UW_BVSoP441ZptlAexCuE42zA8M
Welcome! I invite you to join me on this journey we call Life. It's crazy, fun, silly, sad, happy, loony, dull, exciting and everything in between

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hango Deluxe Insulated Lunch Bag Set Review


This post contains affiliate link
#hangobag

Hango.... it's a funny sounding name, but these are some seriously cool insulated bags that do what I expect an insulated bag to do.

I was given the opportunity to review a set of Hango Lunch Bags and I am very impressed with their performance.
I tossed a few leftovers from the fridge into the large bag one day when I knew I would be away from the house all day. I didn't throw in one of my refreezable ice packs because I figured I would either eat or put my food in my mom's fridge when I got to her house. Of course things didn't go to plan. I didn't eat the food right away, forgot to get it out and put it in her fridge and we left to do other things. We got back later in the afternoon and by then I was hungry. I remembered my food and checked it. It was still as cold as it would have been in the fridge! 

These bags are made with high quality, high density polyester 300D. It is tough, functional and attractive! 
The large bag is roomy and can hold more than enough for a meal with extras. It measures 6" long x 6" high x 10" wide. It is great for times when I need to pack enough for me and my guys.

The small bag is perfect for me to carry some carrots, celery and other type quick snacks with me. It too can hold quite a lot! It is 5" long x  5" high x 7 1/2" wide. 
This set of bags comes packaged in a great 100% cotton bag. I like to tuck it into the large bag for times when I might be someplace where I don't have access to a garbage can or for collapsing the lunch bag down after I've eaten and it is empty. It's a great little extra that can be used in a variety of ways.
The one issue I had was the odor. Being brand new, I wasn't surprised there was an odor, but it was very strong. I opened them up to air out before my first use, but the smell was still pretty strong. I sprayed the insides of them with my water/lemon essential oil spray and then wiped them out and that killed the odor. 


#hangobag

I simply love that these bags work like they should. You can find this great set of two stylish Hango Deluxe Insulated Lunch Bags over at Amazon.com


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Disclosure: I received the product mentioned above for the purpose of review. The opinions expressed are 100% my own based on my usage of the product. You experience and opinion may differ. This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Wilson Leather Purse Giveaway

Wilson Leather Logo


giveaway icon

Gina’s Library of Reviews did a review of the Wilsons Leather Top Zip Avery Leather Tote w/Front Belt Detail.

You can see the review ~here~


~*~*~*~*~*~


For most women, their purse holds their life within. The utensils of a daily life. Lipstick, mirror, identification, cash and cards and some times even the secrets she holds.

~*~*~*~*~*~

You can enter to win your own Wilsons Leather Top Zip Avery Leather Tote w/Front Belt Detail




The Happy Clown With A Frown is not responsible for items not sent by sponsor or items lost in the mail.

Disclosure: Gina's Library of Reviews received product(s) for free in exchange for an honest review, which may differ from yours. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I used personally, and believe will be good for any of my readers.
Disclosure Giveaways: Gina’s Library of Reviews is not responsible for shipment of prize, and can take up to 8 weeks to arrive. Winner will be announced, emailed, and then has 48 hours to respond to email or new winner is chosen. These are USA Giveaways, unless stated otherwise.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Toasty Finger Covers! iGotTech Texting Gloves Review

This post contains affiliate links
#gloves

I received these iGotTech Texting Gloves in the nick of time! Our temperatures dropped to below freezing and stayed there for days. That's not very common in our neck of the woods!

I was very excited about getting to review these gloves and for the most part they have worked out well.
In the extremely cold temperatures we have had, they were not quite enough protection from the cold for an extended time. I wore my thicker half-finger gloves over them when it was that cold.

The extreme cold aside, there are texting gloves, not heavy winter gloves. They do a great job in that regard. They allow me to use my tablet without exposing my bare fingers to the cold. 
Made of 82% Acrylic, 5% Conductive Fiber, 8% Spandex, 5% Elastic, these gloves are very soft, not scratchy or rough like some gloves, so they feel really good while wearing them.
My hand is about 6 1/2" from the tip of my middle finger to the line under my palm and these fit me good. If your hands are much smaller than mine, these might be baggy. If you hands are a little larger than mine, they do have some stretchy in them and would probably fit. If your hand is a lot bigger, these might not fit.
Our weather lately is like a yo-yo swinging from freezing to cold to warm and back to freezing. I like keeping these texting gloves in my coat pocket so that I am ready for whatever weather hits me in the face when I open my door and my finger won't have to be exposed to the chill when I need to take or make a call.

If you are often out in chilly weather or work in a chilly place, these are great to keep you hands warm while still allowing you to use a phone or tablet. 

