Politics, religion and social media. Is it acceptable?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Not my usual type of post, far from it really. I just posted this on my personal Facebook page and decided to copy it and slap it up,here on the blog that I have neglected for so long (life gets in the way  sometimes)

Anyway .... Just my thoughts on the current social media hate fest that has become accepted as normal and accepted ways to "discuss" politics .... Yep, I went there ..... So unlike me to do so, but ....well my fingers took over as you will see....

I know this is long, but bare with me here. I have kept pretty silent the last year with all the political,stuff (I have posted about equal rights for ALL Americans and I will not now nor will I ever apologize for that. Many have given their lives so we can have those rights)

I understand everyone has their own point of view and beliefs .... Hey, that is fine ... In fact ... It is absolutely your RIGHT as an American !

But that same right extends to those who believe differently than you do.... That is also THEIR right!

This has become more than just democrat vs republican, more than Trump vs Hillary, more than conservative vs liberal, even more than Trump vs democrats AND republicans as it seems at the moment ......it is more than any one candidate vs anything or anyone.

How can we possibly be UNITED in ANYTHING when so many people are posting hate, insults, threats, being bullies, just Sharing posts and memes without actually doing some research for yourself....because BOTH SIDES are doing this back and forth and have been for months and months now.

We don't need to worry about which enemy will take us out because we are poised to tear ourselves apart, we will destroy this country ourselves if we don't snap out if it.

A house divided against it's self cannot stand (some of you will consider this a biblical quote, some a political quote, and some will take it back to states rights and civil war) the fact is that it is absolutely 100% truth...when we are united we are unbeatable.... So please just STOP!!!

no side is 100% right , because there is always three sides to every argument and the truth lies there in the middle..... By posting the hateful, name calling, lies and accusations against each other as citizens we are only harming OUR country as a whole...

I am NOT a snowflake, nor am I a deplorable....

So,what am I then?


I am a white conservative Christian cis gender straight female in my 40s, BUT this gun carrying,home schooling southern woman, who also believes in equality for ALL American citizens. I support LGBTQ rights, and I am pro choice because I have had patients who were raped and became pregnant, one as young as thirteen years old... I know why sometimes it is not black and white there are some grey areas .....

now the flip side of that is I PERSONALLY chose life.... At 17 I went against my family's wishes when I became pregnant ...... They wanted me to have an abortion..... At 17, scared to death, petrified my parents would disown me I personally chose life because I knew what could happen if I have sex, and I made that decision myself and that made my child MY responsibility..... Mine alone, I never got child support, he never wanted to see her, his parents didn't want to see her .... She is now almost 26 yrs old and not a moment has passed in all those years that I regretted my decision...... She is literally my first love, and there is a bond there no one can understand ....she is an amazing young woman who knows her own mind and knows above all else "Do unto others" politically she and I are usually opposition ends of the spectrum, and that is OK. My rule was research it yourself and show me that research be informed don't believe something because "it's cool" or "everyone else does" or this video,or this news story said..... Don't assume any of it is is absolute truth ..... If you are going to advocate for something you damn well better do some serious in depth research.

Before you start talking about teen moms and welfare ..... Nope .... Didn't happen.....heck, my daddy WOULD have disowned me at that point..... I worked my butt off (sometimes three jobs), put myself through school, and made a career for myself and a pretty middle class life for my kids..... And NO, my family didn't disown me in fact they have thanked God many times over that I was stubborn, hard headed and stood up for what I personally believed was right for myself and my unborn child .....But that does NOT give me the right to make that decision for someone else.....

Because if one of my kids had gotten pregnant from rape you bet your bible I would have driven her to the abortion clinic or if she had a medical condition where it was her life or the baby as a mom I would protect MY CHILD if that IS what they wanted ..... It is so much more complex than yes or no.....but most people do not work in a situation that you can so easily see both sides...... And, thank God many of you do not know what it is to have a CHILD of your own raped at a young age but old enough to get pregnant.... Because I promise you anything you ever said "I would never do that" goes out the window the instant you find out some one did that to your baby .... so no....the government should not make that decision for them because rape is rape.

I find most people fall in the middle between republican and democrat (it isn't as easy as conservative and liberal)

Point being

I know many personally who are posting all about the snow flakes but they themselves are on disability, food stamps, and Medicaid (seems like that falls into snowflake territory to me) but they also support the second amendment and keeping American jobs in America (those would be deplorables, right ? ) so see they average American isn't one or the other  although they might think they are and Lord knows they are posting all over social medial like they are.

No matter WHAT happens the next four years, chances are you will still be here after this administration is gone and the new regimen comes in ..... Whatever and whomever it may be.

Maybe we could learn from our current deep rooted division here at home that has become personal not just political or religious....and vote for the good of all Americans to unite our country again, because right now, we don't need to worry about Russia, Saudi Arabia or any of the other threats to our nation until we get our own house in order.

We find ourselves in the middle of this mess that we have started here AT HOME, our enemies can sit back and watch us destroy ourselves......we will do it for them.

It will take time to heal and work out our differences, but let's at least stop the hate posting all day every day ....

