Help me pick out a Dress

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Help me pick out a Dress

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One of the highlights of last year for me was attending the red carpet premier for both Thor Dark World and Delivery Man.  They were amazing opportunities and I’m so excited to say that I’ve been invited to Los Angeles again! I’ve been on the Plan Z diet now for just over a month and I am feeling fabulous.  One of the numerous reasons that I wanted to lose weight is to look good.  Yes it sounds shallow, but it is honest.  While I’m there I’ll also be attending a live show of Dancing with the Stars!

I’ve been feeling so great and love that I’m wearing smaller sizes. I decided to head into town last week and start searching for a dress. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to look good in a shorter dress! I always felt like they were just colorful potato sacks.  In fact I had such a great time shopping for a dress I bought two! I need your help with making a choice.  Here are the two dresses I’m trying to choose between:

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Help me pick my Dress
Which dress do you think I should wear on the Red Carpet?

I’d love to get your opinions in the comments below as well.  I will be in LA in 2 weeks and I’ll post a picture live of me wearing the dress. I also can’t wait to show you how much weight of lost!

Are you ready to change your life and lose with me? Do you want more information? Head on over to Plan Z Diet and watch their  video to find out more.

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My Leather Jacket of Inspiration

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My Leather Jacket of Inspiration

I’ve told you last week about how I started my weight loss journey. I am very happy to share with you that I am down 14 pounds! In fact, here’s a picture from this past weekend when I was in California. Not only can I wear pants I have not been able to in years, but I can tell in my face that I’m losing weight.

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While I shared some of the reasons I wanted to lose weight I also wanted to share with you some of the things that inspire me. Yes, I love wearing smaller clothes and yes I want to wear cute clothes again, but the truth is I’m a sugar addict.  I went through some major withdrawal and I’m learning to appreciate the natural sweetness of fruits.  I do have to be intentional though and not even bring sugary treats in the house.  I’m also learning to make healthier dessert options so I get that “sweetness” I crave with out eating things that are not good for me. I’ll be sharing a delicious fall dessert with you soon!

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One of the first gifts that my husband gave me after we were married was a black leather jacket. We’d wear them out everywhere together. It was comfy and it kept me warm.  About 5 years ago it was a little bit more snug.  I can’t even get it on now.  My husband still wears his. He has offered to buy me another one but I really want to wear the original jacket I received 8 years ago.  I keep it hanging on my closet door and think about how nice it will look on me when it fits.

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I have found seeing older pictures of me wearing my jacket inspire me too. I can’t wait until it fits again!  What do you do that inspires you to stick with your goals?

Are you ready to change your life and lose with me? Do you want more information? Head on over to Plan Z Diet and watch their  video to find out more.

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I am Protective of the Things I Love

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I am Protective of the Things I Love #IAmProtective

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“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
-Albert Einstein

I prefer the second way to live my life because life truly is a miracle.  I have quite a few miracles that I’m thankful for and very protective of.  I grew up in Florida and we went through lots of hurricanes.  My dad ALWAYS prepped. It didn’t matter what path they predicted. If we were near the cone’s path my dad had the shutters up and all our supplies. There were a lot of times that people thought he was to cautious and overdoing it.  That all changed in August of 1992.

I was in junior high and Hurricane Andrew was headed towards south FL.  We all went to bed  thinking it was going one way and at the last minute it turned. I know we were certainly glad my dad had prepared.

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Now we have kids that are having kids I have all sorts of grown up questions that go through my mind like … How much life insurance do I need? How can I protect the ones I love? How can I keep them safe?  Even though I’m grown up I don’t have all those answers.  All I can do is prepare like my dad taught me.

I learned that life insurance is just one part of your financial picture. I was able to check out Protective’s Learning Center. I found information that helped me understand life insurance options as well as other financial issues that I could face. From college planning to life insurance basics and retirement, they’ve got us covered.

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I can’t control the weather or natural disasters.  I can’t control the decisions our kids or grand daughter will make or the decisions those around them will make. I can only prepare them and make sure they are taken care of should something happen to me or my husband.

How do you protect those you love?

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Join others to make a world of difference – Immunizations and Life Saving Vaccines

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*This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GetAShot #CollectiveBias

Join others to make a world of difference – Immunizations and Life Saving Vaccines

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One of my favorite memories from high school is when I traveled to Zimbabwe, Africa.  It was the trip of a lifetime.  I remember getting immunizations and shots to prepare to go to another country.  I was not prepared however for how it would change my life. I was a 16 year old, obnoxious, American teenager.  I wasn’t rude or anything, just very unaware of the world around me.  My whole world was my home, my school, and my friends and family.

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I lived with an African family and had an amazing time. I ate foods I had never heard of and even learned how to play cricket.  I enjoyed tea and milk at tea time and made life time friends. Even now, 20 years later, I still keep in touch with the family I stayed with.  They had a lovely home, but were missing some amenities that I assumed everyone had.  I learned to take quick showers to do conserving water and I even got sick when I drank the water.

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I experienced baboon crossing and learned that not everyone had a house with a TV or even beds. The family I lived with had a big house and we all had beds, but there are parts of the country where that was not the case. One of my favorite stories from when we returned home was that the youngest son, PJ, kept going in the guest room to “smell the American girls” because it smelled like our deodorant.  It was so strange to me that deodorant was a luxury.

Join others to make a world of difference - Immunizations and Life Saving Vaccines Walgreens Get a Shot. Give a Shot.  #GetAShot #CollectiveBias #shop #cbias #africa donna

I was also able to experience one of the seven wonders of the world, Victoria Falls.  I saw what a third world civilization looked like and even experienced starving children barefoot begging for food and money.  I learned that white socks were more valuable than money. I traded every pair my mom packed for me for trinkets from the street market.  My trip to Africa changed me for the better.  I learned to appreciate what I had.

Join others to make a world of difference - Immunizations and Life Saving Vaccines Walgreens Get a Shot. Give a Shot.  #GetAShot #CollectiveBias #shop #cbias #africa donna

I’m really excited about Walgreens Get a Shot. Give a Shot. program where you can pledge to get your flu shot or any other immunization at Walgreens and help provide a lifesaving vaccine to a child in a developing country through the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life program.

Get a Shot. Give a Shot is a Walgreens led campaign in partnership with the United Nation Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign. From September 2nd through October 13th, for every flu shot or other immunization you receive at Walgreens, you will help provide a life-saving vaccine to a child in a developing country through the United Nation Foundation’s Shot@Life Campaign.

This is the season where I get sick so I get my annual flu shot. I love that this year not only will my shot make a difference in keeping me well, but it will get a child a lifesaving vaccine in a developing country.  Together this campaign can supply up to 3 Million vaccines to kids that need it most! Will you be taking the pledge?

