My HCG Journey

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I had shared with you awhile back that I was doing HCG!

Now, I know that some of you have strong opinions (for and against) – I am thrilled with the results!!

I have done round 2 and 3 and had no issues and have lost 21 pounds!  Yes, it’s a strict diet and it requires self control, but it is totally worth it!  Not only have I lost weight, but I am learning to eat healthier.  I have cut out sugar and feel better too!

I am getting ready to start another round and I’m excited!  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Created by MyFitnessPal – Nutrition Facts For Foods

DonnasDealsAndMore receives free products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. All opinions expressed are solely from DonnasDealsAndMore. See DonnasDealsAndMore’s Disclosure Policy for complete details. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation.

Giveaway Tips

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I love entering giveaways almost as much as I love hosting them!!

A lot of you have asked me questions here, through email and through my fan page.  I decided I should write some tips to answer the most common questions.

1. You can’t win if you do not enter.  Seems basic enough, but it’s so true.  I have won some pretty cool things, but I enter giveaways daily.  Odds are the more that you enter, the more you will win.

2. All winners are chosen randomly.  I do not “pick” my winners.  I use a random generator.  If you want to read about them you check that out HERE

3. Read disclosures.  These can be found at the bottom of the giveaway and/or the rafflecopter.  They tell you who the contest is open to, if there are any restrictions, and how long you have to respond if you win.

4. Check your spam folder! I can not emphasize this enough! If the word Giveaway, Contest, or Winner is in the subject, it is often placed into the spam folder.

5. Use of personal info (email, phone #) – I highly suggest getting a separate email for entering giveaways. This does NOT mean using two emails to get double the offers.  That is cheating. I mean using a separate email just for the giveaways and keeping your personal email separate.  I also use a special phone number for giveaways and freebies.  You can get a free number from  Google Voice HERE.  Even if they leave a voicemail it will send that to your email.  If you have a smart phone you can download the app for it and receive and make calls from your google voice number.

6. Do NOT cheat!! I think it’s ridiculous I even have to talk about it, but it happens all the time.  We check and verify all the entries.  If you did not do something, do not say you did.  It’s that simple.

7. Have fun!!

To find all my current giveaways, head HERE 

For a list of current winners, head HERE 

Good luck!!

Knock SMA out of the Park!

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Meet one of the cutest girls, Brooklynn, and her parents.  I used to work with her Mom when I was in college.  Brooklynn was born with SMA.  I have to be honest, before she was born, I had no idea what it was.

So here is a quick lesson (thanks to FSMA):

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a motor neuron disease.  The motor neurons affect the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing.  It is a relatively common “rare disorder” : approximately 1 in 6000 babies born are affected, and about 1 in 40 people are genetic carriers.

SMA affects muscles throughout the body, although the proximal muscles (those closest to the trunk of one’s body – i.e. shoulders, hips, and back) are often most severely affected. Weakness in the legs is generally greater than in the arms. Sometimes feeding and swallowing can be affected. Involvement of respiratory muscles (muscles involved in breathing and coughing) can lead to an increased tendency for pneumonia and other lung problems.  Sensation and the ability to feel are not affected.  Intellectual activity is normal and it is often observed that patients with SMA are unusually bright and sociable.  Patients are generally grouped into on of four categories, based on certain key motor function milestones.

 The Greater Florida Chapter of Families of SMA is proud and honored to announce  their Second Annual “SMA Day with the Rays” Fundraiser & Awareness Event.

Join us as the Tampa Bay Rays take on their AL rivals, the Texas Rangers! The event is Sunday, September 9, 2012, at 1:40 p.m. at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL.

$12 per ticket (plus online convenience fee) Buy your ticket now at www.raysbaseball.com/FSMA.
Please be sure to follow all directions on the website when booking your tickets for our tbt*/party deck section at Tropicana Field.
*You will need to put in the password FSMA for us to get our portion of the proceeds, so please don’t forget!
Also, the first 10,000 kids 14 and under receive an Evan Longoria Mini Drum Set! See you at Tropicana Field!
Questions? Please contact Katie Kerns, President,
FSMA Greater Florida at 727-388-1888.

*Proceeds from each ticket sale will be donated to Families of SMA to help find a cure. We would love to see everyone attend this event and show your support for Brooklynn and all her other SMA friends. If you need wheelchair spaces to call Chad direct on 727-825-3393.

You can “visit” Brooklyn on her blog HERE

 

I Lost 20 Pounds!