If for no other reason how about other countries are watching us and laughing at our "freedom, liberty, and "we the people" constitutional beliefs that we hold so dear but are ready to pick and choose what we keep and what we ignore (the right to bare arms, equal rights, the right to practice our religion (not just one religion, but religious freedom.....the whole thing our country was founded on) and the right and obligation to question our government ...checks and balances are there for a reason) I think we can all agree that right now agreeing with SOME of those rights has become a us against them mentality.... If you agree with guns, then you have to also exclude some of the population for equal rights or if you agree with freedom of religion you must automatically want a welfare state and are such a delicate flower that you need a safety room......
all because they believe that someone has  the right to live  their own life as long as they do not harm others .....

EQUAL rights means all of us and not just some of the rights....our constitution grants ALL of them so basically this back and forth stuff this last year is about people only wanting PART of the constitution.... It does not work that way....

Everything that we built this country on is what we are now fighting over .... Why because we are not being open minded and seeing that everyone really is protecting the same rights.....because they are a package deal.

I am over this drama filled hate fest already, people need to grow up, and stop resorting to name calling, threats, insults and online bulling that quite frankly is something I expect from middle school girls.....

I am ashamed that our TRUE enemies (whoever they may be) have been given a blueprint on how to tear us apart and our allies are watching this with horror because we have just become that drama junkie friend who can't act like a responsible adult, with adult conversations instead of instigating rumors and division within a group of friends all because they let their own insecurities control their emotions and their emotions control them instead of logic... You know we have ALL had that friend (or we have BEEN that friend, I know I have been that person before I grew up emotionally)

So stop all the middle school drama, cowboy up and let's deal with this by using our problem solving skills not the share button...
....and please people RESEARCH for yourself ..... I promise CNN and Fox both want ratings ..... And as usual in any argument the truth lies somewhere in the middle....

Any one article, one post, one news source isn't the gospel (the gospel is in a book that perhaps needs more reading and less thumping..... I get quite the kick of reading about bringing God back to America from people who I KNOW FOR A FACT are not born again and /or not a practicing Catholic ( depending on which side of Christianity doctrine you fall into) they do NOT attend church of any kind and might pick up the Bible once every few years but they do DISPLAY that brand new super deluxe Bible so everyone knows they are Christians .....news flash folks, READ IT...ALL OF IT..... Don't preach Christianity if you are NOT living it....you want God back in the country start in your own life, your own home.

Quit focusing on making others look stupid, trying to humiliate and make fun of them ... Instead how about acknowledging what the common goal is .... The middle ground ..... The healing of this nation has to start somewhere , be the bigger person and be part of the solution instead of adding to the tearing apart of this nation.

I don't think I have ever posted such a long post OR publicly discussed politics for that matter with someone other than a family member or close friend (and I assure you we all have pretty different views so it isn't discussing with like minded people but I just try to not to impose my beliefs on others as I believe we all a right to our own opinion key word being ALL )

I'm pretty sure I will lose some friends over this (who knows some family members may delete me as well.....I have a pretty large family so I guess  if some decide to delete me so be it) I may decide to delete those who keep posting hate and meanness just because....we can post about this massive current events storm without making it heartbreakingly personal, I can't keep looking at how we are posting hate and insults at people we love who have been there through thick and thin simply because they may not agree with you 100% or didn't vote for the same candidate as you did for whatever reason.

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Happy to be blogging again

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I know y'all probably thought I had dropped off the face of the earth (I guess I kinda did) Things got a little crazy during and after our move to the Nashville area, once things settled down again we had found a house in the country in a neighboring county and moved again (we were in an apartment originally when we first moved here, waiting on our home in TX to sale before finding a house here) Two moves in less than 9 months was rough (we left a LOT of things behind in Texas as well, so unpacking and setting up house once we were in our new house was comical.... Still trying to find certain things and replace things we left behind)

We are FINALLY at a point that hubby says I can get back to my blog, we are not 100% settled yet, but as we put away summer items and pull out fall/winter items we should finally have full stock of what's here in TN, what we need to purchase and what we can throw out. Hopefully the office will be emptied of boxes soon, giving me the full office space I need to set up my lighting equipment (that is still in originally packing from 18 months ago that I have never used), get me a new desk (mine was a victim of not enough room in the temporary apartment so we gave it away), and finally get Dragon Slayer....Mommy!!!! Back in business.

I have missed y'all, missed writing, missed the reviews, missed having my own little piece of the Internet.

I have of course been getting plenty of subscription boxes even though I was not reviewing them (I am a sub box addict after all) I have narrowed my list down some, and added a few new obsessions (wax anyone?)

I am considering a new format with "themed days" for non review posts and then just posting reviews as they come up. I want to get back to writing for chronically ill mommies, with was my original blog format before the reviews started. I plan to keep the "spoonie" posts to perhaps one day a week, do recipes one day a week again, and I have a few more ideas as well.

So reviews that I am working on now include: October Darby Smart, October Little Lace Box, October Bluum Box, and October Volupties.

I have a few mouth watering recipes I need to photograph the step by step for in the next couple weeks, I promise they will be worth the wait.

A Christmas guide is in the works (it will be smaller, but awesome)

If your reading this, thanks for sticking around while I took a hiatus to move our family and get settled in our new home, community, and become comfortable with our new lives so far from home.