*A big thanks to my sister, Breanne, who took the pictures.

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What did you do last week? I lost 10 lbs with the help of the Plan Z Diet!

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donnahup Plan Z disclaimer What did you do last week? I lost 10 lbs with the help of the Plan Z Diet!

The month of September has flown by.  I have been incredibly busy and usually have a hard time telling you what I did yesterday let alone the past week.  This week is different though, there’s something that’s made my smile a little bigger and has me walking taller. I have lost 10 pounds! Yes, they’re gone and I’m not looking for them. I do not want them back.

One of the reasons that I’ve been so busy is there have been a lot of fall festivities and group outings. While we’re out my friends and I love taking pictures of each other and the fun we’re having. I was looking at the pictures and had a hard time accepting what I looked like.  I look in the mirror every day when I get dressed and I guess I had convinced myself I wasn’t “that fat”.  Fat is such an ugly word in my opinion, but it’s the truth.  I had to admit to myself I was fat and I didn’t like it.

I started thinking about how I was out of breath when I walked up and down the stairs when doing laundry.  I seemed to be having more back problems too lately.  I know it’s not healthy for my body to have all this extra weight.  I am tired of looking and feeling fat. I decided I needed to do something about it.

I started the Plan Z Diet and it has been amazing! Yes, I have been on diets before and they seem to work in the beginning and then I seem to end up right where I began.  This is completely different because it’s more a lifestyle change.

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This is what I had for lunch the other day.  I love Mexican food and this had so much flavor. I was full at the end of lunch also.  Every diet I have ever been on has had me eat their food or take a pill.  I really love that I am able to eat real food and learn. Yes, it’s great to lose weight, but my issue has always been after the diet when I say “what do I do now?”

This past week along with my weight loss I have learned about portion size.  I have also made some amazingly delicious meals.

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The grilled steak and Balsamic Onions were so good!! The onions have become one of my favorite side dishes.  I even get to have dessert! Now we’re not talking sugary junk, but really good food. I had Apple Raspberry bake the other night and it was like eating warm home made pie. So. Good.

Not only are the recipes (that they give you) amazing, but they support you all along the way.  They want you to succeed and stand behind their Diet.  I receive daily emails with tips and encouragement.  It truly is a lifestyle change.

Are you ready to change your life and lose with me? Do you want more information? Head on over to Plan Z Diet and watch their  video to find out more.

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Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres

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Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres

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I am so excited that Fall is here! Growing up in south Florida we didn’t really have seasons. Okay, we had summer and hurricane season. We also bundled up when it hit 70 degrees.  Things have definitely changed for this girl.  I love that I get real seasons! Fall and Winter are my favorites.

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I love the smells of Fall and seeing the beautiful colors.  I was trying to explain to my 7 yr old nephew (who lives in FL) last year that the tree really did have red leaves. I sent him a picture and he could still hardly believe it. I also love the activities that come with this time of year. Last week the other North Iowa bloggers made a trip to Enchanted Acres.

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Where do I begin? There is so much to do! It’s a great place for families and there is something for everyone. I love the grounds. There is a beautiful red barn and so many picture opportunities, which I made sure to take advantage of. I want to give a thank you to Jeni from Jeni Eats. She was kind enough to take my picture all day. If it’s a picture of me, Jeni probably took it.

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There was a playground with huge tractor tires, a fire pit with benches to sit around it, and animals!

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They had goats and chickens. I got to pet the goats and even hold a baby chicken!  The baby chickens from Hoover’s Hatchery were adorable!

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Inside, Shannon explained to us the difference between types of pumpkins. I had no idea certain ones were better for baking!  She has a huge pumpkin patch too! I can’t wait to go back in a few weeks and get some.

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We had so much fun making Pumpkin Pie in a bag. It was surprisingly easy. Katy from Learning as I Go and Sara from All in an Iowa Mom’s Day are working on the filling here. I’m not sure if it’s a midwest thing, but I have never made it.  I also loved that everyone could take part. Val from Corn, Beans, Pigs, and Kids brought her two little ones and they were able to participate also.

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Amy from Modern Rural Living and I had a modified version (no crust) so we got extra whip cream. My favorite part was trying our creation. Our pumpkin pie in a cup was delicious! This is something I would totally do with my nephews and nieces!

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We also got to participate in arts & crafts! We used duck tape and modge podge to decorate pumpkins! It was so much fun.  Make sure to check out their Calendar of Events for the different projects and story times.

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We all made a few and mine are sitting on my dining room table now.  It was such a great day. I can’t wait to go back! I highly recommend it for a day of fall fun!

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13 Misconceptions about Depression

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13 Misconceptions about Depression #ThisIsDepression #YouAreNotAlone

It’s been over a week and all the talk about depression has ceased.  The problem is that for those of us who battle depression it has not ceased. In fact we face it every single day.   It doesn’t go away when people stop talking about it.  I thought that it might be nice to bring up some common misconceptions about depression.

Last week I wrote my most personal post ever. I poured my heart out and confessed to the world that I have a daily battle with Depression.  I am so grateful for the *mostly* positive response I received.  I opened my email to multiple letters with multiple messages.

Thank you for sharing your story.  You are not alone.  I’m here if you need anything. If you can stand up so can I, I’m going to talk to someone.

I also lost some friends.  They were not rude, they never even said a word. They just walked away, unfriended me on Facebook, and went on with their lives with out me.  I’m not really sure why they left.  I didn’t insult them.  Maybe they were uncomfortable? Maybe they don’t know how to respond or what to say?  I’m finding as I read other articles on the web about depression it seems there are a lot of misconceptions and scary theories out there.

I’m not a mental health expert or a counselor but I have been there. Sometimes there is comfort in that alone. I remember the day my mother died.  She was very sick and I’m very thankful she is in a better place. Really, I am. I am so glad I didn’t have to watch her suffer another day (she died of cancer).  She was one of my best friends and it tore me up.   Everyone’s words and presence was greatly appreciated. There was one friend though that had lost her mom a few years prior also to cancer and just her saying she was there for me was extra special. I knew all my friends would be there for me, that they all loved me and they’d all do anything I needed.  I knew though that she “got it” She understood exactly what I was feeling even though I was not able to express it.

I feel the that way about depression.  Why am I standing up and letting the whole world know? Well if one person reading my words, the one who hides the same secret battle … if they realize they’re not alone and I (we) get it, then maybe they’ll get help too.  I read in all these posts and news articles that if you’re depressed you should get help, yet they say such ignorant things. I’m sure they mean well, but I feel that they don’t have their facts straight.  They just don’t seem to “get it” Why would anyone want to stand up and get help after reading what they think of people with depression?  My hope in this post is to clear up some of the ignorant misconceptions.

