Tag Archives: Product Review

Why I hate my new Verizon Droid

Why I hate my new Verizon Droid

Last week I got a new Verizon Droid. My son and I were ready for a phone upgrade and so we got the two for one (guess who had to pay for the one that was not free?).

We are now a three Droid family and yes, these were the Droids we were looking for.

Flickr: Let Ideas Compete – CCL

The salesman talked me into buying a screen protector as well as a case (because you know you’re going to drop it he said). I declined the insurance (and this is what we call foreshadowing) figuring no one else would be touching my phone save me.

Sure enough during the week, the phone fell from my pocket onto the floor. I held my breath when I picked it up, but no, it was fine, all I had done was dislodge the screen protector which caused a tiny bubble under the plastic.

Lesson learned, don’t transport your Droid in your pocket. Continue reading

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Easter Dinner on a Portion Plate, a walk and no bugs

For those of us living in New Hampshire, this past Sunday, Easter, was glorious.

Not a rain cloud in the sky, not a puddle in the roads. We sat outside in our short-sleeved shirts around a small fire soaking up the warmth and holiday company. Long snow hidden corners of yards were explored once again and moods were as bright as the sunshine.

And no bugs. Continue reading

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The bad, the ugly, now the good – Japanese on a Portion Plate

Last week, I got a heart clogging lunch from Five Guys Burgers and Fries to put on a Portion Plate. The nutritional devastation from that one lunch was pretty impressive.

This week I went to a Japanese restaurant (You You Japanese Bistro, Nashua) and brought home the Bento Box Teriyaki Chicken to put on the plate.

The meal contains a salad, steamed vegetables, some yellow/orange thing that tastes good but I’ve always been afraid to ask what it is, rice, two crispy pork pieces, chicken, and a container of miso soup.

This is how it looks on a Portion Plate.

Teriyaki Chicken on a Portion Plate

Note: I put the yellow/orange thing with the rice because I think it is made of tofu making it a carbohydrate.

Although it looks like there is a lot of meat, it’s actually only one chicken breast that has been cut into small pieces. The pork is piled on top of the chicken.

The soup didn’t fit anywhere on the plate so I just left it off to the side.

It’s a full plate, but not an over flowing plate. Take a look at the rice. It’s a scoop of rice not the plate of rice that is sometimes served with Asian meals. A scoop is what we should be eating. A scoop is a portion. Rice like potatoes is cheap which is why we are served a lot of it.

Cheap, though, as we’ve all learned, can be very fattening.

Also, notice that the vegetables take over a good half of the plate. That’s the way we should be eating for each meal. Vegetables provide nutrition, water, and bulk. They make us feel more full and make our bodies function better. And guess what? Vegetables cost less than protein and the prepared stuff that we tend to eat. I’ll bet that many of us don’t include enough fruits and vegetables in our daily diets.

Every time I eat at You You Japanese Bistro I always leave saying that I feel full but not stuffed. It’s a lovely feeling and one I should be aiming for with all my meals. This is quite unlike the experience I had eating at Five Guys for the first time where I left feeling stuffed and bloated and quite frankly ill.

Easter is coming up, a big food holiday, and I’ll be planning our meal based on the Portion Plate guidelines. A holiday food celebration where you won’t have to loosen your belt afterward…

Imagine that.

Disclosure:

I received samples of these products from the manufacturer for review.  I received no other compensation for this post.  My words and my opinions are my own.

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Book Review: Motherhood Is Easy… As Long As You Have Nothing To Do For The Next 50 Years

Title: Motherhood Is Easy….As Long As You Have Nothing Else To Do For The Next 50 Years
Author: Rebekah Hunter Scott
Publisher: Clear View Press
Available for pre-order: http://www.clearviewpressinc.com/ Books ship April 2010
Reviewer: Wendy Thomas

With a voice as refreshing and delightful as Sex-on-the-Beach (the real thing not the cocktail) Rebekah Hunter Scott nails what it feels like to have that special love-hate relationship with your kids and husband that only a mommy can have.