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boxes, boxes and NASCAR

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I am on a photography roll right now... not the best pics ever  (using my old camera since I already packed the big camera for Bristol trip)  Trying to get  5 or 6 boxes shot so I can work on reviews while I am gone this trip...I know I can make them look better once I edit some,I Love my new camera but it can be a bit of a pain to pack and unpack

...especially if I take the tripod, and the lighting box and such with me like I am for this trip...obviously I can't put the race in light box but you would be surprised what I can do with light box at the track

we have 3 days in Knoxville (for Dave's business)  then a day at Bristol (umm...yes, I am still a NASCAR NUT) Dr says I can't be in the crowds...NEVER said I could not sit in a luxury sky box (thank you to my most awesome and wonderful hubby for securing the seats so momma can smell some burning rubber and gasoline)

So see... I can totally write a blog on beauty items during a NASCAR trip...anyone who has EVER seen me the week leading up to a race there is a reason I took off 5 days for every race.... I get too excited to think straight... hoping that if I have the photos, my notes on scents, smells, fits (doing some clothing too) , and even taste (a food box) with me as well as the info cards I can write reviews to keep me focused.

Plus I have a bunch of Amazon reviews I need to do for Tomoson... actually I am scared of how behind I am with those... I need to work a LOT this trip (and yes it is easier for me to write on trips because Dave is around more closely with Tuff so I am not having to write at 4 am)

so far looks like May and June Five Four Club,  a Love , Play, Nurture Box, July Wantable intimates, July Wantable Accessories, (don't think I got the makeup one last month), August BB, August Ipsy, August LWF, 2 Meme super boxes, hopefully August Citrus Lane and August Wantable Intimates will arrive before we leave

I also need to do a Thredup review... a big one because I have done some MAJOR winter clothing shopping!!!

Geeze...plus we have all the recipes to catch up on and to talk about canning too.... and some sewing projects...

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Summer 2014 FabFitFun VIP Box and discount code for $15 off for you (yes, some still left)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I think I was the last person on the plaet to get my Summer FabFitFun VIP box, I had seen some of the spoilers but did pretty good at not searcing gor thm.... for the most part I am happy with this nox... it may not be the biggest "Wow" factpr... but it is still woth ,ore than $245.00 and at MOST you paid $49.95 for it, but many used a code making it about $35 so this box is 100% worth the money spent on it, There are a coule things I find surprising, and one I have to laugh at...but they were bonus items and really had no impact on the final outcome of this box, or anyone elses... it did not count twards the products you were getting from thrm...they freely admit they were sponsered items.

the actual first look just left me wantig more...the info card and a really cool card with discount codes for my fans and friends that is pretty awesome $15.00 off this very box.

first look

 Thursday Friday Mini Clutch ($35)

this was pne of the prints I was hoping for, so I am happy.
This is now the new home of all my pens, washi, stickies, ruler,thank you cards, blank note cards, stamps and all things "paper related or planner related"


thursday friday discount code (must spend to use)

Sonya Dakar Flash Facial ($95)

I wanted to dislike this stuff, Everything I know about Sonya Dakar makes me want to stay as far away from her and her products because this is a human who shpuld not be allowed to treat people the way she does...but I like this...iit works.... I am actually sending this to a friend who also has AOSD she is havng more facial mask marks like Lupus and I think this may help her some.... I will do anything for my brothers and sisters of the Dragon (there are some of us that are so close we would kill for each other...this dragon is our bond, annd it makes us family. We love each other unconditionally and will do anything for eachother.

balanced guru no frizz oil ($25)-

I have a variety of hair oils, and for the most part they all work the same way... as long as my frizzies are conrtolled I am a happy girl on a average day. I will be sending this along to the above friend as well since I am already sending her a few things, she and her teenage daughter have very long haor that would be perfect for the nourishment this oil has to offer.

Pur-lisse SPF 30 Daily Essential Moisturizer ($35)

I have been getting a lot of Pur-lisse recently, so I am slowing trying the entire line... this is bothering some people it seems but I am liking it I always need SPF, I am very sensitive to sun from my medications and I dont as much as check my mail with out SPF.


Ok. I am kinda a shark tank junkie so when I saw we were getting this and I remebered the episode this was on I was even more excited!! I am as you know a complete and total lip balm addict. so I guess I don't have to say that I love these. 
I got Raspberry/Lemonaded which woks great for us I love raspberry and hubby loves the lemonade.
seriously go try this stuff!

FabFitFun Water Infuser BPA-Free Water Bottle ($15):

hmmm, well I can always use a new water bottle /infuser we actually love them and I have around 5 or 6 already.... but the saying on the bottle....just not working for me.... this is something I will be sending to one of my college age kids and even they will have to watch who they use it around.... just not appropriate in my opinion...

I think the infuser bottle is great, I like the center infuser better than the bottom infuser for fruits like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries.

I just really wish it was blank or said something else.

Zoya Nail Polish ($9)

I love Zoya Polish, I am always pleased to see one in my boxes. This is a beautiful color of coral that I am actually wearing right now as I type this, perfect alome and with a blue tint as topcoat is pretty awesome too.

POPchips ($1.29)-

PoPchips are always welcome and this is my favorite flavor and they are as guilt free as you can get for a chip fix.