You’re just having a bad day, everyone does.

Yes, everyone has bad days.  Some even have days worse than others.  I have had bad days and good days.  I also have depression. Having a bad day and being depressed are NOT the same thing.  They’re not even close. I worked at a pharmacy through high school and college and was held up and robbed one night there. That was a really bad day.  When I slip into my deep dark funks they aren’t even close. Circumstances make bad days, feelings that arouse from those circumstances.  Depression is a state of mind.  Everything can go right on a day and I am still depressed.  It has nothing to do with circumstances around me.   I am not sad – I’m in deep dark despair.

You just need joy. You just need to be positive.

I’m not sure if you read the recent post that talked about this, but I did and I think it bothered me more than some of the other misconceptions.  This is what was said:

“In the end, joy is the only thing that defeats depression. No depressed person in the history of the world has ever been in the depths of despair and at the heights of joy at the same time.”

Seriously?  Anyone who knows me knows that I have joy and I am a joyful person. It is not an act. Just because I don’t go around telling everyone I also have depression does not mean I do not have joy. Psalm 28:7 says “the joy of the Lord is my strength” and it truly is. Holding on to that truth helps me fight each day. I love people, my family, my friends, life, living and having fun.  I am a positive person. I always see the glass “half full” and try to find the silver lining in every situation. I also have depression.

You can’t have depression because you have an awesome life.

I do have an awesome life. I have amazing family and amazing friends. I am married to my best friend who loves me no matter what. I get to travel and meet people all over. I get to do fun things for a living like zip lining, meeting celebrities, cooking, helping kids, watching movies. I constantly have people telling me they’re jealous of my life. I am forever grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and continue to have.  I have a life better than I could have ever hoped for. I still have depression.  My depression never focuses on my life. It focuses on me. Here’s a few of the lies depression tells me. You’re no good.  You are so far gone that you’re only dragging down the ones you love. They would be so much happier if you were gone.  You are a waste of space.  Yes, as I type this I know none of that is true.  But if you were listening it never said anything about my job, home, the car I drive. Now, some people have lost everything and they are also depressed. I can’t imagine that added to the pain of depression and their battle may be a bit different than mine. I’m sure that plays into their depression and does not help them with the fight, but my point is you can have an awesome life and still have depression. Depression does not discriminate.

It’s not a real medical illness.

The NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) defines depression as:

Major depression is a mood state that goes well beyond temporarily feeling sad or blue. It is a serious medical illness that affects one’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health. Depression is a life-long condition in which periods of wellness alternate with recurrences of illness.

I think this is one of the biggest misconceptions when people believe it’s not an illness they open the door to a lot of the other misconceptions.

It’s a choice.

I wish this was true. I would choose to never be depressed again in a heartbeat. The reality that it is not a choice is another debilitating factor of having depression.  You try so hard to fight it and it just won’t go away no matter how badly you desire it to.

You just need to get over it. Just snap out of it.

You hear people comparing depression to cancer and while it’s not the same thing, the point is it is a disease and you can’t just “snap your fingers” and be cured.  Here are some other common diseases and illnesses: Alzheimer’s, Asthma, Crohn’s Disease, Diabetes, Eczema, Epilepsy, Infertility, Polio, Tuberculosis  Some are worse than others, each is different and those fighting them have their own battles.  Would you ever walk up to any one with those illnesses and tell them to get over it? No, it’s ridiculous to even think about it.  Why is depression any different? It’s an illness too.

Maybe the problem is that the organ that is being affected is the brain.  Yeah, that must be it. Oh, wait. Tumors and cancer can also affect the brain and you would never tell anyone with a brain tumor or brain cancer to snap out of it because they can’t. I have depression and I can NOT snap out of it.

Yes, at times my illness is better than others. I can totally do things that help keep it under control. That is why I would encourage any one battling depression to seek help.  I am in a good place. It’s not always been that way and lately (the last few years) I’ve had many more “good days” then “bad days” in my fight.

You’re just being lazy.

No, I’m exhausted. I am physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.  There are days it’s a fight to get out of bed. I am that overwhelmed and drained from fighting depression daily.

It’s all in your head.

While it may start in my head it is physically painful. When I am in the deep and dark despair it physically hurts.  My chest tightens and has sharp pain. My head hurts. It’s beyond difficult to breath.  People that have had panic attacks thought they were having a heart attack due to the physical pain.

13 Misconceptions about Depression #ThisIsDepression #YouAreNotAlone

You are being selfish.

I addressed this when I talked about my own suicide attempt. The last thing I was thinking was how ending my life would be good for me. I thought about my family, my friends, the people I loved and I thought about how I’d be rescuing them and saving them from myself. Yes, it’s twisted, I know. It makes no sense and that is part of the problem. Depression distorts all logic.

I read a great post that compared depression to a person trapped in a burning high rise. It stemmed from this quote from David Foster Wallace.

The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise.

There are some pretty famous people that have suffered from depression – Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, George Patton, Florence Nightingale, Sir Isaac Newton, Ludwig von Beethoven and Michelangelo. I never really thought of any of them as selfish.

You just want attention.

Yes, after hearing people talk about Depressed people as selfish, lazy, and weak I thought, man I need that kind of attention. If I say it affects me they’ll see me as selfish, lazy and weak! Sign me up. Um, yeah, that thought never ever crossed my mind. You know what did cross my mind? I thought about how embarrassing and humiliating it was going to be to tell people. The day after I posted I fought depression I was sure that when I went out in public everyone was looking at me and whispering about me behind my back.  The truth is they probably have no clue who I am and don’t even care. Not that they are not caring people, but they have their own battles they’re dealing with.

Saying you have depression is a sign of weakness.

Try again.  Did you read some of these misconceptions? Saying I have depression despite people thinking I’m selfish, lazy, and weak is brave.  It’s courageous. Unfortunately it should not be this way. You never hear people telling others they’re brave for admitting they have diabetes, cancer, asthma, or eczema.  You will probably hear people telling others they’re so brave for fighting so hard when they have cancer. I know my mom was brave when she fought cancer for 4 years. We’ve already established that depression is a real disease. I should not be seen as being brave for saying I have depression. I should be brave for fighting it.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela

It will go away if you just ignore it.

Depression is a REAL disease and it does not get better by just ignoring it. In fact, it refuses to be ignored.  The longer you try to hide, stuff, ignore, and just not deal with it the more it tears you apart and sends you into a tailspin of despair and utter hopelessness.

Depression is no big deal – it’s not that serious.

