any given time.

These are just a few ideas when it comes to gifts for travelers, but they are all extremely useful and functional, so well worth your consideration!