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I have been doing a “Happy Dance” all morning!  My goal has been to lose 60 lbs and I’m a third of the way there!  That’s right!  I stepped on the scale and I’ve lost 20 pounds!!

I am so excited and I can see the difference in my face when I look in the mirror, not to mention that I’m fitting into my clothes better!!

How have I been losing all this weight? With my Miracle Skinny Drops!

Okay, that’s it, I just wanted to share!  Back to dancing!!

Created by MyFitnessPal – Free Weight Loss Tools

The Importance of Home Cooked Meals

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Let’s face it, the majority of us are short on time.  There are days when I’ve worked all day, cleaned, played with the munchkins, etc that the last thing I want to do is cook.  It’s so much easier to go somewhere, order in, or pop it in the microwave.  The problem is that I’m trading convenience for bad health habits.  Being on my diet has reminded me of the importance of  home cooked meals.  Not only do they taste better but they are so much better for you!  Cooking meals is also great if you have food allergies (like we do here) because you can control what goes into the food.  Have you ever really read the back of a microwaveable meal?  Or thought about what was in fast food?  Food processing is any deliberate change in a food that occurs before it’s available for us to eat. It can be as simple as freezing or drying food to preserve nutrients and freshness, or as complex as formulating a frozen meal with the right balance of nutrients and ingredients.  I have come to really appreciate farmers markets and butchers.  I love knowing what I am putting into my food.  I think that the fresh veggies taste better too!  I don’t know about you, but I’m returning my “convenience” and taking back my health!

MRS CRIMBLE’S: Giving Away Thousands of Free Treats

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A recent survey showed that even though times are tough, nearly 9 out of 10 people would rather experience an act of kindness than win $15 on the lottery.  The survey also revealed that 84% of people feel guilty about not being in touch as much as they’d like with the people they most care about.

As a result of the survey, Mrs Crimble’s has launched the ‘Share the Love’ campaign to spread some kindness nationwide.  Anyone can nominate a deserving friend or relative by visiting www.letsbakelove.com.  Mrs Crimble’s are planning to send out 1,000 free packs of goodies every month including lots of Britain’s favourite macaroons, Bakewell slices and Double Choc Brownies.
Another way to be kind is to treat someone to a pack of Mrs Crimble’s pink Cranberry Macaroons – not only will they be much appreciated but Mrs Crimble’s donates 10p to Breast Cancer Campaign from every sale.

HCG – Here We Go!

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I have been thinking about, dreaming about and talking about losing weight, but I haven’t lost any!  In fact I’ve gained.  I was a size two 6 years ago and well, I’m not now.  In fact my jeans are 10’s and should probably be 12’s but I don’t want to admit that.

It’s embarrassing posting my picture like this, in fact I try to avoid posting full body shots because I can’t stand my weight.  I am doing this though because I want you to see the difference and where I am coming from.  I am a real person, I’m 35 and I want to get control of my weight.   I have tried lots of fad diets, etc and I tend to yo-yo with my weight.   One of my friends has done the HCG Diet and lost  40 pounds! I have read other success stories as well and decided to try it myself!

I was so excited to get my package from Miracle Skinny Drops!
How does HCG work?  HCG helps you to lose stubborn pounds. Because the HCG hormone makes the abnormal fat available, the body begins living off the fat – the fat provides a source of energy, just as food does. In addition to weight loss, many patients who have completed the HCG program also experienced many other health benefits, including a drop in cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.  This is an extremely basic explanation and I highly encourage you to check out Pounds and Inches.

I just started my journey yesterday and I’m now on day 2 of loading.  Right now I feel like a pig.  Basically, I’m loading up on calories so I will not be hungry on the start of Phase 2 (500 calorie days).

As far as the HCG drops, they’re easy and hardly have any taste.  I just take them 3 times a day under my tongue.

I have not posted my weight and/or measurements because I am so embarrassed, but as I lose I know I’ll be able to share them with you.  I will keep you posted on my journey and would love for you to join with me!  To get started head HERE

 

hCG 1234™ 90 Day Challenge

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lose weight

No matter what diet I try, or how much I exercise, this is the way I feel when I step on to the scale.  It can be depressing.  My mother used to warn me that I would lose my metabolism in my 30’s and I just brushed it off.  6 years ago I was a size 2 and now at 35 I’m not anymore.  I am wearing 10’s.  I have tried a bunch of things and I am eating better but it is all very discouraging.