I get this kind of humor. I love my 6 kids. I know that I would lay my life on the line for them at any time but I also know that if I had been around them 24 hours a day when they were younger, I would currently be in jail for 6 counts of manslaughter, maybe 7 if you threw my husband into the mix.

When Rebekah writes about embracing your “Inner White Trash” while at Wal-Mart with a kid wearing only a diaper and trying to buy a pair of shorts because she had forgotten to pack them in her diaper bag… I can relate.

When she writes about desperately trying to get her toddler son to take a nap because his nap time is mommy’s “sacred time”… I was so there.

While I have never been able to relate to the moms out there who have matching baby accessories, video cameras focused on their sleeping cherubs, and who know how to effectively remove every stain known to mankind from their children’s clothing. I am able to relate to a funny, sharp witted, intelligent, and honest mom who realizes that while she loves her children, being a mom is a tough, tough job that without humor can crush even the strongest woman.

With great insight and giving us lessons learned, Hunter shares with us her battle stories of mommy-hood from deep in the trenches, poopy diapers, dried lady bug carcasses and all. She will make you laugh, she’ll make you cry, she’ll make you realize that you’re not alone when at the end of the day, after giving the kids their food; you decide that alcohol is enough of a food pyramid for you.

Disclosure:

I received a copy of this book  from the author for review.  I received no other compensation for this post.  My words and my opinions are my own.

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Specific to NH – composters available at Beaver Brook

I wrote about these composters last year in my column and wanted to let NH/Mass. local people know that once again they will be available from Beaver Brook in Hollis NH until April 2, 2010.

We got the composting bin last year and it is where the poop from the coop goes (along with yard clippings). Most of our food waste goes to our chickens who eat it and start breaking it down for us automatically (original composters that they are).

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Tired of seeing all of those kitchen leftovers from preparing meals and snacks get thrown out in the trash or eaten by critters in your makeshift composting bin in the backyard? Here’s your chance to turn those scraps into a rich soil amendment.

As part of Earth Day 2010 celebrations, Beaver Brook is participating in a statewide backyard composting bin sale. Through April 2, 2010, a home compost bin and how-to guide with a combined retail value of $100 can be purchased for only $47. The bin is black, has a 10 year warranty, and is made of 100% recycled plastic. It’s approximately 33″ high and 33″ wide or large enough for a family of five. Continue reading

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The Portion Plates – food for thought

We are continuing with using the Portion Plates at our house. Not a meal goes by that someone doesn’t ask if we are using the brightly colored, picture covered dishes.

At dinner, we each get our plate and put the food on it making sure that we stay to the guidelines. We still have sporadic grumbling about vegetables but everyone (even the resident cauliflower  hater) puts at least some veggies on their plate. Continue reading

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DVD review – Get Lean While You Clean – Carolyn Barnes

Carolyn Barnes, a mother of two young children and who has designed a routine for getting exercise while cleaning the house sent me her Get lean while you clean DVD. She had responded to a request of mine for advice on getting exercise when it’s cold outside and I was intrigued by her approach.

I checked out her website and saw her suggestions for things like doing heel raises at the pharmacy and while shopping. It was great stuff that made a lot of sense. I agreed to check out her DVD. Continue reading

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Book Review – The Power of Slow – 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, Christine Hohlbaum

Title: The Power of Slow- 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World

Author: Christine Louise Hohlbaum

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

ISBN: 978-0-312-57048-4

 

The Power of Slow – 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World is like a breath of fresh air reminding us that it is sometimes okay to just sit back and relax.

Backed with insightful exercises, Hohlbaum first leads you to the realization that time and being busy may not be what you do but may have become what you are. Statements like “I don’t have time , I’m out of time, No time today, I’m sooo busy, and We’re going to be late” are examined to see the role of being busy takes in our lives and if we are truly happy by being constantly consumed by time.

Written as a series of 11 chapters that build on each other, concepts covered include: Ten Ways to Improve Your Relationship to Time, Ten Ways to Move Forward When Your Just Don’t Want To, and Ten Ways to Do What You Do Best So Others Can, Too. This handy book not only gives you exercises to recognize your adverse relationship with time but also gives you strategies on ways to cut back, slow down, and just say no.