This time FabFitFun allowed 3 sponsered items in their box (this has caused a lot of arguments back and fort on some boards... I personally don't care...sponsered items mean better items for me because money can be used elsewhere)


So the SlimFast bar , have your cake $1.00
Skintimate shavegel ($2.00)
Always Xtra protection long daily liners ($1.50)

the slimfast bar was fine, just tossed it in with ourt snack drawer, The skintimate shave gel is awesome, but I used it before this box anyway...the Always...lost on me I have not had a period since 2009.

the full total of the Summer Fab Fit Fun VIP BOXF was $245.00 not bad at all considering this cost you $49.99 every 3 months... this is one of my favorite boxes.. I find that I end up liking the items that I did not think I would... give them a chance they really have it more togather these days.

use code below after clicking the link
good for the first 3 people

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the power of family

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Kade (Katie), Tuffy, Tori

As y'all know my husband, youngest son and I moved to Nashville,TN from Ft Worth, TX about 2 months ago. Leading into the move and until last week I really did not write much, we knew the move would be very difficult for me... the best doctor in the world when it comes to my particular disease was in Dallas...people fly in from other countries to consult with him...why on earth would I move AWAY from him? My two adult children were there (and even if legally they are "adults" they are still my "babies"and I was not/am not OK with 800 miles being between us), we owned our home, we lived a comfortable lifestyle (considering I am on social security disability those were important factors), my ENTIRE family (very large family I might add) was there or very nearby, all my friends, Tuffy's biological family was there.... yet we just "knew" we had to make this move... career opportunities like this don't happen often... to stay would be selfish of me... a wife should support her husband...period...plus really, we felt the Lord leading us here.

As crazy as it all seemed we loaded up what we could into the biggest moving truck U Haul makes (left the rest in our house and told the kids to sell it and keep the money...big tings like riding lawnmowers, swing sets, appliances) we were moving to an apartment and would not need that stuff anyway...so in a single cab truck we loaded up, two adults, a toddler in a car seat, a 40 pound boxer, and a kitty in her carrier...kinda like the Beverly Hillbillies...and pulling my Tahoe behind it all....

everything we own or at least everything we could bring with us

I won't lie it hasn't been easy, it has been exciting, and I KNOW this is where we are supposed to be. I do FEEL at home even though we are in an apartment that I hope is quite temporary (like as soon as we sell our house in TX) all I have to do is look at the beauty surrounding us and I KNOW...seriously even driving along the interstate is beautiful.

I watch my son play in the evenings, chasing lightning bugs and know we did the right thing (I can't remember the last time I saw a lightning bug in the DFW area...at LEAST 20 years)

my sister and I 

we are here with NO friends, and NO family.... and that is hard...much harder than we expected!

I now know that I took my family for granted, how I wish I could have all those times back that I was a teen or in my 20s and I made excuses not to hang out with my parents. All the times I was too tired, too busy, or just not in the mood to go hand out with my sister, my many cousins (some who were less than  minutes away from my rural home), to know my granny was literally minutes away and I didn't take the time to see her  more often... Tuffy's bio grandpa just down the road and not making more scheduled "play dates" with him knowing that Tuffy is his only grandchild (and yes, Tuffy does call him Grandpa...he will know he is adopted....we will never make that "a secret" it will just be part off his life...not make a big deal about it...it just  "is")

We were all three supposed to go home to TX a couple weeks ago, unfortunately things changed and Tuffy and I had to stay here while my hubby flew to Dallas without us (it was a convention) he was able to have dinner with my parents the night he flew in, but not much time for anything else. My youngest daughter/oldest son had a very important Dr appointment and I really wanted to be there for it. (for those who don't understand that statement read a few posts below about transgender children) My oldest daughter was going through some stuff that I felt I needed to be there to get things under control (I will say this is FINALLY resolved, and I thank all of you who were praying for my family... I can now sleep easy again)

About the time we realized I could not go to Texas my parents mentioned they were going to try to come to Nashville for a few days in July. To say I was happy was an understatement, we are a VERY close family I don't think I have gone more than two weeks without seeing my parents in my life, and that just was a bigger part of my life after the disability when my Dr pretty much made me "home bound" to protect me from germs I was allowed to go to my parents as long as it was not a lot of people there so I went at least every other week...that was the only time I was able to leave my own house for quite sometime... so seeing my parents/my kids and my sister (and her family) was my entire social life (well I did see some cousins,aunts, uncles and granny too...but as you can see...all family)

Katie (Kade) Sr Pic
Tori's Sr pic

Just as the time was drawing closer for my parents to come to Nashville my mom got a job (and I was happy for her, she had been job hunting for sometime... but I knew a new job meant no vacation time) So today my mom calls me and tells me they ARE going to be able to come, she is able t take a few days off to come see us.... I am still sitting here crying tears of joy!

They can only stay a few days, but for us that is bringing "home" here to Tennessee.... a chance to experience our new home, and hometown with those I love most in the world... a chance to go do some site seeing/tourist type stuff that we have not done yet because we were kind of waiting for my parents/kids or sister's family to come to do that stuff with them.