#gloves

You can get these great Texting Gloves from iGotTech on Amazon.com 


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Disclosure: I received the product mentioned above for the purpose of review. The opinions expressed are 100% my own. You opinion and experience may differ. This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Majestic Pure Peppermint Essential Oil Review



This post contains affiliate links
#PeppermintOil

To me, peppermint is one of the greatest scents and flavors ever. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I love smelling it no matter what time of year it is and I love peppermint flavored foods. I like to get candy canes when they go on clearance after Christmas so I have them throughout the year to snack on, make treats with them and even to dissolve them into my hot cocoa.
I was thrilled to get to review the Peppermint Essential Oil from Majestic Pure. It smells so fabulous! I use it almost daily in our home! From dusting spray to body scrub, it can be used for so many things!
I made this Peppermint Body Scrub. This is the first homemade scrub I have made and I love it. The ingredients are:

~ 10 Tablespoons of sea salt
~ 8 - 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
~ 1 Tablespoon Grapeseed oil (or carrier oil of choice)
~ 1 - 2 Tablespoons of water to moisten the mixture.


Place the sea salt in a glass bowl or into the jar you'll keep it in. Add the drops of essential oil, dropping them in random spots. Stir the mixture to distribute the oil throughout the sea salt. Next add the grapeseed oil and stir again. Add just enough water to moisten the mixture. Pour into the jar. It is best to use a dark colored glass jar. 


I didn't have any dark colored glass and since it was a small batch that I will use in short time, I used a clear jar that I already had. 
I used this scrub later on the same day I made it. I loved how soft it made my skin feel afterwards. I loved the peppermint scented shower! About the only things I can think of to caution about is not to rub too hard and you might need to wipe out your tub or shower afterwards so it's not slippery the next time you or someone else gets it. 

This bottle is 4 ounces which I love because it will last me awhile even though I use it for everyday stuff like air freshening and cleaning.

#PeppermintOil

You can find and purchase this Pure Peppermint Essential Oil from Majestic Pure on Amazon.com.



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Disclosure: I received the product above to review. The opinions are 100% my own based on my usage of the product. You opinions and experience may differ. This post contains affiliate links.   

Monday, January 26, 2015

Team Innovations Garcinia/Cleanse Fast Weight Loss Kit


Post Contains Affiliate Links
#AdvancedDietKit

I need to lose some weight. I know this and I try, but then life gets busy, our schedule get turned upside down and it gets pushed down on my priority list.

I received this Garcinia Cambogia Extract PLUS Detox Cleanse Kit to review and it has been a big help! I like how it not only curbs my hunger, but really makes me feel great! I feel energized and I don't have an energy crash in the afternoon. 
I mostly drink water, occasionally some tea and avoid most dairy. I try to eat sensibly, but don't always succeed. I have Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome so when I gain, it is right around the middle and it is tough to lose that. 
Winter is a bad time time too. It gets cold and I want to just stay wrapped in my blankets with fuzzy socks on! The Garcinia helps keep my energy level up so I WANT to get up and move. 
Another pleasant thing is I don't feel the need to snack between meals. I'm just not hungry and don't crave snacks. I am content until it is time to eat a meal again.

It has helped keep me from getting burned out as I work on completely switching a couple rooms out and sort through our overabundance of junk. My energy level stays even so I get to keep going. I haven't been taking it very long, but I have lost a few pounds while on this.
Now you might be worried about the "cleanse" part of this. No need. It isn't one of those things that hits you suddenly and at an inopportune time. There's  no ... ummm.... violent, explosion type happenings.  It's more of a gentle kind of action.


#AdvancedDietKit

Team Innovations Garcinia is all natural. The capsules contain a full 60% HCA  with no fillers,  binders or artificial ingredients. They are gluten-free, made in the USA in a FDA certified and GMP approved state of the art facility. The bottle of 60 capsules is enough for a whole month. You can get your supply of  the Garcinia/Cleanse Kit from Team Innovations by shooting over to Amazon.com.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Disclosure: I received the product mentioned above for review. The opinions stated are 100% my own based on my usage of the product. You opinions and experience may differ. This post contains affiliate links, which serve to support my in my endeavors.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Endings

The sand ran out of the hour glass today. I got the message I had been both expecting and dreading. Two weeks after entering hospice care (and one week after the rest of us found out), my Grandma is gone. 

She passed quietly in her sleep sometime in the morning. We spent the afternoon with my grandpa, trying to gauge how well he was really doing because his words said he was fine, but his tears threatened to betray him several times. They were married for 64 years. He cared for her for the 27 years since she became paralyzed. Even as his own health faltered. Even as he battled esophageal cancer last year. We helped, but he never stopped doing what needed to be done for her. He has always been the stern authority type guy, not showing much emotion to the rest of us, but his world revolved around grandma.