The Power of Slow goes beyond simple time management and tries instead to get to the root of behavior and in some cases, addiction to the rush of being under a time crunch. In the section of learning the importance of saying no, you are prompted to ask yourself the following questions before you agree to yet another obligation:

  1. Does the idea of saying yes to the project leave you breathless?
  2. Does the project make your heart sing or sink?
  3. If you are uncomfortable taking it on, locate the reasons for your discomfort. Are you fearful of tackling something new? Do you feel overwhelmed by the scope of the project?

 

The Power of Slow not only discusses slowing down and prioritizing your expenditure of energy, it also covers taking care of yourself so that you have the energy to expend. Under the topic of Protect the American Dream – Take a Nap, Hohlbaum states:

To quote Nancy Gibbs, “With too little sleep there are too few dreams.” How can you pursue the American Dream if you aren’t getting enough shut-eye to let that dream unfold? Sleep and fulfilled dreams go hand in hand.

With simple and precise logic Hohlbaum leads us through a series of self-analysis exercises and questions that ultimately help us clearly see our relationship to time and identify what might be getting in the way of our getting things done.

Christine Louise Hohlbaum is a public relations professional, freelance writer, and the author of S.A.H.M. I Am and Diary of a Mother. She lives near Munich Germany, with her husband and two children.

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Book Review: Black and White Strike Gold – sisterly business advice from lessons learned

Black and White Strike Gold
Authors: Sandi Webster and Peggy McHale
Publisher: C2G Publishing
ISBN 13: 978-0-9842786-0-2

Black and White Strike Gold is like having a mentoring older sister in the business who willingly takes you by the hand to guide you through the oftentimes difficult business owners’ waters.

Sandi Webster and Peggy McHale, both laid off from American Express as an aftereffect of the events of September 11th combined their formidable corporate experience to create a new business: Consultants 2 Go in 2002.

It didn’t take long for both of them to realize that life as a business owner was a little more difficult than they had imagined. Each time they came across and solved a problem, they would jokingly say to each other “here’s another one for our book”. Black and White Strike Gold is the collection of all of those valuable lessons.

Written in a conversational tone, the lessons in this book detail many of the pitfalls they encountered during the first few years of their business. Topics covered include: There are No Friends in Business, Beware the Naysayers, and Networking 101: Ten nuggets for Entrepreneurs and Job Hunters.

What sets this book apart from many of the other business advice books is the way in which the authors work so well together. Each chapter is primarily authored by one writer while the second writer adds her thoughts at the end.

Another notable difference from other business books is the candor with which the authors present their information. The section on hiring people talks about not one but two mistakes they made in hiring people for their company. How refreshing to hear that even top business owners are human as well.

Filled with 52 bite sized lessons, Black and White Strike Gold is the type of book you want to keep around to constantly remind you not only of what can happen when you are a business owner but also of what you can do about it.

Sandi Webster is one of the principals of Consultants 2 Go. She has spent years advising clients on the latest trends and strategies in marketing. She has over 20 years of experience and has managed all facets of new product launches, created and executed national mail campaigns, website launches and telemarketing programs.

Peggy McHale is also a principal of Consultants 2 Go and is a marketing guru acquiring her extensive senior management experience starting in telecommunications at AT&T, and ending an impressive corporate career as a vice president at American Express. She has developed marketing campaigns with wireless companies, credit card issuers, banks, insurance firms, and deregulated energy companies.

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Vapur – This just might be the world’s best water bottle

In doing some research for an upcoming article on The Top Ten Things You Should Give Your College Student this Holiday Season, I came across what just might be the world’s best water bottle.

Vapur - world's best water bottle

Vapur - world's best water bottle

It’s called Vapur and it is advertised as the anti-bottle. Here’s what is so neat about it, it stands like a bottle when full but folds, rolls, or flattens when it is empty. That’s right, it is a 16 oz reusable water bottle that comes with an attachment clip that can fold up and go into your pocket when it is empty. It’s sort of like those juice pouches but much sturdier. Continue reading

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