Also I have NOT been feeling well at all, in fact it is a very real possibility that I will be in the hospital at any point right now... to say that I am scared is a vast understatement, the things my Dr is talking about is just not something I want to hear about really... so like any scared little girl, I want my momma....

my momma

Only my parents don't know how bad I have been doing (I try to keep them informed, but no need to tell them things that are not certain yet either...they know I have some heart issues right now and more testing scheduled...and they don't read the blog ...heck my dad would not even know what a blog was, and my mom just discovered Pinterest a month ago so she has not progressed to blogs yet...although she does understand that I write about stuff and do reviews)

my daddy

now that I KNOW my mom and dad will be here in 4 days I feel like a huge weigh has been lifted off my shoulders... I am happy, I am hopeful again, and I am determined to feel well enough to go to the country music hall of fame and the Grand Ol Oprey with my parents...without my walker...which I think they have seen me use MAYBE once in the 3 1/2 years I have used one...they have seen it out in our face time chats, but I try to move the camera off it before they ask about it.... so I am keeping my rear in bed, resting and focusing all my energy on being up to a fun filled few days with my parents... I do wish my kids were coming to...but they both have jobs, so can't just take off at a moments notice... but I plan to fly them here this winter when South West starts direct flights from Dallas Love field to Nashville for $99 (thank goodness the Wright ammement is a thing of the past just as I moved)

I know this is a LONG rambling post, and very different from my typical posts...but when I sat down to write the post I had planned this was what my fingers started typing (don't you hate it when they get a mind of their own??) so I will write today's planned post tomorrow...plus I will be reviewing a box or two this evening as well.

Thanks for listening, and seriously...don't take your family for granted...call your momma and schedule a lunch date...someday you will be kicking yourself for not doing it when you could have.

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a mom's guide to the internet (freebies, shopping, daily deals sites, cooking/baking, news, girl talk, cool toddler lunch ideas) non mommy's too

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Favorite Websites

photo credit:whistleblower-insider.com

It has been a long time since I did a "my favorite things" post, so I thought it would be fun to work on that today. Normally I stick to just my Sub Box items in my top 10 list, BUT this time I thought I would mix it up a bit and just tell ya'll about my favorite websites to visit (besides the typical social media outlets like facebook and twitter that it is safe to assume we ALL visit or online banking type things that we do because we have to)

I know I always like to discover new sites, and although everyone has different tastes many of my favorites will appeal to a wide group of people, I hope that you find a couple new favorite of your own, these are my "go to" sites not just for myself but for gifts or for my children (even the adult kids) Some are a "box" company that may or may not have non box products for sale as well.

I like to do most of my shopping online, and with the help of most of these sites I can do just that.

These are not listed in any particular order.

ThreadUp-  Never would I have thought I would log into an online consignment shop daily, but I do... they offer clothes for womens,misses, Plus sizes, juniors, children, toddlers and infants as well as shoes and handbags (in a wide variety of sizes, styles and price ranges....many are still even new with tags on them)
photo credit Thredup (I did buy this one)

I buy the vast majority of my clothing from threadup and I save around 80% or more typically. I also buy clothes fro the princess (who is 23 and have it shipped to her in TX, and for Tuffy, like right now winter clothing is super cheap so I am stocking up on his clothes for this coming fall/winter for next to nothing even brand new coats for under $10 with the tags still on them)

You can also request that Thredup send you a "clean out bag" and you simply fill it with whatever clothes you would like to sell to them, they receive it and tell you how much they will give you for each item in the bag. You can choose to have them send back any clothing/shoes/purses that they are not accepting or you can choose to have them donate it to a local shelter (which is what I have done...once stuff leaves my house I don't want it back causing more clutter)

***if you click on the link that takes you to the thredup site it will give you $10.00 off your first order and that can be used towards shipping as well so if you ordered something under about $6.00 depending on where you are shipping to you COULD get completely FREE clothing for you or your kids.... they have a great referral program,***

Photo Credit ThredUp (I did buy this though)

Bloglovin- IF you have not already started using Bloglovin, GO...signup NOW!!! it is a place that you can follow all you favorite blogs in one place and get one email a day with updates for all those blogs... now this link WILL take you to my blog on Bloglovin, but once there you can navigate and add any blog you want to your feed... also most of the blogs that are listed on Bloglovin also has a "button" on the left hand side of their blog that says "follow me on Bloglovin" just hit that and it will add me or anyone else to your feed. (mine is just below the popular posts section of my blog on right hand side) I do subscribe to other blogs via email, but honestly I read most of the blogs I subscribe to through my bloglovin feed since it is all in one place and in order.

If you are looking for a way to simplify how you read all the blogs you need to keep up with for reviews, articles, or giveaways this is one of the easier ways to do it and you can scan through it all in one place...read what you want and skip over the rest)

Venezia by Lane Bryant Career Versatile Skirt Khaki
Photo credit: Tradsey webpage (I am currently thinking of buying this)

Tradsey- This is very similar to ThredUp...usually the clothing is a bit higher end on Tradsey, BUT if you filter the clothes priced low to high and stay under say the $25 range you will be OK... you can do that with ThredUp too by the way) The big difference here is that with Tradsey instead of buying from a company like ThredUp you are buying from an individual but Tradsey acts as the middle man and protects your money if  an issue arises so you don't have to worry about being scammed...Tradsey protects you the buyer.

Now here is a huge difference ...the selling... IF you decide to sell clothing on Tradsey then YOU set your price, you list it in your "closet" and people buy it from you, you ship it to them yourself...so you determine how much you want your sweater to sell for.... Tradsey gets the money from buyer, sends you  postage paid address label and sends you your money once you put in shipment tracking information....so this is good for those who have a closet full of stuff they want to sell but want to choose the price to tell at themselves and don't mind doing the shipping.