One of my girl friends has been using hCG 1234™ and has lost 40 pounds!  I have been dying to try it myself.  Normally I would be skeptical but I have seen it work.  hCG 1234™ is a dynamic diet supplement designed for rapid weight loss. It contains select aminos and herbal extracts such as Maca, Pygeum, Rhodiola, and Astragalus, which are clinically supported to promote fat metabolism and provide essential nutrition. Based on Dr. Albert Simeons’ revolutionary research, the goal of hCG 1234™ dieting is to burn fat quickly, then maintain ideal body weight.

I am personally going to try the hCG 1234™ for 90 days.  I’ll be sharing with you my progress throughout the 3 months also.

If you would like to join with me and try hCG 1234™ for yourself head on over to the Creative Bioscience store HERE

 

 

Happy Graduation, Stacia!!

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Happy Graduation

Okay, I just have to brag on my stepdaughter, Stacia!!  She graduated Monday night!!  We are so proud of you and love you so much!!

There’s an App for that!

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Okay, I am so excited!!  Did you know you can download me in the Google Play store?  Yes, I have my own app that can be used on any droid!  Now you can take DonnasDealsAndMore with you!

So, what does it do?  I’m so glad you asked! Let me show you :)

Donnas Deals Android App  Donna's Deals Android App

You can view the latest posts in either a list or gallery view!

  

You can “star” your favorites to go back to them and click on each individual post to read! Plus it will update you when there is a new post (you can choose automatic or manual updates in the settings).

I have to thank the amazing Nick over at FeedChimp! (Nick@feedchimp.com) He made this awesome app for me!! Not only did he do excellent work but he was fast, efficient, and friendly!  If you’d like your own app he is your man! Please tell him you heard about him from Donna’s Deals and More!

So, what are you waiting for? Getting the app is easy and FREE!!  You can go to the play store on your droid and search “Donna’s Deals” or go HERE

Look! There I am far right column, in the middle! :)

MOM

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I love Mother’s Day and the celebration of Mom!  My Mom was amazing!! She fought breast cancer the last 4 years of her life.  It eventually spread to both her bones and her liver.  She went home to be with Jesus on August 16 this past year.  It is really weird to have Mother’s Day and not have her here.  So in celebration of my Mom, I’d love to share some pictures I have of her with you! (and some other Moms I love!)

Mom

Dad, Me, and Mom

  Myles &  I with my parents  at our wedding

Me and my Mom

 

My family

My mother in law, sister in law and me

My Momma Daffy (she’s like a Mom to me!)

So, if your Mom is not here, reflect on the wonderful memories you have! If you have your Mom, hug her tight and tell her you love her!!

v zivo in nikoline pozabi
“live and never forget”

Freebies for Fighters

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Let’s face it, cancer totally stinks!  My mom fought breast cancer (which spread to her bones then liver) over 4 years and lost her battle August 16th, 2012.  She was an amazing woman! I also have an amazing friend, Cassie, who is currently fighting (she’s only 35!) breast cancer.  She is a talented photographer and I highly recommend seeing her work HERE :)

I am so excited to share this post brought to you by Heidi over at SaveMoreSpendLess

My sister-in-law Amanda S.’ mom Carmel has Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer and we are trying to brighten her day by getting her a few things. She is currently under going chemotherapy which has caused her to loose her hair so we are looking for caps, scarves, things that are cute to cover her head. Along the way we found some different things as well so we posted those as well

I know that there are millions of Americans suffering from this disease and every little bit helps them in their time of need. If you can help, have a contact I don’t have listed or just want to send a card to Carmel please send me an email at smslwithheidi(at)gmail(dot)com.

A special thanks to the fellow bloggers that helped me compile this list. They include: Kelli Avery from Freebies, Deals, and Steals and Inside My Head with Kelli.

As well as Mellissa Hanks from Something Like Life and of course my blogging buddy Marci from Couponin’ Momma of Texas.

Hats and Scarves

Breasts Friends Hat Project offers free hats to women that are in treatment for cancer. Or email@breastfriends.com

Caps Against Cancer offers free ball caps for patients who have experienced hair loss due to chemotherapy treatments.

Hats for Happiness are free hats that are either new or lovingly worn.

Heavenly Hats provides free hats to cancer survivors around the United States.

Good Wishes, Strength, Style and Dignity provide a wrap for your head.

Wigs

Free Wigs for Kids for children under the age of 18.