Really?  Since when is death not that serious? Here are some terrifying statistics:

  • Nearly 30,000 Americans commit suicide every year.
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds and 2nd for 24 to 35-year-olds.
  • On average, 1 person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes.
  • Each suicide intimately affects at least 6 other people.
  • About 2/3 of people who complete suicide are depressed at the time of their deaths. Depression that is untreated, undiagnosed, or ineffectively treated is the number 1 cause of suicide.
  • There is 1 suicide for every 25 attempted suicides.
  •  1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 commit suicide each year.

I don’t know about you, but that’s serious.  We need to look at the facts and stop shaming those who are just sick.  They are human beings that have an illness called depression. How on earth can you expect them to seek help for this illness if you keep telling them it’s all in their head?

If you EVER feel like it’s no longer worth it or if you’re starting to think about talking your own life please get help.  You can call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

13 Misconceptions about Depression #ThisIsDepression #YouAreNotAlone

My Dad the Soldier, More than just a Clean Shave and a Uniform

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SmoothSummer#CollectiveBias

My Dad the Soldier, More than just a Clean Shave and a Uniform

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I have a lot of respect for soldiers for numerous reasons. They are brave, they fight to protect our country, they give their all which sometimes includes their very own life. I also have a special connection to soldiers, because my dad was one. He was a Marine.  He is a Marine. He may be retired, but it’s still part of him. Though he’s a soldier, he’s more than just a clean shave and a uniform.

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He signed up during the Vietnam War when he was 17. He wanted to be a soldier so much that he told them he was 18.

I can not imagine being in the middle of a war and fighting other human beings no matter what the cause. I realize it’s a part of life, but I’m too emotional. I’d probably cry and get myself shot by the enemy or someone on the front lines with me. That is one of the numerous reasons I am not a soldier.

 

The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.  -G.K. Chesterton

My dad is amazing. Not only can he defend our country, but he takes care of our family and even enjoys being silly.

My Dad the Soldier, More than just a Clean Shave and a Uniform #SmoothSummer  #shop #cbias donnahup

This may explain a lot for those of you who personally know me!  Yes, my dad is a lot of fun.  As much as we like to play and joke around he still looks like a soldier. I think it’s something that is just part of him.  He still wears the “buzz cut” and likes to be clean shaven. His clean look on the outside matches the discipline on the inside.  Yes, despite riding the shopping cart in the IKEA parking lot, he is still very polite, respectful, and well just what you would expect from a soldier.

My Dad the Soldier, More than just a Clean Shave and a Uniform #SmoothSummer  #shop #cbias donnahup

That clean cut look is very important to him. He shaves every day and we just found the new Gillette Flexball Razor which he really likes.  We found it at Walmart in the shaving section.

Gillette Flexball Razor My Dad the Soldier, More than just a Clean Shave and a Uniform #SmoothSummer  #shop #cbias donnahup

It was hard to miss, because as I went by there was a motion detector that set off this display:

I remember being younger and cuddling with my dad. He would rock us in his big rocking chair.  One weekend for some reason he had not shaved yet that day and I remember telling him his kisses were prickly on my cheek.

My Dad the Soldier, More than just a Clean Shave and a Uniform #SmoothSummer  #shop #cbias donnahup

All my memories (clean shaven, prickly kisses, shopping cart races, etc) remind me of what a great man my dad was and still is today.

Dad Marine My Dad the Soldier, More than just a Clean Shave and a Uniform #SmoothSummer  #shop #cbias donnahup

His good looks on the outside represent the type of quality man he is on the inside. Yet, he is so much more than just the uniform he wore to protect our country.  He is a quality man for sure, but more than that ….

My Dad the Soldier, More than just a Clean Shave and a Uniform #SmoothSummer  #shop #cbias donnahup

He’s more than a soldier, more than a clean shave, and more than a uniform. He’s my Dad!

Do you have a soldier in your life? How are they more than just the uniform to you?

Follow Krystal’s Kitsch’s board Smooth Faces of Summer on Pinterest.

donnahup.com receives free products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. All opinions expressed are solely from donnahup.com. See donnahup.com’s Disclosure Policy for complete details. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

 

Norton by Symantec antivirus software for Back to School

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This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me by Coupons.com. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic.

Norton 360

I can clearly remember being in the 6th grade and sitting with my friends by our lockers. I went to a preschool through 12th grade school and often the Seniors would cut through our 6th grade hallway on their way to their next class. I remember watching them walk by thinking “I will never be a senior … it’s soooo far away”.  I got tired of hearing my mom say that time would fly by even faster the older I got. It seems like yesterday I watched the seniors walk by and my 20 year reunion is coming up in 2016. How is that possible?!

Things were a lot different when I was in high school than they are now.  Wow, I totally sound like my mom!  I remember when I got my first phone.  I got it my senior year of high school and it looked something like this:

primeco

Yep, complete with the slide up earpiece.  I didn’t even have my own laptop until my first year of college.

Now, they give each of the kids a MacBook to bring home during the school.  Our munchkins all have their own tablets and a few of them even have a cell phone.

stacia grad logan grad

 

Whether you have a high school grad that is advancing to college or a preschooler graduating to Kindergarten things are different for them. They do a lot of their school work and studying on their computers. It would stink if they lost a report or their homework from a crazy computer virus.  I found found that you can get protection for up to 5 devices with the Norton 360 Multi-Device. It works on PC’s, Mac’s and mobile devices.  Right now you can even save $40 on it with the Norton by Symantec coupons .

 

BX_N360V6E_140

  • A single solution 
  • Active protection
  • Automatic, silent updates
  • PC performance processes
  • Loss-prevention tools let you locate missing phones and tablets, while backing up files and contacts to protect them

I don’t know about you, but I want our kids to succeed. Part of that is making sure they have all the tools they need.

 

donnahup.com receives free products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. All opinions expressed are solely from donnahup.com. See donnahup.com’s Disclosure Policy for complete details. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

My Daily Battle with Depression

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Some of my favorite movies are Jumanji, Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, Jack, Patch Adams, Mrs Doubtfire, Hook …. do you see where I am going with this? Yes, they all star Robin Williams.  I have many more movie favorites, but really I want to talk about the tragedy from yesterday.  Unless you do not have internet, social media, contact with others then you know that Mr Williams passed away yesterday morning.  Although, if you don’t have internet, social media, etc then you wouldn’t be here on my blog. I digress which I tend to do when I get nervous.  Why would his death make me nervous? Well, it brings to light a battle. I also fight a similar battle.

My Daily Battle with Depression

My Daily Battle with Depression donnahup

This is me and what you can’t see is the battle that I fight Every. Single. Day.  I battle depression.  This smile is genuine and right now I’m in a really great place.  The reason for that is I fight every day to stay there.  I’ve read posts and comments on posts on depression today and I wanted to address some of these remarks from someone who has “been there”.