The referral program for tradsey is a bit different, by clicking on the link you will get $25 off your first order (sent a code via email, but there is a minimum purchase required, and before I would get the referral bonus you would have to spend $100....so obviously I did NOT list this one to get a bunch of referral money because if you are like me you will only be buying in smaller chunks....although I do order about once or twice a week...just not uber expensive orders)
Anthropologie short dress Yoana Baraschi on Tradesy
Photo Credit Tradsey

The Tennessean- Local Nashville /Middle Tennessee newspaper both in print and online. See I am not all Shopping.

Ft Worth Star Telegram- this is the "local" paper I have read my entire life so moving from Ft Worth, TX to the Nashville area didn't change that. I still log on most days (my family is there, my friends and I am still passionate about the local politics so I like to keep informed)

photo credit: Bzzagent

BzzAgent- Now this is a site I have visited at least 3 times a week for the last 8, maybe 9 years. For those NOT familiar with BzzAgent they are a word of mouth advertising company...basically you fill out a profile and at first a whole lot of surveys (I heard it is a LOT of surveys at first now, I joined when they were new to the scene so the sign up process is different than when I joined) anyway...so you fill out the surveys and then they will match you up based on your answers and demographics (age, location, income) to different "campaigns" which basically means they will send you free stuff to try and then you just report back how you like it and you tell your friends about the item you received, how you like it, and hand out some coupons if you receive coupons in the "bzzkit" I have done campaigns on everything from new video games to sonicare toothbrushes... restaurants to teeth whitening products... kids toys to cat/dog food... you name it they likely have or will do a campaign for it in the future...no you will not get into every campaign because the companies they are working with are looking for a certain demographic... my husband and I are both agents and are a year apart in age... obviously same location, income, and such but we often get very different campaign invites...so really it comes down to those survey answers and then location in my opinion after so many years... This is a 100% free program, in fact in addition to the campaign items they send you you will also earn points to spend on my points to use towards gift cards for each campaign activity and survey you do.

Photo credit: Google images,  book  my favorite Amish fiction author
Amish Recipes Oasis News Feature (Amish 365)- this site has evolved much over the years, what started out as merely a weekly cooking column by an Amish woman named Elizabeth who also gave a brief summary of her week since the last column a few decades ago where she wrote it out on paper at her kitchen table (likely in Pennsylvania dutch, but not sure about that) it was given to her friend Kevin and he was the one that got her published and "ran" her column until her death and then her daughter... this has evolved into a nice website with stories and recipes written by many Anabaptist (Amish and Mennonite, perhaps even some German baptists) Kevin still oversees everything on this site and has dedicated his life to telling the real story of the Amish as well as other "plain people" and allowing them to tell their own story by running this site and publishing various cookbooks. Now their are several who write fro him on a regular basis not only just for recipes but just telling about their day to day life... I have mentioned a time or two  my soft spot for Amish and other "plain folk" this has long been a favorite site for me to sit read for ours at a time... a great way to pass infusion time or when I am stuck in bed.... even for those of you who don't know about the Amish, check out the site, look around...read some article, look at the beautiful photos and pick out a few recipes... I get nothing from telling you about this site, just sharing a site I truly love and have for years.

ButYouDontLookSick.com Logo
photo credit:butyoudon'tlooksick.com

but you DON"T LOOK sick (dot com)- OK, so this sounds like would not be a good place for someone with an invisible illness (as in most autoimmune illnesses) but in reality this was the FIRST site for us "spoonies" don't understand why I always say spoonie or I am out of spoons...check out this page the spoon theory (by Christine Miserandino) should be near the top or pretty much all over the place. Although this site is not specifically for those with MY illness it has become the #1 place for those with auto immune illness to get information, support, read articles, find coping skills, learn about different medical options, and mobility aids.... basically it teaches you how to live the new life you have been handed... originally this site was started with Lupus patients in mind but because so many auto immune diseases are so similar and are treated with the same meds quite frequently it all comes together and this site became the only place on the web for a long time that people like me could go and seek support, learn to accept our lives, and how to overcome the devastation that comes with a life long sentence (in my case a sentence of extreme pain, daily fevers over 102.5, joint destruction, sore throat, a pinkish rash that looks like sunburn, an allergy to the sun, fatigue unlike anything you can put into words, chemotherapy meds for the rest of my life, weekly biologic injections...the kind of stuff that would be poisonous to most people, over 40 pills a day, and loss of my freedom and everything that I thought made me who I was) but here in this magical online community I found I was not alone, everyone else was like me (we may have different illnesses but we were all dealing the best we could) I learned to live again, that I could do many things even if not what I did before... I was learning to be myself again.. only better than before because this disease HAD changed me but becoming a member of but you don't look sick taught me what it is to be compassionate, caring, forgiving, patient, tolerate and most of all to see the good in the new life I was given instead of focusing on all the bad... I owe my entire outlook on life to this site and the wonderful women I met here... I urge you all...even if you are not sick to log on... read the spoon theory if nothing else... better yet read a few post/articles... you will see how we struggle BUT how much we have learned to find the humor in our lives... if I can't laugh at myself then I will never love life again... I learned so much here, as did my husband...maybe you can as well. I will say that this site is not the active chat rooms it once was because of facebook, twitter and such... but the content is still there.. being added as well as all the old stuff that so many of us clung to as we were learning to live again.