My mom was telling me recently about the days in the hospital when grandma first became paralyzed. She had been there with grandma and grandpa had been gone, but when he got back, he went straight to the bedside and was talking to grandma, telling her "please don't leave me" and "I need you". It was such a tender moment that mom felt weird being in the same room even though these were her parents. They just had not shown those kind of emotions in front of others. Later when she asked her dad what they were going to do he simply said "Whatever it takes. What ever she wants, she'll get. Whatever it takes to give her a good quality of life." I will say he honored every syllable of those words. 

Through the years, he went to physical therapy sessions with her. He learned how to exercise her at home. He learned about medicines he had never heard of. He had a pool put in so she could do water therapy at home. When she could no longer get into the pool from her wheelchair, he had a lift built. He also had a lift built across their room so she could be lifted from the bed for showers and such. He dressed her. He fed her. He changed her diapers.

In the early days of her paralysis, when she could still use a walker, they didn't slowed down. They still went on trips. They even went on a missionary trip to the Ukraine. They liked basketball and attended not only the College games but were also supporters of the team from the local high school.

It has been a long, winding and wild road. There has been so much that has happened. And just like that, it is over. Time stopped. The last grain of sand slipped through the narrow neck of the hourglass. We knew it would happen. We just weren't prepared for it to be so soon.

Now we are left to grieve, get through all the formalities of death and prepare for that one last final goodbye.... 

Grandma, I do love you. I hope you're proud of all us. I hope you see that your daughter has your strength. I hope you see your son-in-law genuinely cared about you. I hope you see your grandkids, loved you for who you were, not what you had. I hope you see what great people your great grandkids are turning out to be.

I hope you are dancing.... 

Long Goodbyes....

It has been a week since We learned Grandma was on hospice. Her condition has ebbed and flowed. Some days she has been very alert and can speak mostly coherent and we can understand what she says. Other days she is back to mumbling and frustrated that we can make out her words.

She has congestive heart failure and had a stroke. She has been hallucinating, seeing people and things that aren't there. Sometimes she doesn't recognize us. The decline has been rapid.

It is hard to see anyone going through this. Doubly so when you can see or at least feel that there is a realization on her part that things done differently in the past could have made life a different experience. For me I have tried to put the past behind and focus on these present moments because I know they are few. 

It is sort of agonizing not knowing how long this goodbye will last. Each time I see her, she holds my hand and if she thinks I am letting go, she squeezes tighter, a silently begging of me to stay. And I do. We all do.

Today, I watched as morphine was ordered. It's to keep her comfortable and while I know this, it is also a reminder that time is slipping away from us. It's times like these that bring things into a little sharper focus. We never really know how much  time we have on this Earth. We  never know if we'll get the chance to tell people we love them again. We never know if we'll get to see them again. We make plans, look to the future, but we never truly know. 

I have pondered the difference between losing someone suddenly or waiting for the inevitable... I guess when someone is suddenly gone, there is shock and disbelief because it jars you out of your comfort zone bubble of schedules and planning. everything is upended suddenly and without warning. Just as quickly as it happened, there is the formalities of a funeral and then you have to get back to the bubble, the schedules and planning for things ahead. In a way we had that suddenness with grandma's diagnosis and quick decline. It was a little stunning to get that call. Our schedules have been altered and we hesitate to plan too far in advance. Getting another call is constantly in the back of my mind, even as I try to carry on with the daily things I need to do. Even as we expect the inevitable, we expect to get that call, there will still be an amount of shock and disbelief. And as much as we would like to think we are prepared for this, I don't think we are prepared for this....


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Learning To Say Goodbye...

There are many ways someone can leave. Sometimes you get the chance to say goodbye. Sometimes you don't. Saying goodbye doesn't get any easier with age. It is hard! I hate goodbyes. 

When my sister was leaving to live in another state, I cried like a little 'ol baby. It was before FB and the internet in general allowed us to connect and share so easily. I didn't know when I would get to see her again. 

Last week, I got the call that the time is nearing for my grandma to leave us. This kind of goodbye is even harder. It's permanent. It's forever. 

I won't lie and say we have been super close, because the fact is I didn't grow up with a doting grandmother spoiling me with goodies and hugs. Not that she would have if we lived closer. My dad was in the military when I was little and we moved around several times and when we finally settled, we were across the country from grandma and we only saw her occasionally when her and grandpa traveled and would stop and spend a few days or a week with us and the few times we visited them.