What qualifies me? Well, I’ve battled depression for a long time.  I’ve lost three family members to suicide and I have tried to take my own life.  **I want to stress I am not suicidal** I have friends and family members that read my blog and you don’t need to worry or be concerned.  I can honestly say I don’t have any suicidal thoughts *but* I did have them in the past.  My husband, sisters, dad, and some of my closest friends already know this about me and thank goodness they’re supportive and loving.  I know this will come as a shock to a lot of people that know me, but I feel like this needs to be brought to light.

One comment I heard a lot was how people couldn’t believe Robin Williams was depressed.  Depression is a deep dark sickness that is embarrassing and shameful (it should not be and I’ll come back to that).  While I can’t speak for Mr Williams, I can tell you that most people who know me would never believe I get depressed. It’s not something I like talking about. Well, I’m now sharing it with the entire world, but up until now I didn’t want anyone to know.

The other thing that bothered me was hearing that suicide is selfish.  Yes, from a logical point of view it is. I agree and I understand. The problem is when you are fighting depression you have bad days.  I call these “funks” for no other reason then it sounds better than “I’m spiraling out of control into a deep dark place”.  When I say to my husband “I’m in a funk” he knows it’s a cry for help and I need help pulling out of it.  During these funks you don’t think logically, that’s part of the sickness of depression.

niagra falls My Daily Battle with Depression donnahup

Above is a picture of Niagra Falls that I took on a dark and over cast day.  It’s one of the best pictures I can use to describe a dark day. I feel like the whole world is on one side of the cliff and I’m alone on the other side.  I know I need to get to the other side – the side where everyone is normal and happy, but I don’t know how to get there. Sometimes I start a bridge and make progress (having better days than others) and other times I’m hanging on for dear life while rejection, self hate, deep dark sadness, and despair wash over me.  It is during those dark times that suicide comes to mind.  First, it physically hurts. I mean really, really hurts.  There is a sharp and terrible pain inside and it’s hard to breath.  I just want relief. I don’t want my family and loved ones worrying about me, in fact they’d probably be better off if I were gone <— That my friends, is one of the biggest lies depression tells you.  The whole paragraph sounds crazy, but it’s how I feel when I’m in those funks.  I can’t see logic when I’m in those dark places.  When you tell someone who has tried to take their life they are selfish you are only causing them to spiral deeper into that dark place.  Let me repeat, don’t EVER tell someone that suffers from depression or tries to take their life that they are selfish.  It does not matter if you believe they are. They need help.  That is not helping.  You need to let them know how much you love them and need them.  Tell them how much you would miss them if they were gone.

The problem with depression is it’s a sickness that can’t be seen.  My mom fought breast cancer for 4 years.  The cancer spread into her bones and then into her liver before it killed her.  You could see she was sick.  She lost her hair. She lost a lot of weight. She looked frail.  You can see physical evidence when someone is paralyzed, has Parkinson’s, has a stroke, and has cancer. You can not tell by looking if someone battles depression. I am not saying one battle is harder than the other – they are different. I don’t have the first clue what someone goes through daily when trying to fight cancer or Parkinson’s.  I do know what it is to fight depression.

I feel like depression is often looked down upon because it can’t be seen and really those people that have never really fought it, have no idea what it’s like.  I know for me I don’t want people to know because I don’t want them to see me differently.  I’m still me.  So, why did I just pour my heart out to everyone?  Well, if there’s just one person that sees this and realizes they’re not alone, that other people feel the same way and they get help it will be worth all embarrassment and humiliation from making this known.

If you EVER feel like it’s no longer worth it or if you’re starting to think about talking your own life please get help.  You can call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Another problem is a lot of people think you can just “get over it” or “think happier thoughts”. Depression does not work that way.  It’s not a switch you can turn on and off.  I am doing a lot better.  First, I went to counseling. I also admitted out loud to my husband, family, and friends that depression is a daily battle for me. How can they help and support me if they don’t even know I’m fighting?  I also have God.  No, this is not a “religious post” and I won’t try to sell you anything, but it gives me hope.  When you’re in deep despair hope is a light at the end of that dark tunnel.  In fact the counseling was a christian counselor from church and she gave me tools to help fight my daily battles.  Each day I do better, but with any battle it’s when you stop fighting (yes it’s tiring and I feel like stopping and resting often) that the darkness creeps back in.

I hurt for Robin Williams’ family and friends.  I feel so sorry for their loss. I especially hurt for him, that he hurt so badly that he could not go on living another moment. I feel sad that someone else fighting the battle of depression lost their fight.  Here’s the silver lining – through this terrible tragedy I am seeing an overwhelming number of posts, comments, discussions and more on depression.  Do you know how many people commit suicide every day? On average, 1 person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes.  That should bother you! I know it does me.  We need to stop ignoring this sickness called Depression.  The time is now.

*I do not mind comments with different opinions on this subject. I feel that discussion is healthy and good.  I will NOT tolerate mean comments. I don’t care if you agree with me or not on this subject. I will delete your post if you attack or bully with your words.

If you EVER feel like it’s no longer worth it or if you’re starting to think about talking your own life please get help.  You can call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

 

BACK TO SCHOOL 101: Stay in the Know, on the Go

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*I am a member of the US Cellular Blogger Brigade.  This shop has been compensated as part of their program. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own. 

BACK TO SCHOOL 101: Stay in the Know, on the Go

BACK TO SCHOOL 101: Stay in the Know, on the Go #uscellular #bloggerbrigade #bettermoments donnahup
It’s that time again! Can you believe it?! School starts September 2nd for us here in North Iowa. I can see in my Facebook feed though that lots of students have already started back.  This can be an excited time yet overwhelming for not only the students, but their family members and teachers as well.  Even those who don’t have kids in school have some adjusting to do (commutes to work, etc).  Technology is awesome and can totally help you get back into the groove of your fall and winter routines.

BACK TO SCHOOL 101: Stay in the Know, on the Go #uscellular #bloggerbrigade #bettermoments donnahup

I know one question I hear being discussed is at what age should you send a child off with a cellphone? I really think the best answer is “it depends”   A phone is a HUGE responsibility and some children are able to handle that responsibility at a younger age than others.  There needs to be open communication on what expectations there are from both sides.  Here is a free Parent Child Agreement that really helps start that conversation.

BACK TO SCHOOL 101: Stay in the Know, on the Go #uscellular #bloggerbrigade #bettermoments donnahup

I think having a cell phone is especially important if you have kids involved in extra curricular activities.  What if their practice gets cancelled or gets out 30 minutes early? Obviously they will have to abide by the school’s rules on phones and tablets, but it is really nice that they can get a hold of you.  I love that we are with U.S. Cellular’s 4G LTE network because if they need to get a hold of me even if I’m on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere they can!