photo credit:Sproutonline.com

Sprout online (dot com)- I was sad to learn not all cable/satellite providers offer Sprout as one of their children's programming channels...actually I don't think I have heard of any here in Nashville... anyway sprout was our go to channel for Tuffy, I believe it is still carried by Direct TV (which we don't have access to here because of where our apartment faces or something...or maybe that was dish and direct was not an option at all...I forget...and it isn't the point)
Sprout is the only 24 hr preschool channel designed for parents and kids to watch and discuss together.many of the shows are PBS shows, as well as more and more original shows as they grow I will not say ALL shows had an educational content, but most did and at the least taught good manners (except Caillou... no good lessons there, but my kid loves him)
Sprout online obviously allows you to watch some sows which Tuffy is happy about, but they have more "toddler recipes" than any other place online than I have ever seen...and unique games and online activities many pretty different than your basic toddler/preschool games...
but seriously LOOK AT THE CRAFTS/RECIPES you will NOT be disappointed...awesome ideas... like you will be a pinterest star if you do a few of these for snacks and lunches...and they are super easy!
This is one of those sites all moms with kids under 6 or 7 should be checking a few times a week to keep their sanity and so the kids think your super mom.

photo credit: clipart
Rue La La- OK, yes it's a daily deal site... we all have our favorites, this is mine. I like that I pay shipping once and then get 30 days of free shipping after that (so say I buy something on April 2nd, I will pay 9.99 flat rate shipping and that covers anything I buy until May 2nd... last year around September or October they gave you a chance to pay like $20 and it gave you free shipping through the end of the year...which you KNOW that I took advantage of that.
Rue LaLa has something fro everyone... women, men, kids, babies, teen, home items, travel, gifts, pet items, and even sometimes great deal on sub boxes, or food gift boxes.
The prices on Rue LaLa can be very inexpensive as low as $15 for a full sized cast iron skillet (I bought several of those as gifts) or even lower prices for kitchen stuff, kids clothing, costume jewelry...some of the higher end stuff is VERY high end and although way out of my price range is still heavily discounted.
There is one item a day called "today's fix" which is super discounted and honesty I have seen it all from designer bags to Tiffany jewelry, sandals to baby slings so that is always a wild card sometimes you can haggle the price even...but when they are sold out you are out of luck...

You can even see what is coming up for the next 3 days at the bottom of the page (it will list most, if not all of the "departments" that are scheduled for say Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) each company or department is listed for a few days (I honestly don't know how long but it tells you 1 day left or 2 days left..whatever so you know...each day the different categories are mind boggling) I get such AMAZING deals on Rue LaLa that I keep a well stocked gift closet between RueLaLa, my sub boxes and Amazon.
deals) You never know what you will find, I suggest looking in every category because sometimes where they put stuff does not make sense to me I have discovered.. so I pull up all the options in the living category which is mostly home goods,pet items sub boxes if they have any of those at that time, and food items..the other categories are pretty obvious ...but still check them all...just sort high to low so you know where your price cap is and don't get tempted to spend more.

Give them a try...you will love them I know I do!

I hope you have found at least one or two new web pages here in my list...obviously I also do all the social media pages, blogs, and Amazon...not to mention all the sub box company pages...but these are the web pages I saw the most in my browser history when I decided to do this post...

Hope you enjoyed a peek into my computer time & habits if nothing else, or enjoy exploring my favorite outside the norm sites online.


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June my community box

My Community Box is one of the various "local boxes" that have been emerging in the last year. I enjoy local boxes or regional boxes because I like to experience "what the locals do" when traveling and this gives me that opportunity without the expense of travel.

My Community box is a local box that is all about Hampton Roads,VA. originally when this box was in beta testing in November of last year it was to be a monthly subscription box,but they decided to regroup and to launch as a quarterly box so they could have time to put together a better quality box for their subscribers.

Each season they pick a theme and curate a box with items loosely based around that theme.

below is their description of the box and it's mission from their web page.

We specialize in curating quarterly boxes of products made and sold right here in Hampton Roads. Each season we pick a theme and send the best and newest products in the area directly to your door at a fraction of retail prices.

Items include a variation of products from food, bath & body, stationery, jewelry, event tickets and more. Most can be enjoyed anywhere in the world, but some are uniquely curated for use within Hampton Roads. These could include tickets, admissions or free items at select locations.

as with most sub boxes an info card is included, this is where I became a little confused. the card lists 8 different product/companies. I received 7 products from 4 different companies. I emailed the company and they responded promptly letting me know that there was a line on the card letting me know that "my community box will include a SELECTION of these products"

I was a bit disappointed because two of the three items not included I really was interested in trying, but I did get a great discount on the box so I am still OK with it.

I don't know how they decided who gets what, but overall I was pleased with the items in my box, and I got a great deal on it having only paid $18.00 for it when the regular price is $30.00 so I am happy with my box at the price I paid.

 a First look, I see caramel popcorn which is always Good thing to see, and what looks like deodorant tubes...i am intrigued, but cautious..