In a way I don't regret that one bit because the distance kept her from meddling in my parents relationship and possibly destroying it. Because we didn't live very close to either of their parents, my parents were on their own and had to work through problems and issues together. With no outside agitators, they managed to keep it together and raise three of us in a relatively stable atmosphere. If we had lived near either of my grandmothers, life would have been much different and things would not have turned out like they did.

One thing that that saddens me is that after moving here and living close to her, somehow my grandma just didn't seem able to have an adult relationship with any of us. Not even her own daughter. She has spent these years being fearful that we only wanted what was hers and were scheming to get belongings and money. I'm not sure it ever crossed her mind that we wanted a grandma that we could love and trust more than anything. A grandma we could have a relationship with. 

Her and grandpa's attitude and behavior over the years left us feeling uncomfortable and even unwelcome in their home. Theirs was never the house we just stopped by to say hi, kick off your shoes or get a warm loved feeling when you walked in. We were left feeling more like intruders quite a lot of the time. They welcomed strangers much more readily.

My grandma was always pretty active. She was also a young grandma since my mom was getting married and starting her own family at 16. I know she hated the thought that she was "grandma" so young. She was pregnant with my uncle at the same time that my mom was pregnant with my brother. 

There were good and fun times. We stayed the summer with her when I was around 6 years old. She got out and did things with us. She would get her wagon and hook it up to her little tractor and ride us around, take us to the lake to go swimming, take us to town and stop and the "rock" store..... one day that summer she was coming back home and a large turtle was sitting in the road. She didn't want it to get hit so she got it and brought it back so we could see it before turning it loose on their property. She definitely had her moments where she was fun to be around.

She has also been an incredibly strong woman. She was briefly married a first time to a man that soon after their wedding began abusing her. At a time when woman didn't stand up for themselves or leave such situations for fear of what people would think, she did. Grandpa was career Navy and was stationed all over the place so for many years she packed up the whole family and went where ever he was sent to... even a stint in Japan. 

Twenty seven years ago, she became paralyzed. It was sudden and terrifying for all of us. We had just moved here several months prior. We had lived with them for a short time before renting a house of our own. She was the same on the go grandma we had known her to be and in a matter of days she was in wheelchair. Blood clots had wrapped around her spine and choked off the blood supply. I honestly thought her strength and stubbornness would pull her out of that chair and she would walk again. For awhile, it sure seemed that way. She went to therapy, she worked and she used a walker instead of using the wheelchair whenever she could. There was a fiery, determined look in her eyes back then.

After several years the fire dimmed and she resigned herself to the wheelchair. She lost hope that she would walk again and she became pretty reliant on the attention it commanded. It just became easier to let others do everything for her. Having been told from the start that she would not live very long in that condition, grandpa had resigned himself to doing whatever she wanted. No one expected her to live longer than about five years or so.

In the last two years or so, her eyes have had a sadness behind them. I think she sort of grasped the tragedy of the relationships she has had with us. Not just me, but the whole family. They both pushed the people that cared the most, the furthest away. 

Now even the sadness has been replaced. With fear. Last week she had a fairly massive stroke. It has left her further weakened and mostly unable to talk. Most of her speech comes out garbled, slurred and unintelligible. As she tries to speak, I can see the fear as well as frustration in her eyes. She knows what she is saying, but she can also tell that it isn't coming out right. She just grips my hand and doesn't want to let go

 When she speaks, I can make out that she is telling me she loves me over and over. It literally makes me cry to type that, because that is all I ever really wanted from her...  hearing that and being shown that years ago would have made such an enormous difference! 

But the past is gone. All we can do is be there for her and for Grandpa. It's an uncertain future. We don't know from moment to moment how this will go or what will happen. Grandma is scared and so are we..... It's a goodbye that is imminent, but without a certain time stamp. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

$50 Weekend FLASH Giveaway!

Weekend Flash
The air swirls swiftly
under wing
Dipping and lifting 
soaring and spiraling
a graceful sky dance
drifting, left up to chance
                                                       © Lisa Williams


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

For THREE Days ONLY we are offering this Flash Giveaway!
One lucky reader will receive $50 USD Paypal Cash or Amazon Gift Card!!
This giveaway is for THREE Days Only! Enter Now!
We are making it easy peasy to enter! Just use the form below.
Remember, this giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Jan. 25, 2015! Tell your friends so they can enter, too!


Good Luck!





Disclosure: This giveaway is organized by Giveaway Booster.com. The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. If you are a blogger and would like to join in this giveaway event please check this post on Wednesdays to sign up to join. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Must be 18+ to enter. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not.
If you have any questions about this giveaway please email Tina at branchpropromotions@gmail.com.