Did you know that the Samsung Galaxy S5 even has a kid mode? It’s a very easy set up.  Also, if you download the Free Parent/Child Agreement they will know what you expect of them.

hether students forget to check for homework assignments or miss class due to illness, students don’t want to fall behind.  Access to information and connecting with teachers and other students is just a click away with the help of smartphones and tablets.  Did you know that according to a recent survey by U.S. Cellular, 74 percent of households with children under the age of 18 have at least one tablet. Tablets and smartphones are becoming a simple tool to ensure students keep making the grade.

BACK TO SCHOOL 101: Stay in the Know, on the Go #uscellular #bloggerbrigade #bettermoments donnahup

Also, according to a recent Student Mobile Device Survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 87 percent of students would like to use digital textbooks so they don’t have to carry so much in their backpacks.  And half of those students surveyed use their pocket-friendly smartphones instead of tablets.

Tablets are also being used in the classroom; learning apps, eBooks, online educational videos and internet access can all enhance the learning experience.  Here in Northwood, our students are sent home with a computer to help complete assignments.  They are really encouraging using technology.

With reliable mobile access to the internet on a robust network such as a 4G LTE network/high-speed network through U.S. Cellular, teachers and students can effectively harness the full capability of this technology even in a super tiny town like Northwood.

Students, teachers and parents can optimize their connected learning experience with the help of the following apps recommended by U.S. Cellular:

  • Skype (Android) / Facetime (iOS): These free Internet video calling services allow teachers and students to collaborate wherever they are.  Teachers can bring guest speakers into class to discuss their expertise, thereby demonstrating how school subjects are relevant to real life.  Students can take virtual field trips anywhere in the world.  No permission slip required.
  • Teacher’s Assistant Pro: Featured in USA Today as one of the best teacher apps, Teacher’s Assistant Pro ($3.99 download) allows teachers to keep track of student actions, behaviors and achievements in the classroom. Using an iPhone or iPad, teachers can record student infractions and accolades, create a detailed written description of the event, and communicate with parents, reducing time consuming paperwork.
  • Notability: This powerful note-taker app is free and allows iOS and Android users to complete worksheets, sketch ideas, keep a journal, integrate photos and record a lecture, and keep it all in one place.  Use the search feature to quickly locate notes by title or content.  Share with others using iCloud or Google Drive.
  • DropBox: This cloud-based file sharing and storage free app lets users circulate files from different locations over different networks.  Turn in and return assignments, provide up-to-date syllabi from different locations quickly, and post grades securely and easily.

 

I’m also excited to share that U.S. Cellular is donating $1 million to fund teacher classroom projects through its Calling All Teachers program! How cool is that?! Last year, the company contributed $500,000 towards educational materials for improved classroom experiences. U.S. Cellular is working with DonorsChoose.org for a fourth time and encourages teachers to post their projects on the site for potential funding. DonorsChoose.org is a charity website that helps teachers identify funds from corporate and individual donations for classroom projects.

Through U.S. Cellular’s ongoing commitment to the community and education, the company has contributed more than $7 million through this and other philanthropic programming. Starting today K-12 public school teachers can register online at DonorsChoose.org and affiliate as a U.S. Cellular teacher. Then beginning August 11, they can post their classroom projects for funding consideration. Through DonorsChoose.org U.S. Cellular has funded more than 4,500 classroom projects to date, which included technology tools, art equipment and science experiments. All projects must be submitted by September 21 to be eligible for this year’s funding.  Selected projects will be in announced in October.

donnahup.com receives free products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. All opinions expressed are solely from donnahup.com. See donnahup.com’s Disclosure Policy for complete details. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Chip Tasting & Voting Party

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Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Chip Tasting & Voting Party

What is a friend? I will tell you … it is someone with whom you dare to be yourself.

-Frank Crane

I’m quirky, I’ll admit it and I’m really okay with that.  I like doing silly things like Mega Bundt (two years in a row!) and just having fun.  I think I have some amazing friends and I love that we can hang out together and just be ourselves silliness and all. I’m so grateful I’ve had a chance to connect with some fun North Iowa bloggers that I can hang with! We decided to have a get together.  Of course get together’s are always more fun with friends, great food, and a fun theme!

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Chip Tasting & Voting Party #FoundFlavor #SaveBaconMac #NorthIowaBloggers donnahup

Have you heard about Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Campaign?  Each year they take submissions for new flavors.  This year there are four finalists and we decided to really take our responsibility in taking on this #FoundFlavor Challenge.

Meet the Finalists:

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Chip Tasting & Voting Party #FoundFlavor #SaveBaconMac #NorthIowaBloggers donnahup

There are four finalists we had to decide between: Wasabi & Ginger, Cappuccino, Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, and Mango Salsa.  We had a whole tasting station with pen and paper to document our thoughts on each flavor and a highly efficient method of voting – smiley face stickers!

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Chip Tasting & Voting Party #FoundFlavor #SaveBaconMac #NorthIowaBloggers donnahup

We poured all the chips into their own sections which were labeled of course and the tasting began!

This picture totally cracks me up! I’m on the far left and you can tell that whatever I just tried I do not like. At. All.   Next is Val, she is proof  that we are totally qualified to take on this huge taste task. Look at how she is pondering the flavor in her mouth and making a very intellectual decision.  Katy is to her right.  She is closely inspecting her chip before tasting.  Laura is deciding if she should take another taste or proceed to the next flavor.  On the far right Jeni is recording her thoughts so she can make an educated vote.  I told you we are all silly qualified for this job.  So who won?!

Oh you’re no fun! I don’t want to reveal the winners and take the chance you’ll stop reading and go onto something else.  :)
I want to tell you about a few other highlights from the gathering.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Chip Tasting & Voting Party #FoundFlavor #SaveBaconMac #NorthIowaBloggers donnahup

Photo Credit: Amy from Modern Rural Living

Check out this spread of deliciousness! We all brought some sort of goodie and had a potluck of delectable delights.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Chip Tasting & Voting Party #FoundFlavor #SaveBaconMac #NorthIowaBloggers donnahup

It was so yummy! The weather was so nice we sat outside on the deck and ate.  We also talked, laughed, and of course tweeted about how much fun we were having.

We are a group of bloggers, what did you really expect?  Seriously though, we had a blast! I can’t wait to hang with these girls again!

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Chip Tasting & Voting Party #FoundFlavor #SaveBaconMac #NorthIowaBloggers donnahup

From left to right:

Is this a shameless plug for my blogging buddies? Maybe, but I really love following them and plus, it’s my blog so I can :)  Seriously though, they are awesome to follow.

I guess you want to know about the results of chips taste now ;)  Alright, I won’t leave you in suspense and longer.