Crickett’s Answer For Cancer. Wigs and other head fittings as well as salon services for wigs. Free to any woman with breast cancer. CrickettsAnswer@comcast.net; 717-843-7903; 301-935-4411

Y-ME. Wigs and styling tips for women with limited resources. YourShoes 24/7 Breast Cancer Support Center; 800-221-2141

House cleaning

Cleaning for a Reason provides free four monthly cleanings for women with cancer, not available in all states. 877-337-3348

Misc

Free tote bag with “goodies” inside from the Lydia Project

Free non-toxic household cleaners from ComforTree

Fill a Heart–Pillows for your chemotherapy ports and comfort

Meals on Wheels

Free In-home-delivered meals for income-eligible adults and children. Available in most areas of the country. Some programs also offer other home-related assistance, such as grocery shopping; 703-548-5558;

American Cancer Society has programs available to help cancer patients call 800-ACS-2345 to locate a chapter near you.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Click the link to find the one closest to you.

PG has been known to help some cancer families out. I personally do not know this I’m just passing on what was told to me.

1 Up on Cancer is a great resource page

Cancer Angels is just like it sounds, it made me cry reading the description.

Cancer related discounts from Happy Chemo

Journal/Web blog for your cancer journey found here.

Sarah Kathryn Davis her story and blog

 

Please feel free to pass this information along to others!!

 

I am Gluten Free

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Did you know that May is National Celiac Awareness Month?  Do you know what celiac disease is?

What is Celiac Disease?

(Pronounced: SEE-lee-ack disease)

Celiac disease (CD), also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is a genetically linked autoimmune disorder that can affect both children and adults. In people with CD, eating certain types of grain-based products set off an immune response that causes damage to the small intestine. This, in turn, interferes with the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients found in food, leading to malnutrition and a variety of other complications. The offending amino acid sequences are collectively called “gluten” and are found in wheat, barley, rye, and to a lesser extent, oats  (Celiac Sprue Association)

CD affects an estimated 3 million Americans.  I am one of them.  At first I didn’t want to believe it.  I like bread, and pasta, and well most everything containing glutens.  I also couldn’t understand why this was such a “new” disease and my grandparents didn’t have to deal with this.  I learned that back in my grandma’s day they came out with a brand new, more “fluffy” flour to bake with.  Guess what makes flour fluffy … Gluten!  We have so much more gluten in our diets now.  Removing gluten from your diet isn’t just for those with CD and gluten intolerance.  It’s actually good for everyone.  I know that my family has benefited from a gluten free diet.  If you’d like to learn more about the effects of gluten I would highly recommend Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis.

At first I was really discouraged that I was going to have to change my diet, but it turns out there are tons of yummy alternatives.  I still enjoy bread and pasta, they’re just gluten free.  I have included a list of some of my faves at the end of the article.  It’s also pretty easy to adjust most any recipe to GF.  My husband loves my GF Brownies from scratch (see recipe HERE).

I am really excited about a program called Spread the Bread.  Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery is offering a give a dollar get a dollar program.  All you have to do is select one of four organizations (Celiac Disease Foundation, Celiac Sprue Association, Gluten Intolerance Group, and National Foundation for Celiac Awareness) to receive a $1 donation from Rudi’s and then you’ll be able to download a $1 coupon for any Rudi’s Gluten Free product.  :)

 

Here are some of my favorite GF products:

Udi’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread (I also love their multigrain bread)

Tinkyada Pasta (all kinds of noodles)

 Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free baking products (flour, oats)

Lundberg Garlic Primavera Risotto (they have lots of yummy flavors)

 

What are some of your favorite GF products?

 

Autism Awareness: Moving Beyond Awareness Into Action and Promise

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Autism Awareness Month Almost Over, Now What?

30 Days of Autism Awareness Month Challenge Begins at the Cafe

My friend over at Kat’s Cafe had  this idea. It goes something like this: we participate in an awareness campaign (like this one for Autism Awareness) and it gives us a sense of purpose, a sense of healing, and even, maybe, a sense of achievement — we did something.

Here is her post from her blog:

There’s something inherent in any kind of cause marketing (just another fancy name for trying to convince you to care about a cause instead of a product) that is almost counterproductive to the purpose and potential it represents. Inaction.

There. I said it.

The sad fact of the matter is, that the end of this month will come and go, and our lives will be very much the same.

For being a family mired in the ‘having of autism’ we won’t suddenly be miraculously understood by that clerk at the store, and we will still feel isolated and alone because it’s just too hard to find someone willing to watch the guys so we can go out … our lives don’t change because of a campaign like this.

Sometimes the big organizations are a bit richer, are able to fund more research and put out more information and resources, but how does that help those of us in the trenches?

What if that wasn’t the case though?

What if we could turn Autism Awareness into Action?