 Here is a little secret, I hate Rosemary...so does Dave... can't stand the scent or the taste.... SOOOO, I expected to hate this...I will say at least when it is dry I smell mint and a herb type scent...but not really screaming rosemary... I am afraid to get it wet because it might start really smelling like rosemary, that all being said my parents are supposed to visit next week and I know my mom likes mint & Rosemary both for scent combinations so I will put this is her "welcome basket" that will have all kinds of wonderful things for my mom...and all kinds of boring things for my dad...same brands used since 1970 something...except... I did find him a brush he has been looking for...and I know this brush was from the 70s...maybe the 60s even. So my mom will put this to good use...and if any of my adult children are tagging along(a momma can wish...right) that scent would be approved by both of them as well.

Perfectly Natural Soap-$4.50
 This scent is wonderful, I would like a bit more lemongrass but really I am someone who like a heavy citrus scent throughout my house so keep that into consideration. I think that this is a good size soap (I mean it is 4 oz of handmade/cut soap. it is all natural ingredients and I like the way it lathers, and rinses clean...not leaving behind a residue on my skin like some homemade ones do...I haven't notices in the tub but it would need a few more uses to show anyway there I think... this is a soap I would happily buy again.

an all natural bug repellent lotion bar
 (kinda works like a deodorant package twist product to top then rub on the skin.This is made with essential oils that bugs don't care for to dissuade the bugs from hanging around when you are wearing this. to apply simply rub onto skin and rub in, it should all absorb in a bout 2 minutes... it smells better than most bug repellents, but it is still a bug repellent... so it isn't going to smell great...but this is one of the better smelling ones I have seen...

OK, so I got TWO of these  exactly alike, being summer in Tennessee I will let this slip past because my little guy like to play outside...but I am disappointed (we will get to that in a few moments)

 (there are not any in the Etsy shop this plain, so I am doing a price estimate of about $3.50 and that is being generous)
 I am happy with these. I am always in need of hair ties and headbands especially in the summer...this is the deep south... hot and humid so often I just put a little leave in conditioner, maybe some mouse or texture spray then just pull it back in a Head band let it air dry and be done with it, so these are handy to have around, even in the winter to wash my face or on a bad hair day.

Ahaon there are nostyles just like this to compare to cost wise, but I did fine a very similar one for $6.75 so we will be going with that , although .the other one had rhinestones where mine has "barbie" written on a piece of pink plastic..
.and yes I am 41 years old
After checking, I can say it fits my head just fine, so I will be making this my "bathroom" headband. the one I wear when washing my face, wearing a mask, mini facials or whatever.
I am sure if my daughters were not in their 20s I may like this a bit more, but they are even less likley to wear this in public than I am 

I would like to say that this shop has some GREAT designs and I will be buying from then in the future...I really like several styles of theirs,so I do highly recommend checking out Froggie's World Hair Acessories, do not judge them by these items...they have some very nice venice lace and turban type headbands...the braided ones are cute as well. They are also reasonably priced.

I really have nothing to bad to say about this bag...other than perhaps add some sea salt, but that is entirely my preference. I looked through all the flavors they offer...you better believe there is a BIG order in my future... I love popcorn, but not boring popcorn... many of these favors sound yummy. Double Cheddar, Cheesy jalapeno with a kick, caramel corn drizzled with white & dark chocolate and they have fudge as well... yes, this will be a definite order in my future.

All totalled my My Community Box was valued at $39.75, so it was worth more than the $30.00 cost of the box, and was well above the $18.00 I paid for this on sale a few months ago. I do have to say that $6.75 of this box (the barbie headband) was obviously NOT meant for adults so not sure if was an oops or what...since I do sew I have other notions I can put on there myself or as I said I will just wear to wash my face or something ...it seems a bit young even for my daughters (23 and 21, well will be 21 next week) and the biggest chunk of value here is for bug deterrent ... again this is one of those items that people will love or they will hate... we actually do like this... it seems to work, it goes on easily with the deodorant type applicator then just rub it in.... and since I have two I keep one in my son's outdoors bag and one in my purse so we always have it when we need it.

I have not made up my mind about My community Box, the value is barely there...but other than the too young headband I liked the products overall.

I will need to get the next box (which I guess will be around the holidays) which is when the originally tied to launch last year...

my Community Box is doing a fund razr (kinda like kick starter, fund me or crowd sourcinng) the link to their page (which it legit) is My Community Box Fund Razr, you earn perks at $7.57 to claim perk

I want to like this box, I am giving them every chance to blow my socks off...and I think that if I had received the other items on my info card instead of two of all but one product (the caramel corn...heck that one I would have liked two of.... but I did not get the BBQ sauce ($6.00), The Lemon Coconut Bars ($12.00), and nourishing oil or whipped smoothie from Natural Journey $10-$12.
then you add to that a headband for a child that is of babrbie playing age that I DID get...

I just feel like the higher$$ items, most of the food items were left out of my box and clearly my age was not taken into consideration as I am a 41 yr old woman and I was sent a barbie toddler headband (and this is not a children's box)

I understand that they are saying you MAY receive a selection of the items on the card, but in my case it was clear I received all lower cost items.

and IF the headband had not been for a child I STILL would have been OK... because I liked the items I received two of... I didn't mind, but a barbie headband was a bit too much for me to overlook

I would love to hear from my readers who received a my community box this month and find out what you received... as in who really did get the higher dollar items?

Please comment and let me know!

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