In third and fourth place we had the Mango Salsa #SaveMango and the Cappuccino #SaveCappuccino

Mango Salsa #SaveMango – In all fairness I could not try this one because I am allergic to Mangoes 

  • Tastes like Bath and Body Works would taste if you could taste!
  • Gross—tastes like perfume
  • Fruit and chips don’t mix!
  • Too sweet and I agree—did taste like Bath and Body Works. Icky flavor.
  • I was disappointed. I love mango salsa and thought this would be the perfect combo but it definitely fell short in my book.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Chip Tasting & Voting Party #FoundFlavor #SaveBaconMac #NorthIowaBloggers donnahup

Cappuccino #SaveCappuccino – as you can see above, Jeni and I were not fond of the Cappuccino

  • Yuck!
  • Don’t even like the smell.
  • Better than expected!
  • Not as bad as I thought!
  • I hated these. Tasted like bad coffee creamer.
  • Not as overwhelmingly sweet as I thought they would be. Kind of a dessert chip!

 

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Chip Tasting & Voting Party #FoundFlavor #SaveBaconMac #NorthIowaBloggers donnahup

In second place we had the Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese #SaveBaconMac which happened to be my favorite

Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese #SaveBaconMac

  • Cheesy!
  • My fave of all the submissions
  • Great but how could bacon be bad?
  • Needs wavy texture! Love bacon though!
  • These were okay—tasted like bacon.
  • I expected more—they seemed ordinary.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Chip Tasting & Voting Party #FoundFlavor #SaveBaconMac #NorthIowaBloggers donnahup

Even #FlatSara helped us try out the chips.  The winning submission from our group was the Ginger & Wasabi #SaveWasabi

Ginger & Wasabi #SaveWasabi

  • I like wasabi but the addition of ginger ruined it for me.
  • My favorite by far! I <3 the ginger.
  • Love it.
  • My favorite—would buy these!
  • I might try wasabi now!
  • Best of the 4—love the kettle cooked crunch with a hint of ginger to offset the wasabi.
  • I liked the refreshing and different taste.

Have you tried them yet? What was your favorite?

Walmart Family Plans – Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web

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*This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Phones4School#CollectiveBias

Walmart Family Plans - Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web Alcatel One Touch Evolve #Phones4School #shop #cbias donnahup

I remember receiving my very first cellphone in high school I graduated back in 1996 more than 10 years ago.  My parents thought it was too expensive to justify buying me one so my grandma bought it.  She also paid for my service.  I was instructed to only use it for emergency purposes.  Things have certainly changed.  I remember the first year our kids (now 23 and 21) and started texting us.  Our phone bill more than tripled! Thank goodness for unlimited talk text and data/web plans that are now available.

Walmart Family Plans - Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web Alcatel One Touch Evolve #Phones4School #shop #cbias donnahup

It’s even reasonable to buy a smart phone now! Walmart not only has a great selection of phones, but their  Alcatel One Touch Evolve is on rollback from $79.88 to only $29.88!!  They even have an Unlimited Talk Text & Web service plan that is $34.88/month. The price will remain the same for the life of the service plan for the primary line if purchased during the promotional time period (7/18-10/31).

Walmart Family Plans - Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web Alcatel One Touch Evolve #Phones4School #shop #cbias donnahup

I did have to purchase the $25.00 starter kit since we were not already using Walmart Family Mobile as our service provider. My husband is an over the road truck driver so it’s great to find a service that is great for the whole country!

Walmart Family Plans - Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web Alcatel One Touch Evolve #Phones4School #shop #cbias donnahup

It was very easy to set up and includes step by step instructions.

Walmart Family Plans - Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web Alcatel One Touch Evolve #Phones4School #shop #cbias donnahup

At a price like that (for the phone and the service) it makes a great back to school present.  Unlimited text is essential for kids as that is probably the feature they will be using most for friends and to contact you.  What if sports practice gets cancelled or they need you to pick them up at a different time than discussed.  I know that I love the idea they can get a hold of us.

Walmart Family Plans - Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web Alcatel One Touch Evolve #Phones4School #shop #cbias donnahup

The phone has some great features and you can even download apps for your kids (or yourself).  There are even child safety apps you can download if you’re worried about your kids getting on the internet or downloading inappropriate apps. You can hand it to them in “kid mode”.

Walmart Family Plans - Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web Alcatel One Touch Evolve #Phones4School #shop #cbias donnahup

The phone is light weight so they can toss it in their back pack or stick it in their pocket.

Walmart Family Plans - Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web Alcatel One Touch Evolve #Phones4School #shop #cbias donnahup

The phone and plan are a great value and still come with everything you need.  This would make a perfect gift for anyone including yourself.

Walmart Family Plans - Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web Alcatel One Touch Evolve #Phones4School #shop #cbias donnahup

I know it seems like kids are getting phones younger now a days but if you set ground rules and even have them sign a contract stating their responsibilities if they get a phone it can be a great experience.  For me it’s a matter of safety and I’m glad they can get a hold of me if they need to.  How do you feel about kids having cell phones?

donnahup.com receives free products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. All opinions expressed are solely from donnahup.com. See donnahup.com’s Disclosure Policy for complete details. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

Surviving that Time of the Month with the help of Walgreens Paperless Coupons

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*This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Surviving that Time of the Month with the help of Walgreens Paperless Coupons

Surviving that Time of the Month with the help of Walgreens Paperless Coupons #WalgreensPaperless  #shop donnahup

Every month I have this unwelcome visitor. I call him TOM (time of month).  I don’t know about you, but it’s not my favorite thing.  I normally feel blah and just want to eat candy. I knew I needed to get some essentials.  I love downloading new and useful apps and I was playing around on the Walgreens app.  Did you know you can clip paperless coupons?! I love saving money with coupons but I constantly lose them or leave them at home. I always have my phone. #WalgreensPaperless

Surviving that Time of the Month with the help of Walgreens Paperless Coupons #WalgreensPaperless  #shop donnahup

I was able to not only check out the weekly ad, but I could also clip BOTH store coupons and manufacturer coupons.  You can browse by category or even individual pages of the ad. It’s super easy to “clip” the coupon and then save it.  The app even gives you a total savings.  You can also easily unclip them.

walgreens revlon Surviving that Time of the Month with the help of Walgreens Paperless Coupons #WalgreensPaperless  #shop donnahup

After I clipped my coupons and got my list together I headed to Walgreens. I got my lip gloss so I’d feel better. Yes, I like new things like like lip gloss and nail polish when I don’t feel good.  The Revlon lip gloss was on sale and I had clipped a manufacturer’s coupon!

walmart tampons Surviving that Time of the Month with the help of Walgreens Paperless Coupons #WalgreensPaperless  #shop donnahup