What if, alongside the great quotes and warm fuzzy pictures we could have actionable ways to help those within the autism community? And what if, instead of simply pinning a pin, you are part of a pinning movement? What if, instead of taking part in a Facebook contest, you could not only win great prizes all in the name of Autism Awareness, but could also pledge to make a difference.

Not by sharing a photo or graphic (though I’m all for that too).

Not by writing moving posts (though I’m all for that too)

Not by being brutally honest about life with three boys on the spectrum (and a hubby too) … though, heck, I’m for that one too.

What if …

What if, when someone pinned a great graphic, or entered a great Facebook contest, they were given ways to help someone who was autistic feel less isolated? What if they were given things they could ACT on that could make a difference? And what if YOU could help?

And just for the heck of it, let’s dream big here, what if they were part of a Twitter Party that gave prizes for the best brainstormed ways to help a family  who has an autistic child be a part of the community again? What if we could have a Google+ Hangout and come together to discuss ways to make Awareness EQUAL action?

I think we can.

I think you can.

And I think we should.

Want to be a part of it? A part of the discussion, a part of the movement, a voice among many, THE voice that helps to make a difference?

Join me!

During the month of May, Kat’s Cafe is joining with some phenomenal sponsors and a whole host of bloggers to prove that WE CAN move past awareness, into actionable goals and to-do lists, into simple and complex things we can do to create change.

Not talk about change. But create it.

This is the moment where you decide if you want to be a part of it.

Because it’s going to be big.

One person can make a difference, but many, working together, can promote understanding, respect, hope, and change.

Over this weekend I’ll be releasing more information, a special section of the Cafe, and a Blogger’s kit to be involved in this very different kind of awareness campaign.

If you have been around the Cafe, you know that my graphics will be a part of this – and I’m busy working on some great ones to go along with this campaign.

If you want to feel more than warm fuzzies, if you want to take a big step out with me, do me a HUGE favor, right now.

Take a deep breath (not the favor!).

Think of all the ways you can help this message spread. You can share it, pin it, like it, tweet it, +1 it, reblog it (absolutely!) and right now … you can become even more involved too.

Fill the form out if you want to be a part of the blogger’s Awareness Team, leave me a comment to say hi, you love the idea, or have this even better idea about how to make it better.

Actionable Autism Awareness. It’s cause marketing, social media for social good, and a promise too … working together we can make a real difference!

[PS – Still signing up some last-minute sponsors. If you want to donate a prize, your organization’s support, or something more, fill the form too – I’ll get back to everyone who responds!]

Read more: Autism Awareness: Moving Beyond Awareness Into Action and Promise http://katscafe.org/2012/04/27/autism-awareness-moving-beyond-awareness-into-action-and-promise/#ixzz1tMoorh3p

 

I am excited to be joining with her! Will you join with us too? :)

Am I Insane?

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Am I insane?  Yes, I think I am.  I just started that crazy work out called Insanity.  Now some of you may think I’m a little crazy even before you found that out, but shhh, that’s not what this post is about ;)

When I got married 6 years ago I was a size 2! Yes, it’s hard for me to believe too.  Married life has been wonderful.  We have tons of fun, grew closer together, and ate lots of good food.  I look at pictures of me and think how did I let that happen?  I’m not severly overweight, but I am definitely not a healthy weight.  I  have set a “weight goal”  and I do understand that muscle weighs more than fat so I’m not really stuck on the number of pounds.  I really would like to be healthy and a size 4 or 6.

I did my weigh in on Saturday and that was enough to make me cry, but it also gave me determination.  I also started using FitnessPal and love it! You enter what you eat and how much you excercise and it tracks it for you.  Don’t worry you can leave your food diary on private ;)  It really makes me think about what I’m eating and putting into my mouth.

And, as I mentioned before I started Insanity.  All I had to do was the “fit” test but it was straight cardio!  I felt super unfit, lol!  But that’s okay, I have heard a lot of testimonials that you should go at your own pace (even if mine is a crawl) and you will see results.  I’m excited and will definitely share my results with you!

I also have a great support team!  I am telling you that accountability is essential!  I have a great body coach who never asked me to post this, but I just love her and think you all should know :)  I also have friends who ask me about my day, my excercise, and what I’ve eaten ;)  I am the type of person who would never touch it again unless someone lovingly kept kicking me in the behind.

I’m inviting you to join me!  We can support each other and share our victories!

*These are my own opinions.  I was not paid or given compensation for writing this post

 

Created by MyFitnessPal – Nutrition Facts For Foods