Of course I had to get some necessities that were not so fun.  These did give my bonus point though that my app also keeps track of.

walgreens candy Surviving that Time of the Month with the help of Walgreens Paperless Coupons #WalgreensPaperless  #shop donnahup

I don’t keep candy in my house. It’s not because I don’t like it. It is because I do like it and would eat it all.  I did put extra arrows on the picture above.  I did not eat all of that, but sure felt like it.  I went with a few tasty treats.  You know, for medicinal reasons because chocolate makes you feel better ;)

walgreens coupons 1 Surviving that Time of the Month with the help of Walgreens Paperless Coupons #WalgreensPaperless  #shop donnahup

 

At check out all I had to do was show her the bar code  on my phone, easy peasy.  She scanned it and it took the savings right off.

walgreens receipt Surviving that Time of the Month with the help of Walgreens Paperless Coupons #WalgreensPaperless  #shop donnahup

This app is so useful. I love that I don’t have to keep track of coupons or a balance rewards card. I got my goodies home and started to feel better.

Surviving that Time of the Month with the help of Walgreens Paperless Coupons #WalgreensPaperless  #shop donnahup

In fact this is what I feel like before and after my shopping trip.

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What type of foods, activities, etc make you feel better when you don’t feel good?

July is National Cellphone Courtesy Month

Yum

 

*I am a member of the US Cellular Blogger Brigade.  This shop has been compensated as part of their program. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own. 

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Cellphones seem to be everywhere.  They are fantastic. I can call for help, talk to a friend, surf the web, look up information and more all from my cellphone.  I don’t usually leave home without it, unless I forgot. Then depending on how far away I am I have turned around to get it.  There’s no denying that cellphones are very useful.  The problem is that we can sometimes get absorbed in them. Cell phones and technology can totally enable better moments through simplifying and enhancing your life.  I just feel sometimes we (me included) need a reminder on Cell Phone Etiquette.

July is National Cellphone Courtesy month and U.S. Cellular is celebrating by promoting positive cell phone etiquette.

July is Cellphone Courtesy Month #BloggerBrigade donnahup

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and wondered if they were even listening because they were browsing the web or texting?  I know I’ve been the person ignored and unfortunately the one that has done the ignoring.  I’m not talking about looking up info that pertains to the conversation like looking up places to eat or movie times.  I’m talking about hearing a text come through or seeing new emails or Facebook notifications pop up and checking them immediately.  A Pew Research survey found that 67 percent of cellphone owners find themselves checking their phones for messages, alerts or calls – even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. That means a lot of people are checking devices at any given time or place. While you may be able to listen and check at the same time, it does not change the fact you are being rude to the other person.  Emails, Facebook, and Twitter can wait (really they can).

July is Cellphone Courtesy Month #BloggerBrigade donnahup

Lily’s expression above is classic.  While they were staged for this photo, Jayden and Lily were instructed to show me how annoyed they get when someone else is talking on their cellphone when they’re trying to talk or read a book.  Logan did a great job of totally ignoring them too.  I feel that I have this one down pretty good.  I will answer my phone and let them know I have to call them back or shoot them a text after the missed call.  I also try to turn my phone on silent when I’m with someone or in a meeting.  It’s very easy to do with the Apple iPhone5S.  You just switch the little button on the side of the phone above the volume buttons.  It’s shows red if it’s on silent. The Galaxy S5 has a similar feature as well.

I found the following chart pretty interesting.

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The above statistics (as well as those posted below) were obtained between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Maritz Research. 

According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 37 percent of users say others get upset with them for phone use, while 63 percent say they get upset at others for phone use. I thought it was very interesting that over half of cell phone users think no one gets upset at them for their phone use yet over half of cell phone users DO get upset at others (at least sometime).

63 percent of people believe that no one gets upset at them for their phone use. This is the same percentage that sometimes gets upset with others for using their phone or tablet.

July is Cellphone Courtesy Month #BloggerBrigade donnahup

Not to mention, it can be dangerous to be too absorbed on your cellphone. I’ve seen plenty of YouTube videos of people walking into others or things because they were not paying attention.

July is Cellphone Courtesy Month #BloggerBrigade donnahup

Where Do People Have the Worst Cellphone Etiquette?

That same poll listed movie theaters and restaurants.

I have heard some people talk about taking a break from cellphones and I will not be doing that. Why? I need mine for work and I like having it on me.  I can look up information, reviews, directions and more in seconds thanks to the reliability of U.S. Cellular’s 4G LTE Network.

July is Cellphone Courtesy Month #BloggerBrigade donnahup

As I said before, we did stage the munchkins in these pictures for my post, but the truth is that Jayden (age 11) has his own cell phone.  I like the fact that he can get a hold of us where ever he is and is able to use it in case of emergencies.  There are rules though, he does not just use it whenever he wants. He can only answer calls that are programmed into his phone. He also knows that his texts will be read and his activity monitored. In fact, here is an excellent Parent/Child Agreement that I would highly suggest printing out.

July is Cellphone Courtesy Month #BloggerBrigade donnahup

 As may be expected, smartphone owners who are over the age of 54 have stronger etiquette beliefs than younger users.

  • Among adults 55-64, 82 percent think it is rude to check your phone while talking with someone else, and 80 percent think it is rude to check while dining.
  • 63 percent of users 18-34 think it is rude to be on your phone while talking to someone else, while 57 percent think it is rude to check while dining.

I also thought these  statistics were interesting:

July is Cellphone Courtesy Month #BloggerBrigade donnahup

Women are more likely to prefer texting over men. They are also more likely to have checked or used their phone to avoid conversations.  I definitely prefer texting over talking.

Tips for improving courtesy by busy cellphone users:

Set the ground rules. If you have plans to meet a relative for dinner or spend happy hour with a group of friends, discuss expectations for phone use. By determining technology use before the gathering, everyone is able to enjoy the occasion.

Seek to understand. Focus on similarities instead of differences and set a goal to understand those around you. By understanding other’s wireless device use, you’ll be more courteous of their expectations.

Don’t be a buzz kill. Putting a phone on vibrate during a meeting or event can be a good idea, as vibration mode is meant to alert only you. However, it can distract others if the phone is placed on a table in a meeting or meal. Put the phone in a pocket, where it can alert you to a call but isn’t disturbing others. If you forget to turn off the ringer and get an unexpected call, phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 stop ringing by simply flipping over the device.

Avoid being blinded by the light. Adjust screen brightness prior to entering a dimly lit space, such as a restaurant, recital or school play. This allows you to use the device to take photos or use social media without disturbing those around you.

Print of a Parent/Child Agreement.  This is a great step to teach your children cellphone courtesy.

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